30 School Supplies to Make Kids’ Back-to-school More Fun

By Melody D. Foster
Photo Courtesy: salvatore ventura/Unsplash

Going back-to-school shopping should be fun for students and adults alike, and there’s nothing quite like a backpack stuffed full of fun and fresh supplies to get your little learners excited to head back to the classroom.

Here’s our list of 30 must-have supplies your elementary or middle school scholars need to make back-to-school more fun.

Patterned Spiral Notebooks

AmazonBasics College Ruled Wirebound Spiral Notebook

Surrounding your student with color can spark creativity and imagination. And even the most basic school supplies can be brought to life with a little color. These patterned spiral notebooks will help make learning fun for your middle school student. Amazon also offers wide ruled notebooks for younger students.

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A five-pack of assorted single-subject notebooks are ideal for the school year, with lined pages to take notes, write to-do lists and complete assignments. Spiral notebooks are an essential on every student’s back-to-school shopping list, but you can change things up with colorful notebooks instead of standard, solid-colored ones.

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Big Capacity Pencil Case

EASTHILL Big Capacity Pencil Pen Case

Help your student keep note cards, pens, pencils and a variety of other small supplies and necessities organized in a large capacity zipper pencil bag. The [productid asin= "B07BND8Y5X"]EASTHILL pencil pouch[/productid] comes in a variety of colors and patterns, geared toward middle school, high school and college-aged girls.

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Room for 50 pens/pencils and other gadgets as well as a sturdy carrying handle makes this the ideal storage accessory for students. It can even double as a makeup bag or travel case for personal items. Your student has a number of supplies to keep up with during the school day, but a big capacity pencil pouch makes it simple to keep the essentials organized and easy to find.

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Fine Tip Pens for Bullet Journaling

Journal Planner Pens

Bullet journaling is the latest trend in personal organization and provides a flexible planning and time management tool for students. A set of colorful fine tip pens is a must-have for any student with a bullet journal or other personal planner.

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This set of 18 vibrant marker pens allows your middle school student to express their own personal style and creativity. Quick-drying, water-based ink won’t bleed through pages and adds a pop of color to bullet journals, daily planners, notebooks, artwork and more.

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Ergonomic Pencil Grips

The Pencil Grip Crossover Grip

Learning to write can be a challenge for preschool and elementary-aged children. The Crossover Grip was designed by doctors, tested by kids and approved by parents to help children learn to hold pens and pencils ergonomically while writing or drawing.

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They are the perfect stepping stone in handwriting development.

Pencil grip writing aids give children more control while writing, increase comfort and reduce hand fatigue. Regular use reinforces proper grips, correcting common handwriting problems like fist grips, thumb wrapping and fingers crossing over.

The Crossover Grips ergonomic pencil grips are ideal for both righties and lefties and will help improve your child’s handwriting.

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Freezable Lunch Box

PackIt Freezable Classic Lunch Box

Freezable gel built into the walls of this lunch box means that lunch stays cold without the need for extra gel packs or ice packs. The PackIt Freezable Lunch Box collapses flat for storage in the freezer. Just pop the empty bag into the freezer overnight (at least 12 hours), and pull it out in the morning to keep food the perfect temp until lunch time.

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This classic lunch box is the only horizontal lunch box with patented cooling technology and is large enough to hold an entire meal plus a 12-ounce drink. The top-load design makes it simple to pack, and a kid-friendly zipper locks in cold air, so you can rest assured no food will spoil during the school day.

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LED Stick-Anywhere Locker Light

URPOWER Motion Sensor Closet Light

Homework, school supplies and must-have essentials can no longer sink into the dark abyss of your students’ school locker when they’re equipped with a bright LED locker light. These battery-powered, space-saving and motion-sensing locker lights illuminate the entire locker.

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Lights will automatically turn on when the locker is opened and turn off after 15 to 30 seconds of inactivity.

Stick these lights anywhere inside the locker with super-strong, 3M double-sided adhesive pads, or use the built-in magnet for metal surfaces. Each light requires three AAA batteries and will last up to 10,000 hours.

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Cute and Colorful Washi Tape Set

Cute Washi Tape Set with 3 sizes

Washi tape is an easy, inexpensive way to liven up lockers, school planners, books and more. This thin, decorative paper masking tape is made of natural fibers and comes in hundreds of colors and patterns.

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Washi tape sticks to a variety of surfaces, including wood, paper, plastic and metal and is easily removed without leaving sticky residue or causing damage.

