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We thoroughly research all the products we feature, and we honestly think they’re great. But just so you know, things you buy from links on this page may earn us a commission. All prices were accurate at publish time.

It’s that time of year again. Whether your little munchkins are readying themselves for their first taste of kindergarten, or are finally ready to flee the nest and venturing off to university, there’s plenty of preparation to be done in the busy back-to-school season. And with Amazon Prime’s half-off membership for students studying two years or more (plus an extra 10 per cent off book orders through October 4th), there’s plenty to dig into in terms of new gear. In need of some inspiration? Browse their Happy School Year and Off to University stores, and take a look at our picks, for those back-to-school essentials for every age group:

PRE-K AND KINDERGARTEN

For those beginning education for the first time, there’s nothing more exciting than your very first items to show off to your new friends. Plus, it’s nice to have useful items on hand just to make that new beginning a little less daunting. For parents hoping to make school into a fun adventure, a cute (and reusable) juice box, leakproof lunchbox, cartoon animal backpacks, and some large crayons will hopefully make the new start a smooth one.

Drink in the Box Precidio Reusable Juice Box, 8oz, $15 at Amazon.

Rekome Cartoon Animal Backpack, $20 at Amazon.

Crayola 16 Large Washable Crayons, $6 at Amazon.

Bentgo Leakproof Lunchbox, $37 at Amazon.

ELEMENTARY

After getting comfortable with school in kindergarten, maybe your little one is a little more eager to show off their personality. And how about a sequined-logo tshirt, or LED sneaks to do the trick? But not to worry – if they have less flashy taste, there’s still plenty of cute printed zipup lunchboxes and animal-printed pencil cases to go around.

VMATE LED Roller Skate Light Up Sneakers, $16 – $43 at Amazon.

Selfin Sequin Pattern Tshirt, $14 – $20 at Amazon.

SUNNYBLUE Sloth Pencil Case, $12 at Amazon.

Wildkin Olive Under Construction Lunchbox, $41 at Amazon.

MIDDLE SCHOOL

By middle school, it’s starting to become all about being trendy and organized. So why not splash out on some cute scrunchies, a sequined pencil case (which, let’s be honest, doubles as a cosmetics bag), and a fluffier than ever pen? But let’s not forget where to keep the actual work – be sure to send them off with their Pikachu ring binder, and they’ll be coming home with a perfectly organized set of class notes.

MHJY Sequin Mermaid Pencil Case/Cosmetics Bag, $10 at Amazon.

KECUCO 30 Piece Chiffon Scrunchies, $20 at Amazon.

Pom Pom Pen, $13 at Amazon.

 

Ultra Pro Pokemon Pikachu 3-Ring Binder, $13 at Amazon.

HIGH SCHOOL

We all remember those high school days… where the functionality of your gear is just as important as its stylishness. It doesn’t hurt to have a backpack that’s practical, sturdy and versatile, while a weekly planner will have you keeping on top of class assignments as well as your social schedule. Just don’t forget that portable phone charger too, y’know, for when you’re organizing all those ‘study sessions’.

Herschel Settlement Backpack, $43 at Amazon.

2019 – 2020 18 Month Weekly & Monthly Planner, $11 at Amazon.

Luxtude Portable Phone Chargers With Flashlight, $30 at Amazon.

COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY

Ahh, that final call for freedom – college and university. It’s time to put a slightly more grown-up spin on your back-to-school essentials here, but with practicality top of mind. A reusable coffee cup will save you both plastic and money for those early lectures (or last-minute all-nighters), a multipurpose backpack will be your ultimate college essential, and an alarm clock will help make sure you’re not missing any important classes. (We know, a phone has an alarm but hopefully you’re practicing good sleep hygiene and keeping it away from your nightstand.)  And of course for that homely feel, a hanging wall planter is a warm touch.

KeepCup Resuable Coffee Cup, 12oz, $37 at Amazon.

Herschel Dawson Multipurpose Backpack, $57 at Amazon.

Sony LED Alarm Clock Radio, $30 at Amazon.

Trigg Hanging Wall Planter, set of 2, $30 at Amazon.