Kid-Tested Toy & Product Review

Back to School Products

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Products that put the "cool" in school.
Many kids will tell you the best part of going back to school is shopping for new supplies! These kid-tested and parent-approved backpacks, headphones and supplies will help your child have a functional and fashionable start to their school year.


Sharpie® Extreme Permanent Markers
$10.76 for a 4-pack;

Sharpie® Extreme permanent markers have high-contrast ink that resists fading when exposed to harsh UV rays, rain, snow and even mud. Great for outdoor gear, sports equipment, backpacks, text book covers, lunch boxes and water bottles. Sharpie Extreme delivers bold color and can be used on most surfaces, including plastic, glass and wood. Available in four colors: red, black, green, blue. “Finally a sharpie designed for outdoor use!” says Brian.

dabnyAmpersand for Blue Sky Monthly Calendars and Day Planners

Where inspiration meets happy. Signature bold patterns, playful color palettes and unique typography are the Ampersand Design Studio signature. Designed to help you find balance and live an organized life, these day planners and calendars will allow users to better manage their to-do lists and track their schedules. “Spiral bound so it is easy to write on,” says Macy. “And the tabs make it easy to flip to a certain date.”


Puro Sound Headphones
Kids, $79.99; Adults, $129.99;

The kids model uses a patent-pending volume limiting mechanism to cap volume at 85dB, the safe threshold. The adult model utilizes a volume monitoring system that guides users to safe listening levels through an LED feedback mechanism. Both models are Bluetooth wireless, feature studio-grade audio quality, sturdy aluminum construction and stylish design. “I like the Bluetooth and noise cancelling,” says Johanna, 16. “And it has really good sound quality.”


Scribble Stuff 24-Count Gel Pens

Stand out in style with these gel pens in three different varieties: glitter, neon and metallic inks. Each pack includes 24 smooth writing gel-ink pens, with soft comfort grips and handy clips so you can attach them to your notepad, shirt pocket or more. Super-stylish and available in a wide variety of colors, these pens write on black and white paper for extra fun. “I love the different glitters and colors,” says Mayka.


The Sprout Pencil

The Sprout Pencil is made of natural materials, including cedar wood, clay and graphite and therefore does not contain any lead.  The seed capsule, which contains high quality, non gmo seeds, is water soluble. The seeds germinate in 1-3 weeks and are extremely easy to care for.  The pencils come in a variety of seeds, including sunflower, lavender, basil, green pepper and cilantro. “I love the idea of recycling the pencil when you are done,” says Lisa.


Sydney Paige Backpacks

The Little Learners backpacks are sized just right for the tiniest of school kids, the Young Explorers backpack comes with padded backing, sternum strap and reflective piping for safety and comfort, and the World Changers backpack includes great storage for laptops and books and is padded with a reinforced bottom, large compartments and an easy access double zipper. These high quality, 100% cotton canvas or natural leather and PVC-free backpacks are on a mission to break the cycle of poverty and promote the importance of education. Every time you purchase a Sydney Paige backpack, they will donate the exact backpack to a child in need. “Quality backpacks with lots of pockets,” says Elise.


24-Count USA Gold Classic Wood Pencils

This 24-count pack of USA made, unsharpened #2 HB pencils come in classic yellow. They have latex-free erasers, are easy to sharpen and boast bonded graphite cores for superior point strength that won’t break easily under pressure. “Students always need quality pencils,” says Ms. Phair.

big mouth

Big Mouth Backpack

Big Mouth design allows the backpack to open extra wide to make it easier to access all your books and supplies. The main compartment is super big to hold more and has pockets to keep everything in plain sight, including pens and pencils. This backpack has a padded front to keep tablets/laptops safe and it also has padding on the back and straps for extra comfort.  “Super easy to find everything due to the big opening,” says Michelle, 12.

jj cole

Little JJ Cole Toddler Backpack and Lunch Bag

This roomy backpack is perfect for daycare, preschool, trips to the grandparents, or anywhere. Use the included clip to easily attach lunch packs, nap mats and more. Also includes a matching folder. The lunch bag is just the right size to house everything your little one may need during lunch time. Spacious enough for a sandwich, drink, snacks and more. “Perfect size for my daughter to carry her school supplies and her lunch,” says Breanna. “And she loves the ballerina shoes!”

five star

Five Star 1” Hybrid Notebook

This unique innovation acts like a notebook and works like a binder, offering both flexible capacity and carrying convenience. Outfitted with the patented TechLock fixture, its rings open and close easily for quick customization. TechLock rings easily open and close allowing you to add, subtract and customize your work. “Well made and paper is included,” says Lisa.


Yoobi Compass and Flexible Protractor Set

Whether you're measuring the angle of Yoobi the Toucan's flight pattern or the circumference of his eyes, this compass and protractor set will get you through any math class you need. They even included an eraser featuring their favorite toucan. For every Yoobi item you purchase, a Yoobi item will be donated to a classroom in need, right here in the U.S. "Great set to have for school,” says Jake.


ETY•Kids3 Safe Listening Headphones

ETY•Kids safe-listening earphones are engineered for safe sound output while maintaining Etymotic's exceptional sound quality. Sound heard through ETY•Kids earphones will not exceed safe levels. Even at the maximum volume setting on portable players, kids can listen safely for up to four hours per day. And because ETY•Kids earphones block background noise, and provide high-definition sound quality, kids will be able to hear every detail, and won't complain that the volume is too low. “Love the storage case. They are comfortable and easy to find in my backpack,” says Tyler, 12.


Bixbee Backpacks

These bright and tough-built backpacks are specifically designed for kids’ unique measurements. The patented horizontal design with ergonomic attributes is designed to carry weight above waist level. Features include child’s name card under main flap, reflective accents for safety and visibility, reinforced base and corners and easy grab beehive zipper pulls.  Tanner, 8, likes the shark design and all the hidden pockets.

Published: July 2016