Back to School

school supplies, school shopping

Shop Around the Web: Back to School Supplies

August 22, 2008
by Lindsey Chapman
Even when you’re shopping for “needs” rather than “wants,” setting out to stock up on new stuff can be fun. In “Shop Around the Web” we’ll show you sites that will help you perk up your purchases. This week we focus on back-to-school supplies to help outfit kids with the stuff they need (and a little of what they want), as they get ready to hit the books again.

Bigger Isn’t Always a Better Backpack

Have you ever seen a backpack walking down the sidewalk and then realized there was a small child wearing it? Kids can wear great looking backpacks that are safe for their spines, too. Book bags from Tutti Bella feature fun characters and bright colors to entertain the younger set. For a more mature look, send older kids to Urban Baggerie for traditional backpacks, messenger bags and even skateboard bags. Most of the bags can be personalized for free.

Finding the Right Way to Learn Left-Handed

Nothing is worse than being a left-handed kid trying to use right-handed scissors in art class, or dragging your hand through everything you write. sells smudge-proof pencils, quick drying ink pens, and even spiral-bound notebooks with the spiral on the right side. The Left Hand offers more specialty items for lefties, including left-handed scissors and pencil sharpeners.

Cool Tools

The average pencil can draw a line 35 miles long, or write about 45,000 words. With that kind of durability, your kids could be committed to their pencils for quite awhile. Don’t they deserve something that will at least be fun to use? sells Smencils (a smelly pencil) scented with flavors like cherry, chocolate and bubble gum.

Looking for something to add a little more pep to a pencil box? See some staple-free staplers, pencils made from old paper currency and even wordlock padlocks to eliminate the need to remember a number combination for a locker.

Eliminate the Hassle

If you’ve ever stood in the school supplies aisle of a store debating with your children over whether they need new boxes of crayons when they already have three containers of 64-count crayons at home, you know the frustration that can come from shopping for school supplies. Buy their supplies in a kit assembled by School Supplies in a Bag. Need an extra box of markers? It’s easy to add individual items to the kits here.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, parents may be able to breathe a little easier when it comes to buying their kids fancy electronics or other gadgets before school starts. “We haven’t seen one product that teenagers are gushing over. Most of the text-messaging products and miniature computers have already been on the market for a while,” said Kathy Grannis, spokeswoman for the National Retail Federation in Washington, D.C.

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