Washi tape is perfect for journaling, planners, books, calendars, vision boards and more. Encourage your student’s creativity to run wild as they personalize their school supplies with cute and colorful designs.

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Stackable Finger Crayons

GiBot Toddlers Crayons Palm-Grip Crayons

Coloring has never been more fun for little ones! Finger crayons are adorably pint-sized and specially shaped for little hands. These popular finger crayons come in 12 colors. They can be held with a palm grip or put on finger tips for coloring and are non-toxic and completely safe for kids.

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Early education teachers and parents love stackable finger crayons for little ones who are practicing their fine motor skills. Not only are they ideal for young children developing creativity and artistic skills but, when coloring time is over, these stackable crayons double as building blocks to spark ingenuity and intelligence.

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Erasable Highlighters

Pilot FriXion Light Pastel Collection Erasable Highlighters

It’s happened to all of us—we highlighted too much, or we used the wrong color. Erasable highlighters make taking notes and studying even easier.

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FriXion Erasable Highlighters are made by Pilot, a trusted brand in ink pens for decades.

They write like a highlighter, but errors and mistakes are easily erased without leaving holes in the paper. Erasable highlighters make highlighter mistakes a thing of the past, so students can take notes, complete homework and edit papers worry free. Highlight, delete and repeat!

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Inspirational Lunch Box Notes

Designer Lunchbox Notes

Adjusting to spending the day without mom or dad nearby can be a struggle for young students. Slip a little note into your children’s lunch box and give them a sweet reminder that you’re always near.

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Brighten your students’ day with a loving note or inspirational message with these [productid asin="B00UI8IK8S]customizable lunch box notes[/productid].

There’s even more to love about these adorable note cards. Use them as a gift card and attach them to a child’s birthday gift or as a little note to say "thanks" when returning a borrowed item. Inspirational lunch box notes are a must-have for every parent.

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Fashion Notebook Binder Dividers

Avery 5-Tab Plastic Binder Dividers with Pockets

These insertable fashion dividers add a pop of color to a school essential. The big tabs on the [productid asin="B00V2M9O98]Avery binder index dividers[/productid] are larger than the standard divider tabs, so they’re easy to see. The sturdy pockets hold loose papers in place, and the dividers’ assorted designs are fun yet perfectly practical for daily use by students.

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Each divider is made of durable, tear-resistant plastic, so they won’t wear down and need to be replaced midway through the year. For a clean and professional look, free templates and fonts are available on the Avery website to design and print in minutes. Organization can be both fast and stylish with fashionable dividers that are great for school, home or the office.

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Desktop Calculator

Helect Standard Function Desktop Calculator

A calculator is a handy tool every older elementary and middle school student needs. Sure, there are plenty of basic black calculators available, but a sleek, colorful desktop calculator can make math a bit more endurable for any student. (If your student is in middle school, check with their teacher to find out if a graphing calculator is required.)

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While your student’s cell phone has a calculator app, some teachers do not allow mobile phones in class. Even if your student is allowed to have a phone in class, pulling it out during math class may be more of a distraction than a help. A desktop calculator is an affordable solution to help your child complete basic math problems.

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Waterproof Name Labels

Self-Laminating, Waterproof, Write-On Name Labels

Parents have a love/hate relationship with name labels, but they’re a necessity if you have any hope of keeping track of school supplies throughout the school year. Durable adhesive backs make these labels long-lasting, and they are even dishwasher safe!

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Label all their things—pencil boxes, notebooks, clothing, water bottles, lunch boxes and more—with self-laminating, waterproof, write-on name labels. No lifting, peeling or smudging. Pro tip: Use a fine-tip black permanent marker to write your child’s name and wait for the ink to dry before applying the label.

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Beast Box Pencil Case

ZIPIT Beast Pencil Case/Pencil Box/Storage Box

This playfully-designed pencil box features an adorable friendly beast your little monsters are sure to love. The [productid asin="B00RXHRNO4]ZIPIT Beast Box[/productid] pencil case is lightweight yet durable enough to protect up to 60 pens and pencils. And parents love that it is machine washable and comes with a lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects.

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ZIPIT’s award-winning softshell Beast Box series takes pencil storage to a new level. The zipper is kid-friendly and reliable, so it’s guaranteed to stay closed once it’s zipped up. Beast Box is designed to maximize space and doubles as a storage box for craft supplies and other small gadgets.

