Back to School Guide 2017

Back to School \ Image: Creative Commons
Back to School \ Image: Creative Commons

Back to school is here again, and once again we are here to bring you a list of our favorites from the gear world. It’s a humble list, but our favorites nonetheless. School is getting started throughout the country, so let’s get started!

Bags

Beckman Backpack \ Image: Beckman of Norway
Beckman Backpack \ Image: Beckman of Norway

Beckman Classic Blue 30L – $129.99
This is my backpack of choice for my son. It has a dedicated laptop area, enough pockets for him to lose anything and everything, and a rain cover that is built into the top so he never has to worry about losing it. It’s big enough inside to hold both my Groot backpack and the 1 Voice Sidewinder backpacks I was sent to check out. I think my favorite aspects of this bag are the safety reflectors on all sides and how well it distributes the weight over my son’s back.

1 Voice Backpack \ Image: 1 Voice
1 Voice Backpack \ Image: 1 Voice

1 Voice Sidewinder Charging Backpack – $75.99 
This is as simple a backpack as you get with the bonus of an external battery to charge your student’s favorite electronics. The battery sits in its own pouch and has a pocket right next to it to hold a small device such as a phone or Nintendo DS. It comes in grey and black.

BGOKids Lunch Box \ Image: Bentgo
BGOKids Lunch Box \ Image: Bentgo

Bentgo Lunchbox – $27.99
According to GeekMom writer Kishore Hari, The Bentgo Lunchbox is “The best lunch box out there! It has 5 compartments for different items. It’s the perfect size for a young student, with just the right portions. Easy to open, easier to clean, and with loads of color and insert options.”

Accessories

Guruanda Honeycomb Diffuser \ Image: Guruanda
Guruanda Honeycomb Diffuser \ Image: Guruanda

GuruNanda Essential Oils and Honeycomb diffuser – $22 
The Honeycomb diffuser gives off a subtle light while it works the aroma into the air. With a second push of the button, it will diffuse without the lights, and a third push keeps the light off while also diffusing intermittently. I enjoy the peppermint and grapefruit aromas when I need a pick-me-up.

myCharge AdventureUltra \ Image: myCharge
myCharge AdventureUltra \ Image: myCharge

myCharge AdventureUltra – $129 
This is not your average portable charger. This is a charger for those who need power for more than just their USB devices on the go. This charger has a maximum output of 45 watts and has two USB ports, a USB-C port, and an AC port.

Ohuhu Colored Pencils \ Image: Ohuhu
Ohuhu Colored Pencils \ Image: Ohuhu

Ohuhu Colored Pencils – $14.99
GeekMom Samantha Fisher recommends these because “These colored pencils fall right in the middle of not too expensive but not so cheap they won’t sharpen or break within a week. We’ve bought a new set each year for a few years now, and the used ones go into the family stash for use in adult coloring books. The unique shape of the round storage case allows it to slide into unique storage spots like water bottle slots on backpacks when extra space is needed. They color and sharpen extremely well. You won’t be disappointed in these pencils for your older child.”

Gaiam Balance Ball Chair \ Image: Gaiam
Gaiam Balance Ball Chair \ Image: Gaiam

Gaiam Balance Ball Chair – $80
I reviewed the Gaiam Balance Ball Chair a couple of years ago and still use it at work. If you have a child who has a hard time focusing, give this a try. It’s also a fun way to get some exercise in because this will work your abs just from sitting on it. If the chair is too tall in the holder, try taking the ball out and letting them sit on that while they work.

Books

Panda Planner \ Image: Panda Planner
Panda Planner \ Image: Panda Planner

Panda Planner – $25
I reviewed the Panda Planner a few months ago and still stand by it as an effective planner for goal setting and achieving. Perfect for any student.

"Gracious" by Kelly Williams Brown
“Gracious” by Kelly Williams Brown

Gracious: A Practical Primer on Charm, Tact, and Unsinkable Strength: Including instructions on being kind when you don’t feel like it, ignoring the Internet … and sensible in a world that is neither. by Kelly Williams Brown – $15
This might sound like an odd suggestion, but I think it’s a topic that any college student needs some help in (and most adults I know in my life could benefit from it as well). I’ve been reading this for a few weeks off and on, and I find it actually helps me when I’m having a bad day. Being reminded to live graciously helps cool my jets when someone at work gets on my nerves, and I’ve started to apply some of Kelly’s principles in my daily life.

Manga Guides \ Image No Starch Press
Manga Guides \ Image No Starch Press

All of The Manga Guides – Price varies.
If you need a subject explained and you enjoy manga, there’s nothing better than The Manga Guides by No Starch Press. I’ve reviewed several of these and have them waiting and ready for when my son is old enough to need them.

Disclaimer: GeekMom received a sample of a few of the items included in this list (not all).

Dakster Sullivan is a network administrator by day and a cosplayer by night. She loves discovering new books to read, tech to play with, and ways to express her herself. She has anxiety and depression and strives to educate others about these invisible illnesses.