This round up is just one in Fatherly’s exhaustive Back To School Product Guide. Click here for everything from your kid needs, from winning math to standing at a bus stop on the rain (which is what you used to do, only uphill both ways).
Try as you might to limit your kids’ screen time — and your own for that matter — the world is driven by gadgets. Thankfully, not all of them are rotting society’s brain, and the back-to-school gear on this list will help you stay organized and fully charged while keeping tabs on your kid and helping them learn. There’s also a kids tablet thrown in for good measure, because the last thing you want is for your child to see their little classmates’ electronic toys and run home and give you the Cartman treatment. Don’t worry, it’s not a Toshiba HandiBook.
Gadget and Task Organizers for Big Kids >5
FiLIP 2 Smart LocatorThe best excuse ever to put off getting your kid a cell phone for as long as possible, the FiLIP is a Dick Tracy-style wristwatch that allows them to call you (and up to 5 pre-programmed numbers) and for you to track their location, set alerts, call them, and send one-way texts. It’ll also help you finally understand their favorite Vine obsession.
Amazon Fire HD 6 Kids EditionAmazon’s HD, quad-core, dual camera, Dolby Audio powerhouse comes with parental controls and a year of unlimited access to thousands of books, movies, shows, educational apps, and games through Amazon FreeTime Unlimited. More importantly, it’ll survive (or get replaced for free for 2 years) if your kid smashes the crap out of it when they go back to school, which they definitely will.
LeapFrog LeapReader Reading and Writing SystemTeach your kid reading, writing, comprehension, vocabulary, and listening skills with help from a nifty little pen that speaks to them as they scroll over different activities in LeapReader’s library of 150+ books. You’re still on the hook for bedtime reading, though; LeapReader can’t match your range of princess voices.
Gadget and Task Organizers for You
Western Digital My Passport Ultra Portable External Hard DriveYes, you’ve officially reached the age where treating yourself means buying an external hard drive. Welcome to the age of practicality. Up to three terabytes (with optional hardware encryption security) should be more than enough to store all those adorable first day of school pics of your kids.
Jabra SPEAK 510 Wireless Bluetooth SpeakerIf you’re lucky enough to take advantage of a generous work from home policy so you can be there for your kid when they get home from school and take conference calls in your underwear (not in that order), you want this speaker. It sets up in seconds and provides crystal clear sound quality from all angles, turing any room in the house into a conference room. Conversely, you could bring this to your office’s actual conference room, because the phone in there never friggin’ works.
Mophie Power Reserve With Lightning ConnectorYou probably could use a reserve power supply that gives you up to 60% more juice, costs less than $40, and fits on your keychain. Unless of course you’d rather run out of juice and lose that video right before your kid’s big back-to-school solo. Your call.