The only thing you can guarantee about summer is that it will fly by and back to school will be upon us all before we know it. Because I’m a planner, I’ve got to have a list of things I need to kick off the school year by the end of July, and that includes backpacks, school supplies, lunch kits, and maybe a few little things to ease the sting of summer ending.

Have you ever seen the crowds of people shopping for back to school supplies at the end of August? It makes me shudder, so this is the year to get a jump on your shopping by picking up your school gear now.

For the preschooler

Backpack

Even preschoolers need a little backpack to store their snack and slippers, so a mini-sized backpack will be perfect for them. The Disney Toy Story mini backpack for boys or the Disney Brave mini backpack for girls is a nice size for preschoolers and can fit their show and tell, lunch, and all of the bits and pieces them bring home.

Snack

You don’t need a huge lunch kit when your baby is in preschool, so choose something small for that cheese string or package of crackers. The BUILT Kid’s Zipper lunch bag comes in a cute animal shape, and it’s the perfect size for small snacks. The interior wipes clean too, so you can disinfect it as the school year goes on.

School supplies

You don’t always need to have school supplies for preschool, but you might want to pick up a set of Mr.Sketch Markers so they can practice writing their name or drawing.

For fun and learning

Preschool is a time of exploration, and it’s the first time your child will formally begin to learn A,B,C’s and 1,2,3’s. You can give them something fun to practice with by picking up a learning ‘toy’ like the Leapfrog Learn To Write Mr.Pencil or the Leapfrog Leappad2 Tablet. They’re great for learning basic letters and numbers, but they’re fun to play with too because they’re interactive. The Leappad2 lets you download games, ebooks, videos, and music, and it’s a touch pad just like Mom or Dad’s tablet.

When they want to play with their Leapfrog toy or just relax with a movie after a day of preschool, you can make it more fun for them and quieter for you with the Marvel Ultimate Spiderman Kid’s safe headphones. They’re durable, have great sound, and are easy to fold up when not in use.

 

Elementary School

Kids in elementary school need a big backpack for books, binders, and lunch kits. Some schools like the kids to have a big backpack from the time they are in kindergarten because they need to bring home reading folders every day, so the iFly 21” Squiggly Lines backpack with its huge storage compartment is a great size for elementary school. The Roots 18.5” Backpack also has a large inner compartment and pockets of addition storage.

For lunch

Depending on your child’s preference, you can find lunch kits that are cute or lunch kits that are functional. The BUILT Gourmet Getaway Tote bag is insulated to keep lunch and snacks cool for up to 4 hours. Or, if you have a salad lover in the house, you can choose the Home Presence Salad-on-the-go kit. It will keep salad and dressing fresh.

School supplies

Shopping for school supplies can be fun, as long as you’re not caught in a crowd of people looking for the last box of #2 pencils. This year load up on calculators, pencils, and pencil crayons by shopping online. Classroom supplies can all be delivered to your door – no shoving or stress involved.

For Fun

Have you noticed how many kids have their own tablets and bring them to school? Teachers encourage kids to use tablets because you can find so many great learning apps to improve math, spelling, and grammar skills. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S is the perfect back to school tablet – it has all of the features you expect in a tablet, but comes with a ‘Kids Mode’ so parents can control their child’s tablet time. You can send along a pair of Sony headphones if you’re child needs quiet to concentrate.

High School

Backpack

If you have a son or daughter heading into high school, you know they like to pick their school supplies themselves. My daughter’s into vintage so the World Famous Sales Vintage Backpack is the perfect choice. My son would love the alarm on the iSafe Collegiate Messenger Bag. It will sound off and lights will flash if he’s ever in a dangerous situation.

Time for a laptop

High school is the perfect time to pick up a laptop for your son or daughter. Because so much of what they’ll be working on is computer based, they’ll need their own dedicated computer like the Dell Inspiron Touchscreen Laptop. It has a 15.6 LED touchscreen and 1TB of hard drive space, so it’s definitely built to stand up to a teenager. Don’t forget to pick up a portable hard drive like the Seagate Wireless Plus Portable Hard Drive. It backs up all of their important files via Wifi, so there’s no cords or cables required.

Start their year off on the right foot

Some of the most important memories are created in high school, so give your son or daughter the chance to capture them with a fun camera. I like the retro quality of the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 instant camera. They can snap off a quick pic and use the photos to decorate their locker.

Or, if you have a budding videographer who’s taking a film course or a high school student who loves action sports, the GoPro HD Hero3+ will capture fast action video from a front seat perspective.

It’s sad that another summer has flown by again, but back to school comes with a lot of exciting opportunities for both kids and parents. Check out all of Best Buy’s Desk and School Supplies and stock up now.