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JanSport SuperBreak Backpack

JanSport SuperBreak Backpack

JanSport is an original backpack brand name. For more than 40 years, parents have trusted JanSport for comfortable, durable backpacks to help keep students of all ages organized. The JanSport SuperBreak is the ultimate classic backpack for everyday use.

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The SuperBreak is available in more than 30 colors and prints, so students are free to express their own personality and style. The ultralight backpack is just the right size with one roomy compartment for books and other larger items and a smaller handy front pocket.

This backpack is exactly what you’re looking for in a book bag: durability, functionality and versatility!

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Washable Book Covers

Book Suits Stretchable Jumbo Book Covers

Avoid fees for damaged textbooks and keep books clean and protected with stretchable book covers. Bonus, these [product id asin="B01H2YWYAU] durable book covers [/productid] made of premium quality material are even washable, so simply toss them in the wash when they start looking dirty.

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Book Suits textbook covers are ideal for medium or large books, and the pack of seven come in a variety of bright colors, including teal, orange, blue and red. Each cover includes a ribbon bookmark, and the set comes with a pack of 12 stick-on labels.

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Hard Graphing Calculator Case

Guerrilla Hard Slide Case-Cover

A graphing calculator isn’t a school essential anyone wants to replace. At more than $130 a pop, it’s worth a little extra to give that calculator another layer of protection. This Guerrilla sliding graphing calculator case fits the TI-84 Plus, TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition and TI-89 Titanium calculators.

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Made of high-quality, non-breakable plastic, Guerrilla’s patented hard slide case provides ultimate protection for a graphing calculator. Choose from a selection of bold colors and cool designs and your child will stand out from the crowd with a unique calculator case that makes math fun.

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Waterproof Wet/Dry Bags

Angel Love 2 Pack Wet/Dry Bags

Keep sweaty gym clothes separated from clean clothes with a waterproof wet/dry bag. Each of these Angel Love wet/dry bags contains a leak-free section for dirty or wet clothes or swimsuits and a zippered dry section for clean items.

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These bags are compact enough to fit inside a student’s backpack or gym bag yet big enough to hold wet gym shorts and a shirt plus a clean change of clothes. Wet/dry bags are often considered an accessory for a baby’s diaper bag, but now they provide the perfect solution for toting damp or dirty clothes to and from school.

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Clear, Washable Glue

Elmer’s Liquid School Glue, Clear, Washable

Say goodbye to the white, slimy mess you remember growing up and give kids [productid asin="B001G9EBDG]Elmer’s clear, washable glue[/productid] instead. Perfect for projects and great for home or school use, this non-runny glue is formulated to go on and dry clear, creating less mess.

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Elmer’s washable clear school glue is non-toxic and adheres items to paper, wood, cloth, pottery and more. This clear glue also provides the ideal transparent base for glue slime. Just add color to make your own custom slime.

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Personal Pack Travel Tissues

Kleenex Trusted Care Facial Tissues

You can never have too many tissues for your school-aged child. Schools are a haven for uncovered coughs and sneezes. [productid asin="B00706W9EC]Kleenex Trusted Care On-The-Go Packs[/productid] contain 10 durable, absorbent three-ply facial tissues to lock in moisture, cover sniffles and sneezes and wipe messy faces.

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Be well prepared for cold and flu season with travel-size tissue packs that are small enough to fit in a backpack or a student’s pocket. Each pack is designed with stylish packaging and an inspirational message to push through the day.

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Locker Lock Set Your Own Word Combination

Master Lock Set Your Own Word Combination Lock

Grabbing a book out of their locker shouldn’t leave students feeling like they’re cracking a secret code. The [productid asin="B009JTW84Y]Master Lock set your own word combination padlock [/productid] is designed specifically for indoor use with school and gym lockers in mind, and the four-letter word combos provide sufficient security to keep items inside the locker safe.

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Setting their own word combination will make it easy for kids to recall the combo and access their stuff. Plus, grip points on the colored dials make it even easier for students of all ages to accurately enter the word combination.

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Magnetic Dry Erase Fridge Calendar

Fridge Calendar Magnetic Dry Erase

Soccer games, drama practice, play dates, parent-teacher conferences—juggling school year activities for children can be a real headache. Keep everyone on schedule and organized with this dry erase magnetic fridge calendar . At the end of the month, just wipe it down and start fresh so everyone in the family knows what’s coming up in the new month.

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Use this calendar to teach kids smart habits like getting organized and always being on time. No more questions about what’s on the agenda in the days ahead. A simple whiteboard calendar is just what you need to keep everyone on the same page, so you’ll never miss an important date or activity again.

