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27 Cutest Back-to-School Products You’ll Want to Snag for Yourself

You're going to want to order doubles of these adorable back-to-school products—one for the little one and one for you!

Crayola Washable Gel Pens, School Supplies, 14 CountVia amazon.com

For a bright, stain-free year

Those colorful gel pens are a favorite of school-aged kids (and artsy adults) everywhere, but until now, they came with a stain hazard. These Crayola Washable Gel Pens can easily be removed from clothes, furniture (ahem, children), or just about anywhere else a creative writer may find themselves spreading ink.

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Quilted Koala Adult Backpack: Rose Gold MetallicVia amazon.com

For a rose golden year ahead

Nothing will beat back-to-school stress quite like the addition of a truly magical rose gold backpack from Quilted Koala. She’ll be the coolest kid at school, and still have plenty of space for binders, folders, and books, as well as compartments for all the other necessary accessories. Find out genius swaps to save big on back-to-school shopping.

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Built NY LBM02-OLV Crosstown Stain Resistant Insulated Lunch Bag with Adjustable Shoulder Strap, OliveVia amazon.com

For always-delish lunches

Get your little one a very practical Built NY Insulated Lunch Bag. It’s a hit for adult lunches, too, so you’ll definitely want to get a pair.

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Birchware Classic - Compostable Wooden Forks - 100/PcsVia amazon.com

Disposable cutlery you’ll feel good about

With major restaurant chains scrapping disposable straws and cutlery, it looks like the world is finally moving in a more sustainable and eco-friendly direction. Help your little one simplify their lunch and still feel good about your environmental impact by packing totally compostable and biodegradable forks from Birchware.

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Heart Felt Letter BoardVia pier1.com

Signs of good things to come

Maybe your teen and you both need a little inspiration—try wording these hilarious inspirational quotes on a felt letter board from Pier 1, or just stick with a casual “Done Homework = Dessert” message.

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BLACK ARROW KNOTTEDVia headbandsofhope.com

A dose of good karma

Yes, there’s more learning to do as a kid than just reading, writing, and arithmetic. Teach your little girl the value of giving back with a fashion-forward headband from Headbands of Hope. The brand gives a headband to a child battling cancer for every headband or other hair accessory purchased, and that’s pretty beautiful.

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Nalgene-Tritan-12oz-On-the-Fly-(OTF)-Kids-BPA-Free-Water-BottleVia amazon.com

Some cool refreshment

It’s no secret that water bottles are trendy for just about every age and stage, but this super-cute Nalgene Chomp bottle is designed for little spill-prone hands, and near magically keeps everything neat, leak-proof, and hydrating through lunch, recess, and beyond. Find out the 14 back-to-school supplies that are a waste of your money.

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OOLY Make No Mistake Erasable Markers, Set of 12 (130-046)Via amazon.com

You’ll want these on your desk, too

These rainbow-colored Make No Mistake Markers by Ooly are every little artist’s dream—one side colors, and the other side erases. Imagine, that? Erasable markers finally exist. We’re assuming pigs will start flying soon, too.

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Hyde Women's Organic Cotton Premium Quality Activewear Jogger Pant with Wide Ribbed Drawstring Waistband and Pockets.Via amazon.com

For the gym class hero in your house

Give her a pair of organic cotton joggers from Hyde, and then borrow them when she’s not looking—they’re that comfortable. Don’t miss these tips for a healthy back-to-school season.

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Migi Slip-On SneakerVia nordstrom.com

For the least likely to tie their laces

There’s always one running around with just too much to do and not enough time to commit to properly tying laces. Rather than standing in his way, let him zip off to the school bus with these very functional and sturdy slip-on sneakers by Plae.

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Elmer's Glow-in-The-Dark Liquid Glue, Great for Making Slime, Washable, Assorted Colors, 5 Ounces Each, 4 CountVia amazon.com

They’ll stick with you after this

Want to really excite your kids? Sure, you could give them a regular bottle of glue (that works, too), but did you know Elmer’s makes a new Glow In The Dark version of their glue now, too? It’s an inexpensive way to up the art project ante, and look like the truly cool parent you are. And don’t worry—it’s washable.

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Master Lock Padlock, Standard Dial Combination Lock with Magnification Lens, 2-1/8 in. Wide, Assorted Colors, 1588T (Pack of 2-Combination Alike)Via amazon.com

An easy-to-use lock


Forget all the extra homework, space-age calculators, and social dynamics they’ll need to figure out: combination locks are often a whole other layer of stress teens and tweens just don’t need to add to their days. The Master Lock Padlock with Magnification Lens makes it easy to get in and out of tricky high school lockers in a breeze, and comes in a set of two in case you need a backup for gym class or an after-school sport. Check out the school supplies that can make your child healthier.

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Double Up High Top SneakerVia nordstrom.com

For the littlest trend-setter

If you already got her that rose gold backpack, it’s pretty clear she’s going to need these Keds Double Up High Top Sneakers to match. They’re a trendy way to let her feel dressed up playing in the school yard, trying new science experiments, and picking her kickball team.

