Our favorite back-to-school products


Chicago Parent Staff


Duo 3-ring binder

DSC_1672webYou might think a binder is a binder is a binder. Not so. This year, Duo is out with this school year's must-have: a combination 1-inch three-ring binder with a seven-pocket expanding file folder.

Our kid tester didn't want to give it back to us. This colorful binder will keep your kids super-organized (Hint: also buy one for yourself for all those important papers that come home in the backpack.) Unfortunately, they are not available in stores yet but can be purchased online.

$9.95 through September, plus shipping, amazon.com.

Mabel's Labels

mabels-labels-shoeswebKids are always losing their water bottles-or worse, drinking out of someone else's by mistake. Mabel's Labels' Sticky Labels, personalized with your child's name, are designed to stick to anything. They even stay on through the dishwasher.

A pack of 45 is $18.50.

We also like the company's Shoe Labels so you can label that extra pair of gym shoes your child must keep at school.

$18.50 for a pack of 24. mabel.ca.

Take the pain out of shots

IMG_6347webKids despise the thought of those back-to-school shots. Don't even think about a blood draw. But a new device, Buzzy, designed by a pediatrician, can help. Buzzy's reusable blue gel frozen wings (they stay frozen for about 10 minutes) and vibrations are enough to take the pain right out of shots-while giving your child something else to focus on.

Parents can hold Buzzy in place, giving even more comfort during the momentary stick.

$34.95, buzzy4shots.com.

Eco Earth-friendly lunch bags

DSC_1470webSure, it's not a big plastic Superman lunch box, but The Lunch Bag by Eco Bags has natural, plain and simple down to a science. Made with organic cotton, your kids will feel proud of their waste-free choices at the lunch table this year.

$9.99, ecobags.com

Snack Happened reusable snack bag

DSC_1540webKids will love the Snack Happened reusable bags by itzy ritzy, made right here in Chicago. The colorful washable, zippered and water-resistant bags will let your kids express their own style and care for the environment by shunning those plastic baggies that always end up in the trash.

Approved by the FDA as food safe, these cool bags are great for many purposes and all ages (even you, mom!)

$9.95, itzyritzy.com.

Bamboo utensils

DSC_1662webForget the plastic spoons, knives and forks. To-Go Ware's bamboo utensil set is a great zero-waste option for school. The reusable spoon, fork, knife and chopsticks come in a handy carrying case that clips onto a lunch box so it doesn't get lost.

Plus the slogan, "Reduce your forkprint," is just plain fun.

$11.95, to-goware.com.

Kids Eat Chicago

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