I've Found the Key to Turning School Supplies Shopping Into a Treat for Kids
I am a rare person among parents: I absolutely love shopping for school supplies when it's time for my son to go back to school. Something about gathering folders and notebooks, Flair pens and dry erase markers, glue sticks and tissue boxes, plus all the other standard-issue, very boring supplies from the teachers' lists reminds me of the new beginnings that the school year promises. But even if you are not a total geek about sharpened No. 2 pencils, you can still turn shopping for back-to-school supplies into a moment that will get your kids excited for fall.
A recent survey done by online payment service Affirm said parents are spending $843 per child on back-to-school shopping this year. I am here to tell you that emptying your bank account is not the way to enjoy this process. You can buy the least expensive clothing and school supplies available, as long as you get everything on that teacher's list. But you've also got to add a little more to your cart: school supplies that let your child express who they are.
Remember when you were a kid and so much of school felt like teachers putting everyone into the same little box? Your kids may be feeling like that too. But even if your kids' teachers prefer folders in certain colors and styles and all the markers you buy go to the communal classroom closet, you can find little ways to sneak in a personal item or two. We're talking a flashy pencil case or a binder, like the old-school Trapper Keepers that have made a comeback. It could be a set of pens in colors beyond black and blue. Or maybe it's a special gadget, like a tablet or an electric pencil sharpener, that will make homework just a little easier.
Help your children feel like they're still individuals during the day (and when they get home at night) with the below school supplies from Walmart. They're all available to shop online, and prices start at just $1.
Shop Loud and Practical Pencil Cases at Walmart
'Space Jam: A New Legacy' Silicon Pencil Case
Easthill Large Capacity Colored Canvas Storage Pouch
This is the perfect pencil case if you happen to be blessed with a kid who likes to stay organized. It has separate compartments for pens and pencils, a big center pouch, and inner pockets to make small things easy to find.
To Buy: Easthill Large Capacity Colored Canvas Storage Pouch, $14.95; walmart.com
Shop Educational Tech That Makes Homework Easier
onn. 8" Tablet Pro
While we hope the days of relying solely on technology for our children's instruction are well behind us, we can also look forward to using it to enhance their education. This inexpensive onn. Android tablet has 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of memory, with an SD slot to add more.
Casio FX-9750Glll-PK Graphing Calculator
Shop Notebooks, Binders, and Folders That Set the Scene
Trapper Keeper Sunset Binder
The most coveted school supply of our youth is back again, with retro themes like this sunset-meets-"Tron" scene. The 1-inch three-ring binder includes folders, a storage pocket, a clipboard, and the excuse for you to teach your kid what "totally rad" means.
'The Office' Stationery Bundle
Why do kids, who have presumably never experienced office culture, love The Office? We may never know. But they can celebrate their fandom with this three-ring binder, folder, and spiral notebook set.
Shop Organizational Supplies That Are Also Pretty
U Brands Wire Locker Starter Kit
Shop Art Supplies for the Discerning (or Silly) Student
Crayola Colors of the World Colored Pencils
Real talk, we spent a really long time pretending that people are either one peach color or one brown color when it comes to children's artwork. Colored pencil sets, like this one from Crayola, help kids create art that looks like the world around them.
To Buy: Crayola Colors of the World Colored Pencils (24 ct.), $10.55 (originally $13.19); walmart.com
Crayola Silly Scents Sweet and Stinky Art Markers
While participating in the visual medium of coloring, your kids can also entertain their sense of smell with these 20 markers that smell either sweet (coconut, green apple, grape, strawberry, banana, etc.) or awful (onion, old rotten tooth, rotten fruit, and more).
Shop Pens, Pencils, and More to Make Their Mark
Sharpie S-Note Creative Markers
Westcott USB iPoint Electric Charging Station Pencil Sharpener
Sure, there's usually no real reason to use an electric pencil sharpener over a manual one (unless you've got a wrist injury), but it is so satisfying. This little battery-powered sharpener also doubles as a USB charging station, making it a useful accessory for kids who need to do homework away from home.
Bic Gel-ocity Original Retractable Gel Pen Spinner
This spinning case of 24 gel pens looks like an invitation to write colorful notes to everyone. It also eliminates that excuse of not being able to find a pen.
To Buy: Bic Gel-ocity Original Retractable Gel Pen Spinner, $19.25 (originally $27.98); walmart.com
Pen + Gear Holographic No. 2 Wood Pencils
These eye-catching No. 2 pencils are going to brighten up any assignment, and they're so much cheaper that we could have imagined.