The Best Back-to-School Gear for the New Year

Back-to-class shopping feels especially celebratory this season. Get kids in on the excitement with fun yet functional supplies, from stylin' backpacks to so-cool pencil sharpeners.

An image of school supplies on a colorful background.
Photo: Courtesy of Manufacturers.
01 of 21

Mini Kane Fuzzy Bolt Backpack

state bags mini kane fuzzy bolt backpack
Jeffrey Westbrook

Your child will feel like a superhero when wearing this lightening backpack! At just over a foot high, it's large enough to fit lunch and early-grade-school supplies. (And a shout-out to the brand for gifting backpacks to children in need.)

02 of 21

Staples FurReal Heartdogs Backpack

blue pink furreal heartdogs packpack
Jeffrey Westbrook

Extra credit for cuteness! The dachshund-in-a-bun-covered FurReal Heartdogs Backpack is a tall 16 inches for big kids with books and has a water bottle pocket on each side.

03 of 21

Liewood Allan Backpack in Arctic Mix

scandiborn liewood allan backpack actic mix
Jeffrey Westbrook

Made of recycled polyester, this adorable 11-inch backpack is gender-neutral animal chic for preschoolers who only need to tote a few essentials.

04 of 21

LEGO Brick Backpack

yellow lego brick kids backpack
Jeffrey Westbrook

Their favorite toy in bag form: The LEGO Brick Backpack is a little over 15 inches high, comes in 11 colors, and has one water-bottle pocket and two fun circular zipped pockets, plus a laptop sleeve inside.

05 of 21

Skip Hop Zoo Big Kid Backpack

skiphop koala zoo big kid backpack blue pink
Jeffrey Westbrook

The soft ears make it, but we love the clear pouch and puffy koala nose too. Skip Hop's 14-inch-tall backpack—which comes with a water bottle pocket—is the right size for preschool and kindergarten.

06 of 21

L.L.Bean Junior Original Book Pack

ll bean original 16-inch alligator backpack
Jeffrey Westbrook

Kids can rock the coolest reptile print with this classic 16-inch backpack for grade school. Add a monogram so that the swamp comes back home with the right kiddo.

07 of 21

Stasher Sandwich Bags

stasher sandwich bags endangered seas collection
Jeffrey Westbrook

Reusable silicone Stasher Sandwich Bags make ditching single-use plastic baggies a no-brainer. Plus, a portion of every purchase from the new Endangered Seas Collection—with wavy, colorful stripes—goes to the protection of oceans and their ecosystems.

08 of 21

Nalgene Kids On-the-Fly Lock-Top Astronaut Bottle

3 nalgene kids on-the-fly lock-top astronaut bottles
Jeffrey Westbrook

The BPA-free 12-ounce bottle serves up out-of-this-world characters: space explorers doing their thing as surfers, dancers, loungers, and dunkers.

09 of 21

Bear Ice Pack from The Container Store

blue bear cub-shaped ice pack
Jeffrey Westbrook

Who better to chill out your child's lunch than a frosty blue polar bear? And don't worry; the nose on the lightweight Bear Ice Pack is sealed shut for a leak-free freeze.

10 of 21

Scandibørn Fabelab Lunch Bag

scandiborn cotton animal fabelab lunch bag
Jeffrey Westbrook

The tiny Fabelab Lunch Bag, made of organic cotton, adds a little bit of magic to lunchtime. Tie the ears of the unicorn to hold a sandwich or snacks inside.

11 of 21

Precidio Design Snack in the Box

3 precidio design snack in the box cubes
Sized for little fingers so kids can serve themselves. Jeffrey Westbrook

Reminiscent of a Tic Tac box but with dual compartments, these containers can fit 4 ounces of snacks in either side, which kids can have fun dispensing from the tiny doors. The boxes are also dishwasher safe.

12 of 21

Lands' End Kids Insulated TechPack Lunch Box

lands end kids insulated techpack lunch box mermaid swirl
The handle is strong enough to hang from a backpack. Jeffrey Westbrook

This lunch box, which comes in this otherworldly Mermaid Multi Swirl pattern, is thick and sturdy so food stays cool and unsquished. FYI, you can stash a drink in the bottom.

13 of 21

Yoobi x Marvel Avengers Amazing Spider-Man Bento Box

yoobie marvel avengers amazing spider-man bento box
Jeffrey Westbrook

The skateboard, hammock, pool float, and break dance motif on this bento box is a mash-up kids didn't know they needed. It's got three compartments and an ice pack.

14 of 21 Write On Pencil Set

bando write-on take care pencil set mantras
Jeffrey Westbrook

Maybe you can't be in the classroom to motivate your child, but this pencil set can, with feel-good reminders like "Be Kind to Yourself" and "It Doesn't Have to Be Perfect."

15 of 21

Fiskars Blunt-Tip Kids Scissors

fiskars designer blunt-tip kids scissors green
Jeffrey Westbrook

These Fiskars scissors are engineered with your child's safety (no sharp edges) and comfort in mind. A little digit can fit nicely into the finger loop, while the smaller thumbhole prompts more precise snipping.

16 of 21

OLIKA Hydrating Hand Sanitizer Spray with Clip-On

olika orange hydrating hand sanitizer clip-on
Jeffrey Westbrook

Let this Peeps-like product charm your kid into sanitizing their hands. Hook it onto their backpack or lunch box for easy access. You get to choose from five scents, like this orange blossom, or go fragrance-free.

17 of 21

ZIPIT Monster Pencil Case

3 zipit monster pencil pouches zippers
Jeffrey Westbrook

Drop writing utensils into the mouth of an amusing monster! The soft sack is actually one long zipper, so your kid can unzip it all the way to watch the monster unravel, then cinch it back up again.

18 of 21

OOLY ClickIt Eraser

4 outer space-themed clickit erasers
Jeffrey Westbrook

Encourage less stress about making mistakes with the ClickIt Eraser at the ready. Your kid taps the top, and more eraser appears.

19 of 21

Poppin Neon Pink Ruler

poppin neon pink acrylic ruler
Jeffrey Westbrook

The bright colors and big numbers on this acrylic ruler make learning to measure a treat for the eyes too.

20 of 21

Genuine Fred Great Write Pencil Sharpener

2 genuine fred write bite great write pencil sharpeners
What’s the point? These keep pencils sharp. Jeffrey Westbrook

Here's a shark that doesn't chomp—it sharpens. Open mouth and insert pencil with the Great Write pencil sharpener.

21 of 21

Little Navy Sticky Labels Sport Pack

little navy sticky labels sport pack little me
A cuter, more personal way to label everything. Jeffrey Westbrook

Kids get a kick out of designing their look-alike with these labels! You'll be thrilled that the name stickers are waterproof—they stick to clothes through the washing machine and lunch supplies through the dishwasher. Label with abandon!

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