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Stainless Steel Water Bottle

S’well Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle

It’s always tough to get kids to drink enough water, but staying hydrated is trendy with a stylish stainless steel water bottle. Keep cold drinks icy cold and hot drinks hot with a S’well insulated water bottle. The 9oz bottle is the perfect hydration accessory for kids, while adults may want to purchase the 17oz or 25oz size.

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No more soggy notebooks! The S’well triple-walled construction is condensation-free, so hands stay dry and there won’t be any worry about books, homework and other papers getting soaked by a water bottle in the backpack.

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Fidget Cube Desk Toy

CHUCHIK Fidget Cube Desk Toy

Kids who are stressed, suffer from anxiety, ADHD, sensory-processing disorder or who are on the Autism spectrum can have a difficult time focusing during the school day. The CHUCHIK fidget cube has six unique triggers to keep the hands busy and less distracted in class and is small enough to slip into a pocket.

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A fidget cube is designed to help kids and adults release energy, increase concentration and reduce stress. Give your students the tools he or she needs to be successful. Even teachers will notice a difference in your student’s attention and focus.

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Volume-limiting Headphones

LilGadgets Connect+ Premium Volume Limited Wired Headphones

Students can relax and unwind during the to-and-from school commute without blowing out their ear drums with a pair of volume-limiting headphones. Created for kids ages three to seven, the LilGadgets premium headphones are stylish yet durable, padded and lightweight.

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LilGadgets headphones are quieter than adult headphones and offer passive noise reduction to help kids block outside noise, so kids can hear sounds at a lower volume. Plus, included SharePoint technology allows you to connect multiple headphones to one device, with no splitters needed.

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Twistable Colored Pencils

Crayola Twistables Colored Pencils

No pencil sharpener needed! These game-changing colored pencils are perfect for drawing in the classroom, at home, or on the go. Crayola’s Twistable Colored Pencils are ideal for drawing fine lines and coloring detailed pictures. Simply twist up to color, and twist down to protect pencil tips when not in use.

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Each pencil in this colorful set has a plastic barrel to help prevent damage to the pencil’s color core. The pencils’ break-resistant plastic barrels are easy to grip and are clear, so it’s easy to see how much colored lead is left.

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Portable Phone Charger

Anker PowerCore 5000 Portable Charger

"My phone was dead" will never be a valid excuse again with the Anker PowerCore portable phone charger. Avoid the stress of calling your child’s phone only to have it go to voicemail with a mini portable charger that’s perfectly sized to juice up an iPhone or Android.

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The high-capacity, high-speed charger contains enough power to provide at least one complete charge for any phone. It’s slim enough to fit perfectly into a backpack or pocket and is the perfect tech accessory for any child or adult with a cell phone.

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Bento Lunch Box

Yumbox Original Leakproof Bento Lunch Box Container

Paper lunch sacks are a thing of the past. Yumbox bento box lunch boxes are divided food containers that allow you to pack a variety of your child’s favorite foods. Dips, crackers, fruit, sandwiches... The Yumbox lunch box container is colorful, lightweight and kid-friendly.

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The Yumbox comes with a removable compartmentalized tray with five sections, each sealed individually by the lid to prevent leaking or spilling. Yumbox also encourages healthy eating and a balanced diet—each section holds a half-cup portion, perfect portions for young kids. Pack the bento box inside an insulated lunch box or bag with an ice pack to keep food fresh and cool.

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Academic Daily Planner

Dated Student Planner for Academic Year 2019/2020

A daily planner is a must-have for all students once they reach middle school. Choose this dated blocked calendar with individual days to jot down assignments and monthly calendar views to help remember important dates.

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Resource pages provide helpful aids for study skills, English, math, social studies and geography. And colorful stickers make staying organized fun!

Getting into the habit of using a planner teaches kids the importance of organizational skills, neatness and punctuality and helps them plan ahead and stay on task—all valuable habits to develop as they grow into successful students and adults.

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Felt Letter Board

Felt Letter Board Message Sign

Create motivational messages, celebrate milestones, write daily reminders or practice spelling words. This decorative 10 x 10 letter board comes with more than 600 characters to write a new message every day to encourage your little learners to be their best.

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Felt letter boards are a fun, easy and trendy way to post an inspirational quote, display a schedule or make an announcement. A 10-inch square is also the perfect size for your student to mount inside his or her locker to keep the inspiration flowing during the school day.

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