September means a new school year and a fresh start! Regardless of your child’s age, here are some gear essentials that are guarenteed to help them get to and from the classroom, learn and have fun this school year!

Gear Essentials for Preschool

Pack everything they need for their first day in either a Cars or Frozen Disney backpack. I love that the Frozen backpack has a lunch bag attached to the front to keep their lunch cool. If you don’t have one of these, pack their lunch in a Built Kids Zipper Lunch Bag and fill it with a Wow Kids Spill Free Drinking Cup. Also, put a packet of Mr. Sketch Markers into their backpack for drawing projects! If you have a little princess starting preschool, make sure she leaves the house looking her best by styling her hair with a pair of Jojo Mama Bebe Striped Bow Hairclips!

At this age, it’s important that your child is introduced to technology that allows them to learn in a fun way! Leap Frog offers hands-on, interactive learning technologies that let your child play games and solve puzzles while improving their mathematics, reading, spelling or problem solving skills! The Leap Frog Learn to Write system is a great and I love that you can use it on your smartphone or tablet. After you’ve downloaded the app on your tablet, your child will be able to use the Mr. Pencil stylus pen to begin to develop their writing and drawing abilities. They will have opportunity to learn how to make letters, numbers and shapes using various games and activities. If you want to throw music into the mix, Leap Frog also offers the Touch Magic Learning Bus which lets kids solidify the alphabet, simple vocabulary and learning songs!

The last back to school learning option for this age group is the Leap Frog LeapPad2. This kid-friendly tablet will allow your child to learn reading, mathematics, spelling and logic using any of the 800 available Leap Frog Learning Library Games. It also has 9 apps, including PhotoLab, a photo editing app that lets your child play with photos taken on the tablet’s camera. Plug the Retrak Kid-Safe Monkey Headphones into the tablet so your child can continue to learn and have fun on car rides or plane rides.

Most Essential Item for Preschool?

I think the most essential item on this list is the Leap Frog LeapPad2. I like this product from Leap Frog because it’s not age specific. Even if you purchase this product when your child is entering preschool, they will be able to purchase different learning games and apps until they’re 12 years old! It’s a long-term investment in your child’s learning!

Gear Essentials for Elementary School

Though children at this age are going to school full time, there are still loads of essential items to help them get there and back and to enhance and encourage the learning they’re already doing! Get them there with them with this spacious backpack from Roots. Fill the bag with school essentials like a packet of Mr. Sketch Markers, a set of Prismacolor Scholar Coloured Woodcase Pencil Crayons and an Acme X-Acto Dome Pencil Sharpener to keep the pencil crayons sharp!

For lunch, pack them a casserole or salad in the Home Presence Fuel on the Go Food Container. It comes with a durable knife and fork in a removable cutlery insert and is dishwasher and microwave safe. Keep them hydrated with this sports themed Brita Water Bottle and keep both of them cold and protected in this.

For entertainment, fun and extra learning outside of school, think about using investing in a tablet like the Samsung Galaxy Tab S. A tablet allows your child to begin to be independent with their learning. They can use it to research questions and facts for school projects or look up definitions or spelling. They can also read books, download apps or watch videos…all within the scope of your pre-set parental controls! I also love tablets for this age groups because they are so lightweight and portable. Pair it with a pair of Sony Children’s Headphones and they can bring them on family trips, long car rides or even to their sister’s soccer practice.

Most Essential Item for Elementary School?

I think the most essential item on this list in the Samsung Galaxy Tab S. As someone who remembers a time when there was no internet or portable computers, I still think it’s so weird when I see a toddler playing on a tablet but I also think that it can be an incredible interactive learning tool for children and it will eventually become the primary form of learning in classroom. As I mentioned above, I love how portable it is, your children can be stimulated and entertained anywhere!

Gear Essentials for High School     


High School – it can be the best of times and the worst of times. School dances, band trips, new friends…but also awkward phases, bad clothing choices and broken hearts. Prepare your teen to enter the crazy world of high school with these essential items for school, home and everything in between!

For school, get them a laptop that is going to last.  With an Intel Core Processor, 1TB heard drive and 8GB of RAM, the Dell Inspiron 15.6” Touchscreen Laptop will be able to keep up with all their research, school work and inevitable internet browsing. It’s lightweight design and extended battery life makes it perfect for long days at school and after school activities. For listening to music on their way to school or at the library, get your teen a pair of the Bose Soundtrue Over-Ear Headphones. Bose consistently makes high quality headphones with comfortable, cushioned earpieces that will let them study for hours. For taking notes, the Papermate 8-pack Assorted Retractable Gel Pens are great for colour coding important points and need to know information. Make sure they stay healthy by pack their veggies or salad in the Home Presence Fuel on the Go Food Container and always make sure they have a full Brita Water Bottle. Pack it all into the spacious Swiss Gear 15.6 Laptop Dark Grey Backpack.

One of the quintessential adjustments to high school is lockers. Keep their belongings safe with the Wescott Combination Padlock and get them the Fijifilm Instax Mini 8 so they can post pictures of their friends and family inside their locker. Also I think the Powerrocks portable chargestick is a great thing for a teen to keep in their locker. This portable charger lets you easily charge your laptop, Ipod or phone if it starts to die in the middle of the school day. It’s also doubes as a flashlight which is great if they are coming home from school or practice late! Lastly, as I already mentioned, there are going to dramatic up and downs for every teen in high school. Let them blast their songs to dance to and their songs to cry to on the Muisbytes Ebot Mini Speaker.

Most Essential Item for High School?

High school is all about making and recording memories. I absolutely love the Fijifilm Instax Mini 8 and I think it should be an essential for every teen in high school! The Instax instantly prints high-quality, credit card size photos that will let your teen record every sleepover, school dance or grad event from their high school years.

Every child at every age has essentials that they need for school. For preschool age children, it is important that they are introduced to interactive learning tools like the LeapPad2 for spelling and reading. Tablets are also great for elementary school children because it allows them to start to become independent with their learning and allows them to have access to fun, interactive apps. Lastly, let your high school student document every crazy moment of high school with the Instax Mini 8 instant camera from Fujifilm.

Don’t agree with my choices? Let me know what you think the most essential back to school item is and why! 

Lucy Woodhead
My focus is to discuss tech products that are trendy and in demand amongst the younger generation. Over the years I have reviewed, compared and wrote about a wide variety of products, including headphones, speakers, sound docks, iPods and mp3 players. With Best Buy’s launch of VIVA and Home & Lifestyle, I have had the opportunity to expand my focus to include a younger person’s perspective on many of these great products as well!