Woot! Woot! It's almost that magical time of year. Summer is officially on the downslope, and while we will miss our kiddos dearly come fall, we are just about done with running our 24-hour family summer camps. Before you spend your hard earned cash on a million mundane and traditional school supplies, check out these fresh and unique buys before you hit your local supply store. 2018 has some excellent back to school items that are guaranteed to earn you big bonus points with your kids.
10 The Coolest Calculator Ever
No one wants to have to pull out a calculator during their school day because calculators mean math, and math is no fun! With this fun little number-cruncher, your kiddo can make math a bit more entertaining. The Draw-it-yourself calculator isn't just creative – it's cheap! For roughly ten dollars plus shipping fees, your middle schooler will love you, and we parents know that a young teen's love and admiration is like hitting the parenting jackpot! You can grab this cool back-to-school item here.
9 The Swell Water Bottle
Our children leave us each September and are gone eight hours every day getting their learning on. We want to send them off on with everything that they need to stay healthy during their reading, writing, and arithmetic. Since there isn't always time to stop at the drinking fountain, purchase one of these Swell water bottles at your local Target store and your student will never go thirsty. Know that your kiddo will stay completely hydrated when they are out slaying their day. These 15-ounce bottles are entirely BPA free, made of double-walled stainless steel and will keep beverages cold or hot.
8 Scented Pencils
We all remember the joys of sniffing scented markers. As fun as those things were, it wasn't the healthiest thing to be breathing in and we were forever left with a bit of a colorful nose. Scented pencils are a game changer. No longer will you look like a clown and as a bonus these school supplies are made from recycled materials! You can snag them on Amazon and earn yourself the title of "Coolest Parent on the Block."
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7 Personalized Retro Lunchbox
Throwback! Vintage style is all the rage these days. Let your kids rock the cafeteria in style with this retro-inspired lunchbox that has their name all over it, literally. Kids want a new lunchbox and backpack every single year, and there is never a whole lot of range and diversity when it comes to the style. Sometimes you have to think outside of the lunchbox if you want your kiddo to standout in the hallways. These are a little pricey at 35$, but hey, your kid is worth it.
6 The Word Lock
Yes, yes and more yes! If you have a middle schooler, then you have to get them one of these. Bye locker anxiety! Never again will your child have to remember a number combination and then be mortified to have to summon a teacher out to the hallway to help them break their code. This Word Lock works on word combos, and for seven dollars you will be your kid's locker hero! Seriously though, our high school self is so jealous of these things right now.
5 Amalfi Blue Birksun Classic Backpack
While we're not crazy about spending $139 on a backpack, we're also not crazy about purchasing a low-quality one every year. Those cheap versions never hold up for the entire year, and we always end up buying a new one in April anyhow. Not only is this bag designed to weather the storm that kids put their bags through, but it also has built-in solar panels to charge personal devices on the go. We guess you just have to remind your kid to keep it in a sunny spot at home.
4 Ucolor Two Pocket Coloring Folders
Some teachers are pretty strict when it comes to school folders. Kids often need specific colored folders for each subject, so in that case, these might not work. If you are lucky enough to have folder-flexible teachers though, pick these creative paper keepers up for the upcoming school year. Don't let your kids pre-color them and suggest that they work on their designs when they finish up their school work. This will ensure that they stay busy and quiet in class. Winning!
3 World Map Corkboard
This is an inspiring purchase for any student interested in social studies, history, and geography. Hang this up in your child's study area and make sure you buy plenty of thumbtacks to mark the travel adventures your family has already been on. Let your kid get excited about the world around them in their learning with this corkboard. This is also an excellent thing for teachers to put up in their classrooms!
2 Grip Stress Ball
Kids have to release their stress, even if it looks like play to us adults. These stress relievers can help your student reset their minds and focus their energies on their work. Also, these balls sure beat the dreaded slime concoctions and other "stress relieving" hacks that get stuck to our couches and rugs.
1 Cosmos Binder Ring Flashcards
If you have students who are in that stage of life where test taking is a thing, get a few of these index card sets! Index cards have a way of getting misplaced or dumped in the bottom of backpacks and desk drawers. These might cost an extra couple of dollars, but you will save yourself and your kid the pain and stress of missing vital quiz cards the evening before the big test. You could always hole punch the cards and buy rings in bulk, but honestly who has time for that? Not us!