Today’s school supplies are packed with personality, and kids have an imaginative array of gear to choose from as they prepare for the start of a new year.
OFF TO CLASS
• At Pottery Barn Kids, the backpacks range in size from mini to rolling. Patterns range from butterflies, horses, and owls in hip hues such as plum and chocolate to dinosaur-skeleton and snakeskin prints in browns, grays and blues. (www.pbkids.com)
• Kohl’s has backpacks for fall that appeal to kids from elementary through high school. Girls might like the colored leopard print, boho floral, and fun graphic hearts patterns. Plaids, moustaches and skulls round out the range. (www.kohls.com)
• A collection of rolling backpacks in fun animal designs such as pandas, frogs and pigs are at ebags.com. Designs include soccer balls, motorcycles and space shuttles. The Bookworm backpack, also small, has a reflective panel for low light conditions, and a waterproof layer along the bottom. (www.ebags.com)
• How many backpacks have disappeared in your kids’ school career? Never lose another with one of Cafe Press’s customizable tags. The company partnered with Snapily last fall to create the tags with lenticular printing – that 3-D, animated effect. You can upload your own photos for a personalized tag, or use the company’s geometric, tree or paisley designs. (www.cafepress.com )
LUNCH AND SNACK TIME
• The traditional Japanese bento-box lunch kit has found its way to our shores in a big way. Parents like that they’re reusable, and kids like that the little compartments neatly hold a variety of snacks. Japanese maker Shinzi Katoh makes some of the best ones – space robot, forest, circus and Paddington Bear designs are featured on tiered, nontoxic boxes. They also make a clever lunchbox that unzips into a tidy placemat: Choose a cow, cat or dog design. (www.mysweetmuffin.com)
• Pottery Barn Kids has stainless steel versions of the bento box. The retailer also has a collection of mix-and-match themed lunchboxes, water bottles and backpacks.
• Target has some cute lunch kits with cheetah or owl faces, and a colorful line of lunch sacks and snack and sandwich sleeves from Built NY that might mean sharesies with brown-bagging parents. Rubbermaid ice packs in the shape of silly owls, dogs or monsters are whimsical ways to keep lunch cool. (www.target.com)
• At PB Teen, plaid, chevron, patchwork and tie-dye patterns add zing to the pencil case and homework holder collection. (www.pbteen.com)
• Pupils can show their spirit with one of Cafe Press’ many journals, from athletics to abstract prints. Dog lovers might like a journal photoprinted with unusual breeds such as shar peis, basenjis and greyhounds.