For families, mid August is a bittersweet time when flip-flops are on their last legs, siblings are squabbling and vacation-weary parents begin counting the days till the return of their sanity. Yep, back to school is around the corner. Here are 14 things that will help soften the blow and let them rule the school.
Cool stuff that’ll make kids actually WANT to go back to school
PC Animal Shape Waffle MakerEasy to clean and non-stick, this uber affordable gadget makes tasty waffles in mere minutes. Freeze a few for those days when you've all slept through the alarm because if breakfast shaped like a giraffe doesn't get them to eat, nothing will.
$25 at Real Canadian Superstores Real Canadian Superstores
VTech Kidizoom Smart WatchKindergarteners will feel oh-so-grown up wearing their own rechargeable smart watch with four learning games, camera, audio and video recorder. Better still, it's sweat and splash proof. Snap!
$59.99 at Amazon.ca Amazon.ca
Urbanears Humlan HeadphonesCan't bear to think of the cooties on your teen's headphones? Urbanears have machine-washable ear cushions and headband, a tangle free cord and built in remote. One wash cycle is just about enough time to ask if they've finished their homework...
$60 at Chapters.Indigo.ca Chapters.Indigo.ca
TOMS StandUp BackpackThis fetching llama-printed knapsack comes with a handy padded laptop compartment. And for every bag purchased, TOMS will provide training for school staff and crisis counselors to help prevent bullying. Gold star.
$60 at Journeys.ca Journeys.ca
PC LunchBloxLitterless lunches are de rigueur in the school cafeteria. Jazz up those snacks with colorful containers that come with their own ice packs and click together like lego. Oodles of fun and maybe they'll actually eat those veggie sticks.
$10 at Real Canadian Superstores Real Canadian Superstores
Monbento BoxDesigned in France, Monbento's sleek and sturdy containers will make any PB 'n J seem positively gourmet. They're fully microwaveable, 100% airtight and we might be stealing them for ourselves.
$42.99 at Amazon.ca Amazon.ca
Modern Mary Food ClutchNo teenage girl would be caught dead carrying a lunch box. But, call it a clutch and suddenly those dinner leftovers will be flying out of the fridge. This chic leather bag is insulated, made in Canada and comes with a removable waterproof liner. Like, OMG.
From $165 at Modern Mary Modern Mary
Lotus Aroma True Lavender Care & ProtectionEvery parent's dread? The lice outbreak letter. Get ahead of the problem with a chemical-free anti-lice kit. A few drops behind their ears and on the scalp will help prevent the critters from latching on and the soothing scent will keep you calm to carry on.
$26 at Pharmacies and Health Food Stores Pharmacies and Health Food Stores
Life is Good T-ShirtHomework on the first day? Turn that frown upside down with a t-shirt from Life Is Good. Inspired by art, music and the great outdoors, each logo aims to spread the power of optimism and 10% of proceeds go to charities helping children and families.
From $16 at Lifeisgood.com Lifeisgood.com
Duct Tape Water BottleKeep 'em hydrated (and let them unleash their creativity) with a bottle they get to personalize themselves. Six rolls of duct tape + foil stickers = endless possibilities. Just think, seven whole daylight hours you won't have to nag them to drink more water.
$12.95 at Chapters.Indigo.ca Chapters.Indigo.ca
Draw It Yourself CalculatorPerfect for your creative little math genius, this solar-powered abacus lets kids draw their own numbers and symbols. 1 + 1 = Fun.
$19.19 at Amazon.ca Amazon.ca
Poppin Tilt-'n-Whirl Desk ChairPerfect for those who can't think and sit still at the same time, this fun buoy-like stool tilts 12 degrees from its resting position, engages core muscles and comes in 22 color combos. Bouya.
$224 USD at Poppin.com Poppin.com
Hockey Print Rain BootsGetting kids to put away the flip-flops and wear something sensible is a parenting ritual. Fortunately BOGS has launched a fall collection that's just as fun (and easy to get on) as a summer sandal. These puppies are insulated, wick away sweat and fight odor. Those school yard puddles won't stand a chance.
$95 at Bogs Footwear Bogs Footwear
The Bevel Clip 3D ScannerThere's nothing like a state-of-the-art gadget to put a spring in their step. Just 2.5 inches, this tiny clip lets teens create their own 3D images using a smartphone or tablet. Very cool, though a stern warning about the perils of sexting might be in order before you fork out the dough.
$49 at matterandform.net matterandform.net