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12 cool gifts to get kids excited for the new school year

12 cool gifts to get kids excited for the new school year
Posted at 8:35 AM, Aug 08, 2023

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It’s that time of year again. We’re moving ever closer to the first day of school.

Some kids get nervous about going back to school, while others downright dread it. How can you ease the transition? Give them a school-related gift that they can’t wait to use! Here are a dozen items that will remind them that while summer may be over, new adventures are awaiting them just ahead.

We’ll start with gifts that are suitable for the younger ones in your home, then look at a few for the tweens and teens in your household.

MORE: 10 best back-to-school clothes sales of 2023 for students of all ages

1. Lillian Vernon Personalized Pencils


Writing is more exciting when you do it with your very own customized pencil. Plus, these No. 2 pencils will be easier to keep track of than those boring average ones! Order a set of 12 in your child’s favorite color, or in a rainbow of pastels or primary colors.

Buy a set of 12 Lillian Vernon Personalized Pencils at Amazon for $14.99.

2. Kiddus Educational Kids Watch


This colorful and water-resistant watch will make your young grade-schooler feel very grown-up, but it’s also educational. It can help your child learn the art of telling time the old-fashioned way. At school, such lessons usually begin in the first grade, and this makes the process easier. The analog watch helps them understand exactly what each hand is for and how to tell time to the minute. Some designs even have little text hints like “to” and “past” written on either side of the watch face.

Buy the Kiddus Educational Kids Watch on Amazon for $27.95.

3. Jetson Orbit Light-up Folding Kids Kick Scooter


Getting to school is much more fun when you can do it on a scooter like this one! The Jetson Orbit model has cool, battery-powered lights and adjustable handlebars that will “grow” with your child. Even better, let your kid pick out their own scooter helmet (like this one, maybe?) so they’ll want to wear it.

Buy the Jetson Orbit Light-Up Folding Kids Kick Scooter at Walmart for $29.92. 

4. Ann Clark Back to School Cookie Cutters


If you’re crafty and you have a little extra time the night before that all-important first day of school, you can make your child some cookies to take. It’ll help provide a little extra fuel during the day while reminding your children that they have a caregiver at home that’s on their side. You can also use this five-piece set of cookie cutters for future years and to make teacher appreciation gifts later in the season, too.

Buy Ann Clark Back to School Cookie Cutters on Amazon for $14.99.

MORE: This pony bead pencil backpack tag is the perfect back-to-school craft to make with your kids

5. ArtCute Fidget Stress Reliever Small Keychain


Help to quell those first-day nerves by giving their fidgety fingers something to do. These clip-on silicone bubble toys slip onto backpack loops and hang around for those moments when kids just need to pop something. You get four of these in a pack.

Buy ArtCute Mini Stress Reliever Keychains on Amazon for $7.99.

6. Sooez Cute Pencil Erasers


Let them know it’s OK to make mistakes. That’s what erasers are for! These come in adorable animal cases with a roller on the opposite end which picks up the eraser “shavings” into a tiny trash compartment. There are 12 erasers in a pack.

Buy Sooez Animal Erasers on Amazon for $8.99.

7. Antdalis Sunrise Alarm Clock Wake-Up Light


Waking up can be hard for tweens and teens. This alarm clock eases them into the process with a light that gets gradually brighter over the course of a half-hour — moving from red to bright orange until the room is filled with light. You can set the sound of the alarm from seven options, or set it to an FM radio channel. You can also set the light itself to eight different colors. Don’t miss the 15% off coupon!

Buy the Antdalis Sunrise Alarm Clock Wake-Up Light at Amazon for $33.96 (was $49.99).

MORE: Walmart now has sensory-friendly hours for back-to-school shopping

8. Fjällräven Kånken Water-Resistant Backpack


If your teen or tween wants an on-trend backpack, this one will probably do the trick. This iconic Swedish brand is known for making durable, functional products, too. The backpack is water-resistant, fits most 13-inch laptops, and is quite compact for the number of books it can hold.

Buy the Fjällräven Kånken Water Resistant Backpack at Nordstrom for $90.

9. Vuwuma Collapsible Water Bottle


Collapsible water bottles have gotten a lot of play on TikTok, and deservedly so: The clever design of  this one allows you to customize how much water you want to lug around with you. This one can open up to carry 500 milliliters (16.9 ounces) — but as you drink it, you can push it down into a more compact size, lightening your load. This is a great gift for a kid whose backpack is already too heavy with books and sports gear.

Buy the Vuwuma Collapsible Water Bottle on Amazon for $16.89.

10. Easthill Big Capacity Pencil and Pen Case 


A pencil case is a middle or high schooler’s constant companion. This catch-all for pencils, pens, calculators, scissors, lip balm, packs of gum and other supplies can go with them everywhere, so an attractive, sturdy one is a must. This expandable pouch is made of high-quality canvas and has several pockets for organization.

Buy the Easthill Big Capacity Pencil Case at Amazon for $14.99 (was $18.99).

11. Journaltastic Student Planner 2023-2024


The specter of homework, quizzes, exams and term papers looms large over middle and high school students. But having a well-organized and attractive student planner can help make the work more manageable. With stickers and weekly and monthly scheduling pages, your student can bring order to the chaos in a fun and creative way.

Buy the Journaltastic Student Planner 2023-2024 on Amazon for $11.99.

12. LapGear Designer Lap Desk


If your young students have to do homework, they might as well be sitting comfortably while they’re doing it. This smooth, flat “desktop” will hold a laptop and phone in place while a padded underside keeps kids or teens comfortable no matter where they’re sitting — on their bed, on the couch or on the floor (but hopefully not in front of the TV).

Buy the LapGear Designer Lap Desk at Walmart for $34.99.

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