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Charging Backpacks, Smart Notebooks: You Need This Upgraded Back To School Gear

Leave that tired old backpack at home.

It’s that time of year again: Back to school. Which means you need to load up on back to school supplies like backpackslunch boxes, planners, and even a smart notebook or three.

Because parents, in case you haven’t noticed, things have stepped up quite a bit from the days of Trapper Keeper folios and beater JanSport backpacks. Now, kids can scan their notes, or record classes remotely. It’s a whole new world, one in which they use backpacks to charge their phones.

Here’s what you need to buy for it, to make your life, and by extension your kids’ lives, easier, with back to school items that are an upgrade of the tired originals.

See more: Best Water Bottles For Kids

This simple, user-friendly walkie talkie-like device is a screen- and internet-free communication solution.

With this “phone,” there are no screen-time issues and no internet browsing. It’s a simple, solid way to keep tabs on your kids and allow them to reach you when needed. You can attach this to their backpack, or jacket. You know where your kids are, and they can reach you if they need you. Simply, it lets you track and communicate with your kids, in a screen-free setting.

To heat up their lunch, kids just plug in this lunchbox and have a hot meal anywhere.

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You use the power cord, with one end attached to the lunchbox and the other plugged into an outlet. And lunch is ready when the heat indicator light says so.

This lunchbox elevates your kid's lunch game, letting them use the cutting board lid to modify what's inside.

For those of us who like to deconstruct our lunches and our sandwiches in particular, this glorious single-opening lunch box lets kids do so with its bamboo lid that doubles up as a wood chopping board and is sealed with a rubber band. Just in case your child prefers a cheese and meat platter to a PBJ.

Everyone needs a little motivation and organization, and this amazing Dr. Seuss-inspired Moleskine planner keeps kids focused.

Phones are great and have their place, but many (actually most) classrooms don’t allow them. So arm your kid with this inspiring, whimsical, and on-point planner, because really, you can’t argue with this timeless wisdom. You get an 18-month planner, which runs from July 2019 to December 2020 and gives kids ample space to note important dates and details.

Teach younger kids about conservation with these innovative pencils, which can be planted as herbs when they're too short to be used for writing.

This set of eight No. 2 pencils can be repurposed as herb planters. Seriously. These pencils are biodegradable and contain seeds that will sprout into plants.

This sleek desk stand has an aluminum frame to absorb heat and cool the computer and elevates the device to eye level to prevent a crunchy neck.

Both iPads and laptops (from 13 to 17 inches) can fit well. The stand also comes in silver and gold, its raised screen stops kids from slouching, and it has a cable organizer to keep things nice and tidy.

Kids can use this genius magnifier to read text, review photos, and look at objects at five times magnification, and move it across a flat surface to see whatever they want up close and personal.

Especially ideal for reading dense textbooks, or looking at scientific photos in great detail, this LED magnifier lets kids get a five-times magnified view of anything they want. The magnifier comes with two lithium ion batteries.

The new Echo Show's beautiful sunrise alarms make waking up a more pleasant experience and eliminate the need for a separate alarm clock.

Plus, kids (and parents) can control all their gadgets using the bigger screen, and get help with homework, as needed.

No more dead batteries or charging woes: Any light source keeps this solar keyboard charged and ready for use.

This Logitech wireless keyboard works any device running Mac OS X 10.5 or later, needs a USB port, and requires a light source either from natural sunlight or indoor lighting. It has PerfectStroke keys for extra ease of use. 

This slim portable charger can bring a gadget back to life in a snap.

It comes in three different colors and has quite a bit of juice (once it’s at full power, it can charge an iPhone 6 eight times). And it’s compatible with just about every device and cord, thanks to the four cable outputs: USB (two of them), lightning and micro.

This smart (make it brilliant) notebook lets kids notate, share, search, edit, and organize everything they write down.

This Moleskine set, compatible only with Moleskine smart notebooks, makes note-taking easy and less stressful. Kids can even record audio to sync with their notes.

All kids need to do is slide the pen scanner across a line of printed text and watch it appear instantly on their computer or smartphone screen.

The days of crumpled, messy notes are over.  All kids need to do is run this scanner over anything written. It works via Bluetooth or USB. And kids can even use the translation feature to help them learn another language. It’s compatible with Android or Apple devices.

Meet the glorious Roland recorder, which lets kids use Bluetooth to record remotely and monitor what's being recorded from a smart phone or Apple watch.

We love the recording options on our smart phones. But all too often, they seem to fail us, or recordings get lost or deleted. Been there. Don’t feel like experiencing that again. That’s why your kid needs the Roland. By using the R-07 remote control app on an iOS or Android mobile device, they can wirelessly manage their recorder, so if they’re home sick or otherwise miss class, it’s not a total loss.

Oh, so your kid didn't email you back because his or her phone died? No more excuses, with this charging backpack.

The bag comes in six different colors and will hold laptops up to 17 inches. The zippers can be locked together, and the side that touches the back has breathable panels to help wick sweat on schleppy days. It has a built-in USB charger on the outside, and a built-in charging cable on the inside, so kids can charge their phones while walking to school or home.

Sleek and compact, this backpack charges devices and keeps everything ultra-organized, so no more dead phones and missing homework.

If you want a more restrained look for your kid, get this backpack. It fits a 17.3 inch laptop, has a side pocket for a water bottle, and backside anti-theft pockets. It’s waterproof and most crucially, it has a USB charging port that lets your kids charge their devices anytime.

This is one of the coolest, most durable, and most comfortable backpacks we've ever used.

No, this backpack won’t charge a phone. But it looks damn good and sometimes, that’s enough. It has a zipper at the top, is made of coated ballistic weave, and has a metallic finish. It’s got zip back pockets and pouch side pockets for keys and phone. The backpack itself fits an 11 inch laptop or iPad, plus homework and even a small lunch bag or box.

Meet this elevated paperclip, shaped, adorably, like an animal (in this case a turtle, though the company also makes plenty of other motifs, including dogs, elephants and pandas).

You get 30 paperclips per box, and the whimsical design certainly makes organization more palatable.

With a tool this unbearably cute, it's the only stapler your kid will want.

The palm-sized stapler is on the smaller side, so it will work well for a few pages—the company recommends fewer than 12. But what it lacks in capacity, it makes up for in cuteness. Besides, your kid’s not writing a term paper anytime soon. Sold individually or a set of four.

For accident-prone little kids, ceramic scissors are the way to go, because they minimize cut-related mishaps.

These ceramic scissors have a rounded tip, cut through everything from cardboard to fishing wire, and have comfort-grip handles that work for both lefties and righties.

These are the coolest pencils we've seen.

Choose between cactus, safari, or woodland wood pencil sets, which won’t improve penmanship but certainly will make writing more enjoyable.

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