Thursday, August 02, 2012
From snacks to supplies, back-to-school fever is all around and getting organized can be overwhelming. We've selected a few of our favorite products to make your child's transition back to school go as smoothly as possible.
Lunch just got a whole lot cuter. These lunch bags come in a whole array of adorable animals, shapes and sizes, with high density thermal insulation to keep food fresh and drinks cold. Kids will love carrying this cute container around with a padded handle and attachable Swing Clip. All products are PVC-free and incorporate antimicrobial protection to fight bacterial odors and stains. $9.99, californiainnovations.com
Brita is out with a new reusable BPA-free 13-ounce bottle with a built-in filter, and it's just for kids. Not only are the bottles adorable, but the water just plain tastes better. The bottles come with pink butterflies, blue sports and green squares. The company says just one Brita Bottle for Kids can replace 300 plastic bottles. We can all like that. $8.99, filters $7.99, in stores this month.
Brightest on the block
Put all your worries to rest with L.L. Bean's Deluxe Book Pack, complete with the use of 3M Scotchlite Reflective Material. The reflective technology will make sure kids are entirely visible to oncoming traffic. With comfortable shoulder straps, waist-belt and an integrated audio cord port, this is a back-to-school must-have for $39.95, llbean.com.
One loud backpack
The iSafe Backpacks really live up to their name: they are the first and only bags that feature a lightweight, battery powered audible and visible alarm system. We tested it, and suffice it to say: it is loud. Plus, it has plenty of room and various compartments to keep valuables safe and secure-but we're pretty sure the alarm will do the trick. $69.99, isafebags.com
Pack it up
These reusable snack bags are perfect for keeping snacks fresh and spill-free, and for toting around school essentials. Available in two sizes and a variety of different prints and patterns, these on-the-go bags are eco-friendly, BPA-free and machine washable. $9.99, $12.99, itzyritzy.com.
Now you can enjoy the safety and security of knowing your child is better protected against unwanted allergens. AllerMates products are based on 14 fun, original characters that represent the most common allergies. P. Nutty, Eggie and Super-Cillin to the rescue! Wear the bracelet, $6.99, the necklace, $3.99, or carry the lunch bag, $19.98. Stylish and practical! allermates.com
Thanks to Mabel's Labels, school, camp and your neighbor's house doesn't have to be so scary anymore. Stick these durable, waterproof labels that specify allergies onto lunch boxes, food containers and travel gear. Plus, they're dishwasher and microwave safe. Everyone from Gwyneth Paltrow to Heidi Klum has been seen using Mabel's Labels, so get yours now. $18.50 for 20 labels, mabelslabels.com.
Math can be a tough subject for lots of kids. To help younger ones as they begin to explore early math concepts, we love this shape sorting magnetic board. Each Shape Sorting Magnetic Board comes with eight shape magnets and 40 corresponding picture magnets. Children stick the shape magnets in the left column of the board, then add the matching pictures as they sort objects by shape. $24.95, lakeshorelearning.com
Here's a great way to make geometry fun. With the Build & Learn Geometry Kit, kids can piece together more than 200 sticks and connectors, all while learning to build, describe, and recognize geometric shapes. Activity cards will help guide kids along as they practice identifying faces and edges and comparing shapes. While they'll start with simple triangles, they'll be building rectangular prisms before you know it. $39.95, lakeshorelearning.com
Keeping you posted
This fall, the Post-it Brand is coming out with a whole variety of new Post-it Pop-up Note Dispensers. From the compact to the diamond to the purse, girls will love these stylish, refillable Post-it dispensers with notes that pop up one at a time for easy, one-handed use. Other highlights of the season include the Post-it Super Sticky Full Adhesive Note, so you can stick an entire pad in a binder or notebook, and the Post-it Label Pads for quick and easy labeling.
This is a great product for both you and your kids. Stay secure on the go with the Master Lock SafeSpace Laptop Lock, the ultra-strong portable lock with a self-coiling cable and more than 10,000 possible combinations for ultimate personalization. Perfect to ensure your electronics stay safe-not to mention the important information stored on them. $28, masterlock.com
Naked school supplies
You're going to be needing binders anyway, so why not go for the eco-friendly option? These Naked Binders are 100 percent recyclable and 100 percent recycled, and boy are they strong-they were tested by flexing them more than 250,000 times, which is the equivalent of using the binder 20 times a day for more than 30 years. Plus, kids can personalize them by decorating them with markers, crayons, stickers and more! $7-$9.50, nakedbinder.com
Little tummies will love the back-to-school snacks we found this year.
Clif Kid Iced Oatmeal Cookie organic Zbar was a huge hit with staffers and kids who like oatmeal. At 130 calories, the bars really hit the spot. For those who don't like oatmeal, try the Cookies 'N Cream crispy rice bar, 110 calories.
Our testers also liked Kashi's Banana Chocolate Chip soft n' chewy bars. At 140 calories, the bar provides a half serving each of fruit and veggies. Plus, everyone gobbled up all of the natural Greek Yogurt Bars from Rickland Orchards, in all six flavors.
We also like getting more fruit into our kids. That's why we really like-and kids did, too-Sun-Maid's Fruit Bits and the new Plum Kids organic Fruit Shredz real fruit snacks.