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Hello Oral Care Kids Fluoride Free Toothpaste, Natural Watermelon, 4.2 OunceVia amazon.com

To get out the door a little quicker

The top of your parenting priority list each morning should be making sure they eat a good, nourishing breakfast, and that they brush their teeth thoroughly before heading out. You can make part two of this task hassle-free to save time with kid-approved Watermelon Toothpaste from Hello Oral Care.

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All-Over Map Pencil CaseVia amazon.com

This pencil case will take you places

This NYC Subway Line Pencil Case is a cute way to remember your family Labor Day getaway, a favorite Broadway show, or even your hometown. Don’t miss these 18 shopping secrets teachers use when buying back-to-school supplies.

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Connie Step Hem Skinny JeansVia nordstrom.com

Versatile denim pieces

She’ll fawn over a new pair of Kut From The Kloth Connie Step Hem Skinny Jeans. They’re great with sneakers, leather ankle booths, or even sandals on a still-warm autumn day.

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Space Zip-Up HoodieVia carters.com

Out of this world layering

Stock him up on essential hoodies with personality, like this very-affordable Space Zip Up Hoodie from Carter’s, which now extends their sizing all the way up through size 14.

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NIKE Women's Run Swift Running ShoeVia amazon.com

For the fastest runner

If she’s running to the bus, running to her locker, and then running to class pretty routinely, we can’t blame her, and suggest you just give her the tools to make those runs a little easier. These Nike Women’s Run Swift sneakers from Dick’s Sporting Goods will take her from her morning rush all the way through after-school practice. Find out the ways to beat back-to-school stress.

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Pippa & Julie Girls' Two Tops and a Legging Outfit SetVia amazon.com

Predetermined outfits


Simplify her morning routine by buying predetermined (and totally cute) outfits like this leggings and shirt set from Pippa & Julie. It’s an easy way to keep her on-trend and on-schedule, plus, she’ll have plenty of time to mix and match on the weekends.

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Floral Embroidered Ankle LeggingsVia nordstrom.com

The best leggings

There’s a reason Yummie leggings have a cult following—and we’re convinced your teen will wear these as often as her backpack. They’re a versatile layering piece that easily can be worn alone, under skirts and dresses, or paired with a trendy tunic. Pick a pair up for yourself, too, because they’re just about the most flattering wardrobe staple you can imagine.

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Platform NeroVia koio.co

The perfect every day shoe

Somewhere between athletic and ultra-trendy is where the Koio Platform Nero shoes exist, and that’s perfect, considering that’s probably where your teen exists, too. They’re slightly elevated, sleek, and offer just the right amount of bold confidence in her every step. And yes, they make shoes for him, too.

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Fire Chief Raincoat

For the cutest little hero in your home

If the little hero of your heart is heading off to school and likely to face at least a few rainy days, this Western Chief Fire Cheif Raincoat is ideal.

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AE DENIM X SUPER HIGH-WAISTED JEGGINGVia ae.com

High-waisted and homework-friendly

She’ll love the many washes AE Denim Super High Waisted Jeggings come in, how comfortable they are through long days of studying, and you’ll love how affordable the whole line is. Take a look at these hilarious back-to-school pictures that’ll leave you in stitches.

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Cute Decorative Binder Clips - Best for Home and Office - Binds and Keeps Stack of Papers Fastened - Organize Papers Beautifully, Neat and in a Fun Way - Medium Size 1" - 32 Pack - Makes A Great GiftVia amazon.com

The chicest way to organize homework

You could just pop all those worksheets in regular paper folders, but why? These adorable Lifeturn Binder Clips come in a variety of prints and colors, meaning you’ll be able to sort papers by subject, semester, and aesthetics, obviously.

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Vintage Farmhouse Magazine OrganizerVia pier1.com

Everybody needs a reminder

For older children with hard-to-keep-track-of assignments, try re-purposing a magazine rack for the ultimate homework sorting tool. One compartment becomes dedicated to “to-do” assignments, while the other is dedicated to completed, or long-term pieces. Find out the back-to-school secrets from parents of A-list students.

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Girls | Limited Edition Uniform BoxVia kidbox.com

Uniform style

Just because your student has to wear a uniform doesn’t mean she or he can’t do it in style—and at Kidbox, you don’t have to spend a lot. You can score a curated box of six to eight pieces of clothing from French Toast for less than $10 a piece.

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Skip Hop Zoo Insulated Toddler Backpack Eureka Unicorn, 12" School BagVia amazon.com

Unicorns do exist


This Skip Hop backpack is practically a supernatural find: It’s sized for your preschooler and is insulated, which means it can double as a lunchbox. For you, that means no more furious hunting before heading out the door every morning. Next, find out how to prep your home for a successful school year.

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Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Reader’s Digest editors, who aim to highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we may get a small share of revenue from our partners, such as Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We welcome your feedback. Have something you think we should know about? Email us at [email protected].

Bryce Gruber
Bryce Gruber covers gift ideas, shopping, and e-commerce at RD.com, although you've likely seen her work across a variety of women's lifestyle and parenting topics at TheLuxurySpot.com, Bravo, Parents.com, Martha Stewart, and on your TV screen through national talk shows including The Tamron Hall Show. She lives and works in New York's Hudson Valley with her five small children. Find her on social media at @brycegruber.