Top back-to-school products for Chicago families


Looking for the latest in back to school products? Click through our favorite items that will help your child make the grade.


Choose your look

Make it easy for your student to rock their school in style with the Chooze backpack's two reversible designs and comfortable straps. $40 for small backpack, $44 for large.


Leave no one hungry

Send your child off to school with a nutritious meal in a Stephen Joseph Lunch Pals lunchbox, knowing that $1 from your purchase goes towards Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign, which provides kids with nutritious meals. $17.99,


Drink it up

It's easy to have the bottle reflect your personality with the customizable features and variety of designs from Sigg Bottles, including the new glow-in-the-dark monsters and Hello Kitty collections. Prices vary by design.


Oh so organized

Mead/Five Star has some great stuff this year to keep the kids' lockers and papers under control. We especially like the cloth Hanging Locker Shelf, $14.99, with two extra strong pockets, so kids can organize their materials by morning and afternoon classes, and the magnetic Neo Storage Pocket Locker Organizer, $7.99, that sticks right to the locker door to keep small things all in one handy place. Mead's 7 Pocket Expanding File with Zipper Closure, $9.99, also is a sure bet.

Of course, the folks at Mabel's Labels can be counted on to keep things organized. This year's offering, Write Away Labels, $12, comes with cute pictures and the labels are waterproof and microwave and dishwasher safe.



Pilot is out with some new pens your kids will love this year.

We found the smooth writing quality and the comfortable grip make it worth the extra money. Two of the best this back-to-school season: Bottle 2 Pens (made from recycled water bottles) and the Light Frixion erasable highlighters. Our editor and her girls especially love the purple ink pen. Prices vary, in stores and online.


Post-it proudly

Write down life's big ideas and thoughts at any time with Post-it's new mobile, studying and dispenser collections, adhesive paper rolls and big note pads.

Condense and personalize your space with these creative and playful note dispensers (we like The Karate Dispenser and JAX Dispenser).

Taking notes on the go is easier with Post-it's Mobile products, $3.29-$6.99. Some of the collection's best items: the Car Visor Clip Pop-up Note Dispenser and Attach and Go Pockets. Post-it Big Pads, $7.99-$19.99, are perfect for study group or organizing family activities.


Out of the box

Make time out of school just as productive as inside with games from Learning Resources. We like the critical thinking games, $19.99-$29.99: iTrax, which beefs up problem-solving skills, and Mental Blox, where kids stack, pattern and match multicolor shapes, to make learning fun.


The beat goes on

We know some kids study best with a little background music. We fell in love with the Divoom: Bluetune-SOLO when it arrived. The portable speaker, compatible with any smartphone, combines great stereo and a hands-free speakerphone. $49,

Kids Eat Chicago

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