Top 5 Back to School Must-Haves

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Getting ready for school once meant having lunch money, paper bags to make book covers customized with crayons and a handful of number two pencils (cases were optional). Needless to say, things have changed. According to the “Back to School Survey” conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, the average American family will spend $634.78 getting their kids ready for school this year. Parents are expected to spend $72.5 billion on back-to-school preparations. Here are five items to help parents balance necessities with the cool gadget factor.

5 Flying Alarm Clock

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This item might seem outrageous, but it definitely will get you and your child out of bed. The Flying Alarm Clock does not have a snooze button, and yes, it really does fly. When the Flying Alarm Clock goes off, it makes a shrieking noise and has a propeller-driven key that leaps off your nightstand like a helicopter. You have to get up and get the key in order to turn off the clock, because it does not have a snooze button. This unique device forces you to get out of bed—wake up and get some exercise.

4 Smartphone

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Ninety-nine percent of students have cell phones—that they consider essential for keeping in touch with peers and family. The older your children, the more likely they are to want and need a smartphone. Smartphones have recording and camera features that students can use in the classroom to record lectures and snap pictures of equations and other blackboard information. They also make it easier for students collaborate on school projects. Some teachers use text messages to communicate with students about assignments, tests and grades. Many smartphones are affordably priced. Shop for one that suits your budget.

3 Lunch Box

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Lunches are a school staple regardless of your child’s age. One of the least expensive and most healthy ways to feed a child is to prepare lunches at home. Lunch boxes can be personalized to make them more fun for your child to carry. Lunch boxes should do more than just look cool. Check to see if the lining is FDA approved. Features that allow you to keep food hot or cold and are dishwasher safe are a plus. Fancy lunch boxes are the cool modern equivalent of the TV show and superhero lunch boxes of the past. Shop for a brand that fits your budget and your child’s taste.

2 School Backpack With Built-in Siren & Strobe

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Carrying electronic devices such as laptops and smartphones can make children a target for bullies and thieves. The School Backpack With Built-in Siren & Strobe provides your child with “Mobile Personal Security,” by making it possible to quickly activate high-decibel sirens (audible within a 1,000-yard radius) and a “high intensity strobe light” (visible within 400 yards) to call attention to any dangerous situation. An alternative is to get your child a whistle. The Oklahoma University Police Department says that a simple whistle that your child can blow is an inexpensive, effective, lightweight and reliable means of calling attention to a dangerous situation.

1 Smartpen

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For as long as there are classes, teachers will talk and students will take notes. Smartpens help to bridge memory gaps by functioning as a writing implement and an audio device that records lectures. Students can trigger audio feedback by simply tapping the pen on paper. Smartpens can be basic (Echo) or Wi-Fi enabled (Sky). Both types allow you to transfer information to other digital devices via USB cables. Memory ranges from 2 to 8 gigabytes. Wi-Fi enabled Smartpens allow your children to use their pens as mini computing devices with the ability to send and share information, interact with Evernote and post to social media.

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