The idea of back-to-school creates a mixed feeling of joy and stress. It’s a time where new memories are created, experiences are shared and making sure you have all of the right materials before the year picks up. As a family with three kids, we definitely understand the importance of making sure each of our kids has, “the coolest backpack at pre-school,” and “the notebook with a puppy in a basket on it.”
Lucky for us, we’ve somehow managed to get all of our back-to-school shopping done and satisfied all of our kids’ crazy requests. Lucky for you, we’re here to help you get your kids (or even yourself!) all situated before class starts.
Next time you carve out some time to knock out some serious back to school shopping, take a peek at this list of 10 positively unique back to school supplies that go beyond the pencil and binder:
1. Reusable Water Bottle
The Hydro Flask water bottle is the perfect reusable water bottle to keep anyone at any age hydrated at all times. The vacuum insulation technology will keep your beverage of choice cold or hot all day. Not only does this cut down on the cost of buying plastic water bottles from the grocery store, but you are also helping to save the environment by not using single-use plastic. Water fountains are scattered everywhere around schools and offices, so this water bottle will keep you hydrated and healthy. Hydro Flask even have bottles with built-in straws so you don’t have to worry about spilling an open container all over that homework or those meeting reports
2. Lip Balm
The next item on our list is our very own lip balm. Small and portable, these lip balms can be stashed in a pocket, backpack, dopp kit or purse. With an array of flavors ranging from peanut butter peppermint to chocolate cardamom rose, your kid can be the talk of the lunch table or you can be the coolest person in the lecture hall with these delightfully scented lip balms. They’re made with shea butter and aloe vera which will keep lips moisturized for the entire school or work day.
3. Easy, Healthy Snacks
Whether you are about to go to your afternoon algebra class or midday sales meeting, it is important to always have healthy snacks to grab. In the past, granola and other “nutrition” bars have been the most popular choice for a midday snack. However, some of these bars can be loaded with extra sugars and ingredients that will leave you feeling drowsy and unsatisfied. Queue the blender bomb: these little balls of goodness are the versatile snack you have been craving all along. They are packed with power foods like walnuts, flax seeds, and dates that will satisfy your sweet tooth. These balls can be put into smoothies for a filling twist or eaten by themselves as a snack. They are sure to keep you powered through your work day or thesis research and a child fueled up for after school sports, debate team or homework time. Not to mention, this company was created by a woman just like ours. #LadyBoss.
4. Dopp Kit
School-Day mornings can be a busy time, and sometimes you forget to take some time in the bathroom to make sure you look and feel uniquely you. Keeping a Dopp Kit like this, packed a with essentials like a comb, some pomade or that lip balm we were talking about earlier can help you keep your awesome look going all day long. Another plus? It can easily double as a pen or pencil case! This Dopp Kit by Alchemy Goods is made from upcycled brown denim from Seattle, Washington.
5. Reusable Lunch and Snack Containers
Here at Beard and Lady, we’re pretty big on re-using and re-purposing as much as possible to avoid unnecessary plastic waste. That’s one reason why we use glass bottles for our oils. These reusable silicone storage bags are perfect to pack lunches and snacks. Gone are the days of the brown paper bag! These are dishwasher and microwave safe, so they can be reused an infinite number of times. Plus, opting for a reusable container cuts costs on the need to constantly buy more and more bags. These bags come in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit your many food storage needs. They can be placed in the freezer and even written on. Another plus? It’s another women owned and operated company. #Ladyboss.
Waking up earlier is hard. We’ve actually been trying to wake up earlier now to get in the habit of it before the kids go back to school. One way that we can get up and get moving is if we have our morning caffeine. From coffee to tea to energy drinks, there are so many outlets to get your daily fix of caffeine from. Depending on the day, we’re a fan of all of those options, but one of our favorites is MATI. According to the North Carolina based company, “MATI offers a no-jitters, no-crash, and no-sugar-added sparkling energy with naturally brewed caffeine, vitamins, and antioxidants.”
7. Computer Glasses
Screen-time is everywhere: at work, school and even in down-time. Whether you’re spending most of your day in front of a computer or your kiddos do their homework on a tablet, staring at a screen for a long time can be harsh on eyes and can even be a bit harmful for your health. While you can’t eliminate screen time completely, you can try to filter out the blue light-- or the commonly emitted from screens-- with glasses and lenses that help filter some of that away from your eyes.
8. Essential Oil Diffuser
While this may seem like an odd item to add the list, stay with us. The start of school and beginning of fall tends to be followed up by colds, germs and sick days. Kids are surrounded by other kids constantly, letting germs spread like wildfire in classrooms. An essential oil diffuser is a perfect defense against germs and sickness. If you feel an illness intruding on your household, put a few drops of lemon oil, peppermint oil, or any combination you find fitting in your diffuser order to kill airborne germs and make your space smell amazing and feel relaxing. Additionally, the diffuser can be used in replacement of candles. There is a never ending list of essential oils out there, meaning there is always a new scent to try out. Essential oils can also aid in alleviating stress, insomnia, and mental fog.
9. Luggage Tags
We’ve all accidentally left our bag somewhere on accident. Whether you’re worried about leaving a purse in a conference room or a backpack in a classroom, make sure you have some form of identification on it so it can be returned to you. A luggage tag can be zipped away in a pocket or tied to a handle. It doesn’t matter where you put it, just make sure you have something with your name and phone number on it in you or your kid’s bag(s) of choice. This one can even charge your phone on the go!
10. Hand Sanitizer
The final on the list is not the most exciting one but it is an essential one. Remember those germs we talked about earlier? They’re everywhere. Seriously. The best way to prevent the spread of these germs? Carrying hand sanitizer everywhere. Dr. Bronner’s organic hand sanitizer does not have the harsh chemicals that other companies have but it still delivers in potency and protection. The bottles are small enough that you can keep them in backpacks, purses, lockers, and cars. It comes in a lavender scent and the spray bottle makes it easy to apply. This product will help ward off illness for as long as possible.