24 School Essentials Most People Forget to Buy
We searched high and low for these under-the-radar, but totally necessary school essentials—because you need a lot more than three-ring binders and pencils to kick the school year off right.
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Velcro closures simplify your morning routine
Streamline their get-out-the-door routines with sneakers that won’t come undone, require hourly lace checks, or result in painful trips to the nurse’s office with these Saucony Kids’ Jazz Court Sneakers. They keep all shoelace-related issues in check and come in little kid and big kid sizes.
You’ll definitely need these colorful helpers
After you buy an entire forest of loose-leaf paper and binders, you’ll want to stock up on Yoobi plastic index dividers. Your A+ student will enjoy staying organized like Marie Kondo with ease with bright, joy-sparking colors.
Healthy meals have never been easier
Whether your teen is learning to pitch in some dinner-making effort or you’re looking for a direct path to keeping your college student’s meals nutritious and easy, an Instant Pot is a great solution. It uses smart WiFi-enabled technology to pressure cook, slow cook, make homemade rice and yogurt dishes, and even bake a cake. It’s one of our favorite tech gifts, too.
Save money boosting their reading skills
Early, intermediate, and even advanced elementary school readers learn to love books with ReadingIQ, the smartphone app for budding readers that looks and feels like screen time, but actually gets your little ones reading thousands of popular titles after taking a short reading assessment to find the best level for them to start at. They’ll browse Disney and other popular titles, never rip a page, get a game-like trophy for hitting their 20-minutes a day goal, and wow you with their continued progress. A one-year subscription covers up to three children under separate profiles and costs less than a single hardcover book.
Start healthy sleep habits
People of ages and stages can benefit from a better night of sleep, which is why this LectroFan High Fidelity White Noise Machine is great for kids heading back to school, stressed teens in need of a good snooze, and parents looking to feel a little more rested. It’s one of our favorite sleep products for those who benefit from white noise because it offers 20 sounds, a sleep timer, and other high-tech features to keep just about anyone counting sheep.
Kick acne to the curb
Tell your teen they’ll be ready to start the school year fresh-faced and bursting with confidence with this VITAMINscrub from CLEARstem. It’s a gentle daily exfoliator the works harder on blackheads and chin acne than you do on packing lunches, is pore-safe, environmentally-friendly, and made in the USA with non-toxic ingredients. Find out what causes chin acne in the first place.
Never lose anything again
Place a smart tracking Tile Pro device on their keys, in their backpacks, gym bags, in the trunk of their car without them noticing, or just about anywhere or on anything else you’d hate to lose (them included). It’s one of the best-selling items on Amazon thanks to its ease of use, thoughtful design, and affordability.
Kids need to ride to school safely
Make sure you and anyone you carpool to school with has a legally-compliant car seat for your child to sit in as they ride, play car games, and talk about what they’re learning. Believe it or not, most American states require special car seats or boosters for kids up until age eight, with some states demanding till age 10 or 100 pounds. The Maxi-Cosi Pria 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat is a smart decision because it grows with your little one, transforming from a baby seat to a toddler-friendly safety chair, all the way through an easy-to-use booster for children 100 pounds or less.
Calling all leggings lovers
If she’s prone to wearing her leggings with just about everything, obsessed with athleisure, or hitting practice just about every day, consider adding HEX Performance Anti-Stink Laundry Detergent to your back to school list. It is formulated with athletic gear in mind, working hard on odors, bacteria, and the stains an active lifestyle can cause.