Gifts for Back to School

My husbands favorite commercial is that Staples Back to school spot where the Dad is dancing in the aisle to the holiday tune “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of The Year” and the kids look miserable drudging behind him. Every year he waits for that commercial to begin airing again because it makes him laugh out loud and it does mean school is almost back in session and normalcy can return to our home. But even will I miss the lazy days of letting them sleep late (so I get to sleep a bit late too), a later routine so dinner isn’t at 5:30 which means, as a working mom, I get a shot at eating with my family and the promise of a sun-kissed weekend.

I don’t believe in buying comfort or joy, but I think it’s always nice to kick off back to school with a thematic gift that the kids can use during the year. Oh, and for your viewing pleasure, that Staples commercial is at the bottom of all my picks… enjoy 🙂

School Bags
I tend to let them get whatever style they want for a school bag and, yes, get ONE new one every year… But if a replacement is necessary during the year it’s to the backlog of hand-me-downs they go. Here were some backpacks I thought were good prospects.
north face school bag
The North Face Vault Backpack (Red Plaid, $49.00)
levis backpack
Levi’s Graf Champ Backpack ($22.99)
jansport denim backpack
Jansport Acid Blue Denim Daze Backpack ($44.50)
billabong backpack
Billabong Backpack ($30)
north face backpack
The North Face Main Frame Backpack ($89)

Pencil Boxes
Back in the early ’80s, I had a bestie who was Japanese and went there every summer. She brought back the most amazing pencil boxes every year–pre-Gwen Stefani Holaback girl movement people–and I just wanted to cop her Hello Kitty, My Melody, Little Twin Star, girlie-anime-style accoutrement (today she’s fully aware of this obsession as we are still friends today). Now this style is readily available (I’m so jealous) and boys have their own indie version too–think Angry Birds. I found this site which is worth a looksie for everything from cases to erasers — they don’t disappoint. Many of my picks come from there…
This Hello Kitty Vanity Pencil Case is adorable for your younger girl who wants to impress or a tween girl who wants to make sure she’s looking her best. Heck, I might even tote this cutie.
I could so see my son with this Angry Birds Pencil Case .
20120820-115048.jpg 20120820-115111.jpg

For an older set, this PB Teen ($9.50) personalizable case comes in a variety of patterns and is just demure enough.

Lunch Boxes
Originality counts in the lunchroom. Anyone can breakout the Spongebob or the Vampires of Waverley whatever lunchbox. It takes real moxie to find a cool food transfer device that is unique and groovy.
ninja lunch box
This Ninja is cool and will keep everything cold.
A spike fan? This MadPax is awesome but not a liability in the caf.
This Laptop Bento Boxwill keep everything orderly…
As will this more dainty version Go Green Bento Box System .

Related Links:
Back to School Deals
Summer’s Top Rated Toys Ages 0-13: August 2012
Tooth Fairy Gift Ideas
Gifts For Theater Geeks
7 Unique Gifts For Baseball Fanatics

Lead image: Free image courtesy of

Gifting Whisperer Affiliate Disclosure


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