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6 Practical Back-to-School Gift Ideas

Updated on July 5, 2015

Back-to-school is a great time to put a smile on the face of your favorite young person with a thoughtful and practical gift. School-age kids are sure to appreciate a special gift to mark the beginning of a new school year. There are plenty of great practical gift options that students will love!


1. Personalized Backpack

According to Parents magazine, kindergarten is the right time for kids to start carrying a backpack to school, and it's something they'll need to continue using throughout their years in school. A right-sized personalized bag with a fun design is a great gift for kindergarten and elementary school kids. Personal Creations has a nice selection of personalized backpacks in a variety of sizes with super-cute graphic designs appropriate for young boys and girls.


2. Tech Backpack

Older kids need a tech-oriented backpack that looks great and carries all of their gear securely and safety. recommends the High Sierra Fallout style on its list of best back-to-school laptop backpacks because of its design and features. This bag has a tablet sleeve and a media pocket that features a port for headphones. The S-Curved Straps are designed to distribute weight evenly across the body rather than over-stressing the back and shoulders.


3. Are You Ready? Game

Lakeshore Learning's Are You Ready? game show style game is a terrific gift idea for youngsters who are about to start any school year between kindergarten and 5th grade. This fun and educational game received at 2015 Teachers' Choice Award for the Family. It comes in grade-specific versions and is designed to be enjoyable to play while also ensuring that kids' skills and knowledge are on-target with their grade levels. It includes a free online assessment and supplemental activities to prepare kids for success in the upcoming school year.


4. Peel-and-Stick Wall Décor

Since nails are generally not allowed in college dorm rooms, peel-and-stick door and wall art is an option for college students, and it's also a great gift idea for younger students to use for decorating (and redecorating over and over!) their bedrooms at home or their lockers at school. Wallpops has a fun line of reusable wall decals with great designs for every age group. Options range from the purely decorative decals and picture frames to practical dry erase calendars and message boards and educational maps.


5. Graphing Calculator

A graphing calculator is a must for many high school and college math classes (and maybe even some advanced middle school courses). The folks at Texas Instruments have introduced a new model for the 2015/2016 school year, the TI-84 Plus CE, that is sure to bring a smile to the face of young mathematicians everywhere. According to Tech Powered Math, this model is a new and improved version of "the most popular graphing calculator model line ever, the TI-84 Plus." It has its own operating system and weighs less and is thinner than previous models. According to Texas Instruments, it is approved for use on a variety of exams including the PSAT,


6. Fun Lunch Tote

As Fruits & Veggies More Matters points out, about 40% of school children bring lunch from home. With so many kids taking their own lunches to school, the special boy or girl in your life is sure to appreciate a fashionable lunch tote. National Geographic has designed appropriate lunch totes for elementary school age girls and boys that are as serviceable as they are cute. These fun totes are sure to be a hit in the school cafeteria!

Practical Gifts Kids Will Love

Of course, these are only a few of the many great practical back-to-school gift options to consider. The special young people in your life are sure to appreciate any of these items - plus any other thoughtful goodies that you may want to share. Just consider their ages and interests when making your selection.

Note: The author received review items of several items discussed in this article. The recommendations provided here are based solely on independent research and review of available options.


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    Susan Haze 2 years ago from Sunny Florida

    These are all terrific ideas. I wish they had the door cover when my girls went to college. They would have love it.