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It's back-to-school time ... again! This year, the TODAY Parenting and Shop TODAY teams came together to make the transition from summer vacation to schoolwork as seamless as possible. We're bringing you the best back-to-school supplies, tips and tricks — all in one place.
It’s back-to-school time, which means shopping, shopping and more shopping. So we found A+ supplies that are both stylish and will help your child become extra-studious. And extra credit: Everything is affordable! Good Housekeeping style director Lori Bergamotto is here to help you earn a perfect score this school year, with an assist from TODAY editors.
And for those of you sending your kids off to college, we've got you covered as well!
Lunch boxes and bags
1. ZOLI SUMO Snack Stacker' Cups, $18, Nordstrom
TODAY editors, writers and experts take care to recommend items we really like and hope you’ll enjoy! Just so you know, TODAY does have affiliate relationships. So, while every product is independently selected, if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the revenue.
An easy, durable and mess-free way to keep your kids fed at lunch, especially young ones starting pre-school and kindergarten.
You're hungry, you said? Be sure to check out more of the best lunch boxes for back-to-school.
2. Yoobi Smiley Face Lunch Bag, $14, Target
Hang onto a little bit of summer with this tropical lunch box. Plus, for every Yoobi item purchased, a Yoobi item will be donated to a classroom in need, right here in the United States.
3. Fred OUT TO LUNCH Insulated Lunch Bag , $14, Amazon
This clever insulated lunch bag puts a fun spin on lunchtime and has just the right amount of irony for a tween or teen with a sense of humor.
And speaking of fun, how much do we love this colorful and functional Smaska lunch box from Ikea, which is only $4? The lid is easy for children to open and close, which you do by just turning the ears.
4. Russbe Reusable Snack and Sandwich Bags, $10, Amazon
These are dishwasher and freezer-safe and come with a locking zip seal to keep foods fresh. Include an adorable note with your little one's lunch to brighten his or her day.
5. Contigo AUTOSEAL Trekker Kids Water Bottle, $17, Amazon
These are particularly great for the preschool and early elementary set thanks to easy one-handed drinking with just the push of a button.
And we also found another great water bottle for kids!
6. S’ip by S’well Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle, $20, Amazon
These are also sold at Target!
These are cute and durable.
7. Takeya Originals Vacuum-Insulated Stainless-Steel Water Bottle, $25, Amazon
Small enough to fit into a backpack and designed to keep beverages ice cold for 24 hours without any messy condensation.
8. First Day of School Sign, $35, Etsy
This could well be the cutest way to mark your kid's big first day.
9. Kikkerland Man's Best Friend Pencil Sharpener, $8 (originally $12), Amazon
You'll feel "write on" with this adorable sharpener.
10. Decomposition Book, $8, Amazon
These are made from recycled paper and feature a myriad of cool cover designs.
11. Kikkerland Endangered Species Gorilla Eraser, $11, Amazon
Big erasers in fun shapes are key for little hands. And keep their pencils and erasers organized in these adorable Office Depot plush animal pouches!
12. Fiskars 7" Color Changing Scissors, $5, Target
These are a colorful take on the classic.
13. Do-Over Erasable Highlighters, $14, Paper Source
Made a mistake highlighting what’ll be on the test? No problem! Erasable highlighters take this useful tool to a whole new level!
14. Mabel's Labels Custom Clothing Stamp, $37, Mabel's Labels
Never lose your kids’ gym clothes, socks or sweatshirts again!
15. Floss & Rock Unicorn Color Changing Umbrella, $15, Nordstrom
This cool accessory turns rainy days into celebrations.
16. The Kid's Responsibility Board, $55, Uncommon Goods
Getting your kids out the door in the morning can be an endless and frustrating repetition of telling them to get dressed, brush their teeth or put on their shoes. This board can help by clarifying what needs to be done.
18. SUPERME! Ninja Cape Backpack, $40, Amazon
Any parent knows how important a double-duty item is. And backpacks are no exception! From the outside, it’s a sleek, functional backpack. But, just as quickly as a superhero can transform identities, this backpack converts into a superhero costume simply by pulling the hidden cape out of the top pocket and adding the hero mask.
And we have a super-powered list of our favorite backpacks here!
19. MadPax Dinosaur Backpack, $68, Nordstrom
MadPax makes 3D-inspired backpacks and accessories for kids of all ages, and these spikes will get kids psyched for school!
20. Joules Backpack, $34, Amazon
Joules is a wonderful family fashion brand founded in the English countryside, known for its unique hand-drawn prints, bright colors and rainwear.
Joules Rubber Drawstring Bag, $20, Joules
We also love these sequin backpacks from Target and this DIY coloring backpack, to fuel your kid's creativity. And check out there adorable metallic Converse backpacks from Buckle, which are simple and stylish and spacious.
21. PARKLAND Westport Army Backpack, $55, Amazon
These bags are made from 100 percent recycled plastic, diverting millions of water bottles from landfills. The Westport's top loading main compartment makes it easy to pack. Plus, it easily fits a laptop, gym gear, books and supplies.
And don't forget to personalize your backpack with these adorable clip-ons!
22. GUND Plush Stuffed Animal Backpack Clip, $9, Amazon
These are so cute and so whimsical.
23. GUND Pusheen Cat Plush Pom Poof Keychain, $10, Amazon
"They are just adorable! And super fluffy! I might have to get all of the colors," wrote one reviewer.