Like shopping for a fall wardrobe to stave off the sadness of summer's end, getting really great school supplies can help get kids pumped for heading back into class in September.
While we certainly don't recommend stocking up on entirely new items -- there will always be stuff from years past that can work for at least another semester -- adding one or two treats to the backpack gives a touch of excitement and also helps kids show their personality as the school year starts.
Check out these fun school supplies to get kids back to class with some enthusiasm. Have some finds of your own? Let us know in the comments below.
Have a budding drummer in the family? These drumstick pencils might drive the teacher crazy -- but at least your child will know you support their passion. <a href="http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/gifts/Drumstick-Pencils/5060043060749-item.html" target="_hplink">Drumstick Pencils</a>, $8.99, Indigo Books & Music
For a quickie place to hold papers (or even replace a binder), it doesn't get much cuter than this. <a href="http://www.capridesigns.com/p-337-clipboard-cotton-blossom.aspx" target="_hplink">Cotton Blossoms Clipboard</a>, $8 (US), Capri Designs.
Square Post-its are just not the way to go anywhere -- make all of those reminders prettier (and easier to recall) with pastel colours and a nice trim. <a href="http://www.staples.ca/ENG/Catalog/cat_sku.asp?CatIds=,4988&webid=365639&affixedcode=WW" target="_hplink">Martha Stewart Sticky Notes</a>, $2.99 for 3, Staples.
Put A Mustache On It
It never feels good to have to erase all your hard work, so make yourself laugh at least with this super cute mustache eraser. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Kikkerland-Mustache-Erasers/dp/B005FQ7TSK" target="_hplink">Kikkerland Mustache Eraser</a>, $1.50, Amazon.com.
Let your kid's love for British pop reign with a studded pencil case that (let's be honest) could easily double as a super cool purse pouch. <a href="http://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/studded-union-jack-pencil-case/10028117?trail=&fromPLP=true&ancestorID=&searchString=&startSearch=&fromSearchBox=&addFacet=#" target="_hplink">Studded Union Jack Pencil Case</a>, $2, Walmart.
Very few kids want to see that alarm in the morning, so make it a little easier on them by getting them something that's at least cool to look at. <a href="http://www.dormco.com/Lime_Green_Cubed_LCD_Digital_Alarm_Clock_Dorm_item_p/l1-4-8-70903.htm" target="_hplink">Lime Green Cubed LCD Digital Clock Alarm</a>, from $16.50, dormco.com.
Grow A Lunch?
Make the lunchbox just that much cuter with a pot that separates out into snacks and meals, as well as utensils. <a href="http://www.rolostore.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=2341" target="_hplink">Lunch Pot</a>, $28.95, Rolo Store.
No Drip Cup
The stainless steel version of a sippy cup, these monsters will accompany your preschooler to nap time and back. <a href="http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/toys/Flip-Sip-Hungry-Monsters/732389022167-item.html?ref=by-shop%3aseasonal%3abts-ore-originals%3alist%3a17" target="_hplink">Flip & Sip in Hungry Monsters</a>, $22.95, Indigo Books & Music.
Hang Your Math
This is pretty snazzy way to ensure you won't forget your calculator for class -- attach this oversized piece tot he outside of your bag and it'll always be there. <a href="http://www.staples.ca/ENG/Catalog/cat_sku.asp?webid=457194&CatIds=&AffixedCode=WW&=&=&=&cm_sp=Splash-_-DollarDeals-_-457194" target="_hplink">Aurex Carabiner 8-Digit Calculator,</a> $2.89 (until September 11), Staples.
Bound In Cuteness
There's nothing like sweet graphic art to help compel kids to get organized in class, is there? <a href="http://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/colour-splash-fashion-binder-15/10028214?trail=&fromPLP=true&ancestorID=&searchString=&moduleName=&startSearch=&fromSearchBox=&addFacet=#" target="_hplink">Colour Splash Fashion Binder</a>, $4.97, Walmart.
Put A Name On It
Part toy, part utility, this notebook comes with 33 "elements" -- letters and symbols to spell out names and subjects -- that can be added to the cover of the book. <a href="http://www.shainsware.com/site/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=13&products_id=48" target="_hplink">Notebook with 33 elements</a>, $13(US), Shains.
