Stuff We Like: Back to School, Back to Cool
As Labor Day approaches, our kids will prepare to trade in their bathing suits and flip flops for backpacks, notebooks, and spiffy new fall outfits. It’s officially back-to-school season, when our young students will flock back to classrooms for another year full of learning. Here, a few things to make the transition from summer freedom to school days a bit more fun.
These new backpacks from SuperMe ($39.90) combine the functionality of a school carry-all (lightweight, sturdy, machine washable) with the whimsy of imaginative play: built-in capes and masks encourage your child’s inner superhero to reveal himself! Additional shield patches ($5 per patch), which attach with Velcro, are also available.
Shaping Up for School
No cookie-cutter styles here—these reversible puffy Pop Out vests (kids’ sizes 2-16; $78-$85) may look like someone took a cookie cutter to them, but they’re as unique as it gets for fall transitional outerwear! Designed by two moms, the fun-loving collection will charm your kids with vibrant color combinations and shapes including guitars, hearts, unicorns, crossbones, and more that reveal their clothing layer below.
When your little lady steps back into the classroom, make sure she does so in style with these back-to-school themed hair accessories from Adelaide NYC. Made from the highest quality acrylic and adorned with Swarovski crystals, the new collection includes a too-cute ruler & pencil double ponytail holder ($16), Adelaide No. 1 pencil clip ($12), and one for the teacher’s pet—a precious red apple clip.
While some schools have begun pilot programs distributing iPads for student use, most kids still take notes the old-fashioned way: pen on paper. But voice recorders offer a suitable alternative, especially for some children with special needs who may benefit from the ability to listen to a classroom lecture again or to take written notes at a slower pace later (note that some schools may require written permission to tape teachers’ presentations). The Olympus VN-7200 digital voice recorder ($39.99) not only holds a massive amount of data (2GB, which translates to 823 hours of recording time) that can be simply transferred to a computer via USB, but it also has a calendar search function so users can search for recordings by date, and a built-in “kick stand” that reduces noise when the recorder is placed on a desk or table.
Pass the Peas, Please
Westchester mom of two daughters and bestselling cookbook author Missy Chase Lapine knows from experience what a challenge it can be to get kids to eat healthy foods (hence her moniker, “The Sneaky Chef”). You’ll never guess what she’s snuck into a tasty treat this time: golden peas…that taste like peanut butter! Sneaky Chef No-Nut Butter ($6.99; available at Whole Foods Markets and at NetGrocer.com)—which is 100 percent peanut-free, tree nut-free, and soy-free—is versatile enough to spread on whole wheat for a classic PB&J or sub into your favorite peanut butter recipes and cook with. Perfect for kids with allergies and for families whose children attend nut-free schools, this PB alternative is a huge hit in my home, both with finicky adults and my 3-year-old foodie. Try it: You’ll like it!
Bonus: Find a recipe for No-Nut Butter thumbprint cookies at nymetroparents.com/no-nut.
Tweens and teens who have upgraded from cubby to locker may want to spruce up their storage space. Staples has an entire line of décor items for just that purpose, appropriately named Love Your Locker. The line includes brightly colored shag rugs ($5.99), magnetic locker wallpaper ($8.99 for a 3-sheet pack), and even a magnetic locker chandelier complete with a motion sensor that triggers its seven tiny LED lights ($16.99; available in pink, purple, turquoise, and green).
If your budding fashionista is bored with the same-old notebooks and binders that everyone else in class will have, introduce her to the school accessories in the Fashionit line. They come in a variety of trendsetting designs and offer accessories such as flowers and bows. They are available in the following sizes: composition ($10.99), spiral ($11.99), and binder ($12.99). Each has pockets and pouches designed to store everything needed for class, and all are washable!