From the August 2015 issue

Cool Back-to-School Supplies for Kids

From backpacks to a phone-propping pencil case to locker wallpaper, check out this year's must-have school supplies for kids of all ages.

It’s almost time to ditch the bathing suits for backpacks. So, whether you’ve got a kindergartner or a high school freshman, it’s time to stock up on supplies for back to school.

While some kids are geeked at the thought of color coordinating their folders and notebooks by class or picking out a new backpack or laptop, others are less than enthused at the notion that summer is almost over and studying will soon ramp up.

But you can turn those classroom curmudgeons into scholastic stars with our picks for 2015’s best back-to-school gear.

Back2Back School Bag

One word: storage. That’s what older kids need in a backpack – and that’s why Staples teamed up with students to create this and other items in its Designed by Students line. This backpack’s square shape offers more space for all the things students need – including two padded compartments for iPads or laptops, plus extra spots for water bottles and additional supplies. A separate removable compartment is great for storing lunch boxes or smelly gym clothes. Available in black-red, blue-neon green or gray-purple color combinations. $52.99.

 

Bixbee Backpacks

Wee ones want something special to cart their books and supplies around, too! That’s where Bixbee’s adorable backpacks come in. They’ve got butterflies, monkeys, sharks and more. Purchase your child’s favorite, and Bixbee will donate a schoolbag with school supplies to a child in need. Comfy and weighing just over one pound, these backpacks are designed to keep extra weight off kids’ backs. There’s space for lunch money, water bottle and school supplies. Available in small, medium and large. $31.99-plus.

 

Big Props Pencil Case

Pencil case and tech stand all in one – another Staples’ Designed by Students creation props up phones, books and mini tablets, offering a more compact workspace for students. Available in purple-pink, blue-light blue and green-blue color combinations. $7.99.

 

Floating Shelf Locker Organizer

Lunch, books, shoes, pens – trying to find one of these things in a messy locker is challenging and can be a nightmare when you’re rushing between classes. Help your kids avoid being tardy: Let these floating shelves help them stay organized. Maximize space with four triangular sections that keep everything in sight. Three color combos. $12.99. staples.com.

 

Mackenzie Navy Dragon All-in-One Lunch Bag

Khaleesi has her dragons – now your kids can have theirs. If Games of Thrones has upped your love of this fire-breathing creature, why not send a few to school with your child? This dragon-design all-in-one lunch bag features compartments for each part of your child’s meal – no food mixing here. Plus, a mesh pocket holds napkins and utensils. $59.50.

 

LockerLookz Brand Locker Wallpaper

Business on the outside, party on the inside – jazz up that boring gray locker with some funky wallpaper. These wallpaper strips, which hang easily with magnets, are a great way to personalize this space. The strips fit most standard size lockers and are pre-cut in four easy-to-install panels. Choose from green glitter stripe, purple glitter scroll, pink glitter polka dot, black-and-white damask or aqua glitter quatrefoil. $19.99.

 

Poppin Scissors and Ruler Set

Bright colors, big numbers and clean lines – Poppin turns two basic school supplies into bold accessories with its Pool Blue Measure Twice, Cut Once set. Add a pop of color to your child’s back-to-school gear with this ruler-scissor set. Also available in lime green and yellow. $12.

 

Yoobi x Usher School Supplies

Thanks to this collaboration between Yoobi and Usher – and the talents of California artist Jonni Cheatwood – students can carry a work of art to class every day. Pencil cases, notebooks and more are available in five prints and more than 20 designs. For every product you purchase, Yoobi donates an item to a classroom in the United States. $2.29-$6.99.

 

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