A brilliant little gadget to keep in your locker or in the kitchen for the whole family, this magnetic recorder can tape up to three minutes at a time, for a total of four hours recorded time. Ideal to keep track of to do lists and phone calls. <a href="http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/ereading/devices/Play-Video-Memo-Pad-Green/846654001273-item.html" target="_hplink">Play Video Memo Pad</a>, from $49.99, Indigo Books & Music.
Mark Your Territory
No matter how hard your kid tries to be unique, it's inevitable that other children in their class will have items that are at least slightly similar, so end the confusion before it starts with cute labels that show off exactly who everything belongs to. <a href="http://www.mabelslabels.com/products/ultimate+back+to+school+combo" target="_hplink">Ultimate Back-To-School Combo</a> of over 100 labels, $42, Mabel's Labels.
A solid backpack is the cornerstone of the school year -- after all, how else can kids get their books, laptop, gym clothes and everything else to school and back safely? Make them proud to wear one every day with a cool pattern like this -- and don't forget <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/08/13/kids-backpacks-safety_n_1772750.html?utm_hp_ref=quick-study" target="_hplink">the essentials of saving your child's back</a>. <a href="http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Packs/SchoolBags/PRD~5028-200/deuter-giga-daypack.jsp" target="_hplink">Deuter Giga Daypack</a>, $78, Mountain Equipment Co-op.
Plaid For Her
Plaid can work for both genders -- check on this prettier take on the pattern in a comfy padded bag. <a href="http://" target="_hplink">Athletic Works Backpack,</a> $19, Walmart.
We all know writing things down is a surefire way to help get them done -- and we think that goes doubly when they're on such a great-looking surface. <a href="http://www.seejanework.com/productcart/pc/Bamboo-Desktop-Dry-Erase-Board-102p4125.htm" target="_hplink">Bamboo Desktop Dry-Erase Board</a>, $14(US), See Jane Work.
Stainless In Any Size
Keeping kids hydrated is a whole task in itself, so find some inducement in the form of cute and colourful stainless steel water bottles -- in a size (and pattern) that works for them. Get stainless steel bottle from $7.99, Shoppers Drug Mart.
Stored In Style
Just stop emailing those documents to yourself and snag a cute USB key -- they're not only in Star Wars version, but Batman and Hello Kitty too. <a href="http://www.staples.ca/ENG/Catalog/cat_sku.asp?CatIds=&webid=322394&affixedcode=WW" target="_hplink">MIMOBOT Star Wars 4GB USB Flash Drive, C-3PO</a>, $9.98, Staples.
When binders just won't do (and you know the circumstances, like oversized papers and thick packages), these narrow document files are sleek and handy to have around. <a href="http://www.seejanework.com/productcart/pc/Semikolon-Striped-Document-File-150p2942.htm" target="_hplink">Semikolon Striped Document File</a>, $5 each (US), See Jane Work.
It's not quite as simple as a three-digit combination anymore -- these locks in fantastic colours use numbers and letters to create a personalized combo your kid won't forget. <a href="http://www.masterlock.com/product_details/CombinationPadlocks_AssortedColors_Set-Your-OwnCombination_No.1590PrecisionDialCombinationPadlocks/1590D" target="_hplink">Precision Dial Combination Padlocks</a>, $10.95, Master Lock.
Peace, Love And Scissors
What's better than a pair of scissors embossed with pictures of peace signs and flowers? A bright colourful pair of scissors that has all that -- and an anti-bacterial handle to them as well. <a href="http://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/pointed-scissors-peace-love-design-with-microban/10028137?trail=SRCH%3Ascissors&fromPLP=true&ancestorID=alldept&searchString=scissors&moduleName=S0011&startSearch=yes&fromSearchBox=true&addFacet=SRCH%3Ascissors#" target="_hplink">Pointed Scissors Peace & Love Design with Microban</a>, $2, Walmart.
Is there an easier way for your kid to find his lunch among all the others than with a monogrammed (and super cute) bag? <a href="http://www.potterybarnkids.com/products/lime-colton-lunch-bag/?pkey=cbts-lunch-bags#" target="_hplink">Lime Colton Lunch Bag</a>, $43, Pottery Barn Kids
Bright And Shiny
It can't all be sophisticated cool for back-to-school -- the little ones need places to put papers too, so where better than these super bright binders, complete with zipper? <a href="http://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/shape-it-up-zipper-binder-15/10142710?trail=&fromPLP=true&ancestorID=&searchString=&startSearch=&fromSearchBox=&addFacet=" target="_hplink">Shape It Up Zipper Binder</a>, $12, Walmart.