While we love the annual ritual of picking out a new backpack or fun lunch box to start the school year, there’s something about finding just a few cool school supplies for our kids that remind us that school isn’t just about homework and tests. Well, okay, sometimes it is about homework and tests; but at least they can do them with a nifty pen stored in a super cool case, right?
We’ve narrowed it down to 20 of the very coolest school supplies we’ve found to help students express their individuality and style. Enjoy!
Set of 4 Rainbow Highlighters Highlighters + Rainbow? What’s not to love? ($14.95 at CB2)
Jumbo Journals These 150-pages, eco-friendly notebooks are inspiring in more ways than one; for every purchase, a child in need receives a workbook to improve literacy. ($17, Ecojot)
Tardis Pencil Cup Dr. Who fans, your desk supplies are ready. ($19.99, 3DHD)
Ace Pilot Stapler The 1930s design and chrome construction means you won’t mind having it on your desk either. ($38, Schoolhouse Electric)
Guitar Paper Clips Being organized is totally rock n roll. ($7.95/40 at our affiliate Amazon)
Cloud corkboard To keep you grounded. Love the juxtaposition. ($19.95, Land of Nod)
Colorful mechanical pencils Why just stick with yellow? ($6/6, Urban Outfitters)
C-3PO Bookmark Everyone needs their own Droid placeholder. ($25, MyBookmark)
Kawaii Sticky Notes 14 different designs for journals, calendars, bookmarks, or just gazing at the cuteness. ($3.50, Shipshape Supply)
Acme Composion Book Pen One great pen is always a treat for older kids. ($59, Design Mafia)
Color Outside the Lines Pencil Pouch Well, it’s true. ($15, Pamela Barsky Shop)
Japanese Erasers Love that they’re eco-friendly, non-toxic, free of phthalates PVC and they’re even recyclable. ($1, Stubby Pencil Studio)
MadPax Spiketus Rex Pouch The perfect size for lunch money, iPods, or prehistoric snacks. ($15 with free ship, Zappos)
Narwhal eReader cover The ultimate protection. Because really, who wants to mess with a narwhal? ($27, Life Geekery)
Colorful Mini Journals The perfect size for a pocket, backpack flap, or cluttered nightstand. ($10.19/set of 8, Amazon)
Pirate Leg Pencil Sharpener Kinda dark when you think about it. We like that in a pencil sharpener. ($5.69, Perpetual Kid)
Colorful Tape Dispensers 10 different colors–don’t make us pick just one! ($12, Poppin)
BFF iPhone 4/4S cases Maybe they’ll be less likely to lose their devices, when they’ve got a bestie looking out for it too. ($25/2, Urban Outfitters)
Donut scented pencils Just make sure you’ve had a good breakfast first. ($5.69, Perpetual Kid)
Einstein USB Flash Drive Can’t hurt to have a little Einstein on you at all times. ($24.95/8GB+, Mimobot)
For more cool ideas for back to school, don’t miss the rest of our 2013 Back to School Shopping Guide!