Guest Picks: Back-to-School Products to Ease the End of Summer
It's back-to-school time for tots, teens and teachers. As an English teacher, I'm always excited to meet the new batch of freshmen, even if they're not as happy to meet me. For students, there's a feeling of dread accompanied with excitement about seeing what changes have happened during the summer, but there's also a promise of starting over. New supplies are just part of the new year. Whether you're young at heart or young in age, you can brighten up your return to the textbooks. Here are some fun and useful pieces for helping you to study, organize and make it through. — Mariko from The Little Foodie
PaperPro Pink Ribbon Compact Stapler - $11.99
This is a must-have stapler. It punches down easily and doesn't misfire, unless you have students trying to staple their school IDs with it.
Bulman Multi-roll Tape Dispenser - $45.37
I have a lot of different rolls of tape for everything from keeping covers from falling off books to hanging posters. I imagine this could be great for a crafty washi tape lover.
Inspired Inc. Pretty Little Washi Tape Kit - $24.95
Speaking of washi tape, a few fun patterns might make school better. A little decoration is fun to share with friends too.
Midori D-Clip Paper Clips, Penguin - $7.25
I would have a hard time clipping these seriously adorable animal-shaped paper clips on anything being sent away — because I want to just hoard them all for myself.
Gingham Art Smock - $29
If your little one is lucky enough to be in a class that paints, this personalized smock can stay in the cubby until inspiration hits.
SugarBooger by O.R.E. Lunch Sack, Lady Bug - $14.99
O.R.E. makes really cute reusable and insulated lunch and snack bags in styles to fit every age and preference. My mom sent my kids some, and I'm really impressed with their build and quality. They're even easy to wipe inside and out in case of spills.
Freezer Packs - $9
These are great for your kids' lunches, especially those in an insulated bag. You won't have to worry about yogurt, cheese and other perishables lasting until lunch. And you can use them too. I won't tell.
The Davek Mini Umbrella - $49
Whether you're walking to school or just making it from the classroom to the car, this mini umbrella is super handy. It can fit in any small space, so there's no worry about it weighing down in your bag.
Saki P-661 Roll Pen Case with Traditional Japanese Fabric, Dark Red - $13
I love these Japanese-style pencil cases because they are thin and don't waste any extra space. Plus, my pens and pencils aren't rolling around in the bottom of my bag.
Every year I'm told to label all of my daughter's school supplies — including her pencils. Seriously? Who has time for that? I should have known that you can order personalized pencils in any color.
International Arrivals Smens 2.0 Gourmet Scented Retractable Pens - $11.77
For some people, pens are like treasures. These ones have scents that last for a long while, and with flavors like passion fruit, I'm sold.
Post-it Flag + Highlighter - $7.99
Post-it flags are pretty handy, even though they never show up on back-to-school supply lists. Most textbooks can't be marked up, but a flag can help you remember what you need to study later. These flags with highlighters keep it all together.
Moleskine 2013 Pocket Hard Cover Daily Planner, Red - $16.95
There's something about a fresh planner that makes you feel like you're starting things off right. I've also seen some beautiful leather covers on Etsy to go over your Moleskine that can be reused year after year.
Small Space Solutions Desk - $39
One thing that makes a huge difference in kids' success in school is having a regular time and place to study. You don't need an elaborate setup; this simple and affordable desk could work for anyone.
This backpack is bound to turn a few heads for your tween. I love the design, and it comes in other colors too.
It's difficult to find a stylish bag that holds all of your papers. This cute tote is compact and also slings over your shoulder.
Nalgene Tritan OTG BPA-Free Water Bottle, Slate Blue - $6.86
It's really important to have a water bottle on hand because convenient trips to the water fountain are few and far between. Carrying a bottle like this, with an easy one-hand flip-top lid, will keep you hydrated throughout the day.
Bracelet Attache 8 GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive, Multicolor - $13.45
I can't tell you how often someone needs a flash drive at school, so I think this functional jewelry is genius.
Although phones keep time for most people these days, your teen can keep checking his watch during the last period of the day without the teacher taking it away. I have a personal preference for Swatch watches.
HDMI Pocket Projector - $299.99
Considering how much phones are replacing our computers, this pocket projector is extremely useful and easy to carry. It projects from your phone (or any device) and is definitely on my classroom budget list.