It’s that time of the year again! Time to load up on school supplies and prepare our kids and family for the start of a brand new school year. After all the challenges of last year, here’s to hoping for a more normal school year where our kids can meet together for in-person learning!
As you get your family ready for the changes that come with the start of the school year, we’ve prepared our favorite picks for families for heading back to school! You’ll find fashion favorites, new tastes to try, our top family fun picks, our wellness favorites, and even something for those heading off to college for the first time!
Top Back to School Finds for Families
We received a variety of samples in exchange for inclusion in this post. All opinions are our own.
Head Back to School in Style
Start your family off on the right foot this school year with KEEN Footwear‘s quality shoes that will last until they’ve outgrow them. We are big fans of KEEN shoes as they are the one brand that can keep up with how rough my boys are on shoes. Their best selling Big Kids’ Chandler CNX that are a light, breathable, and comfortable sneaker with a quick-dry mesh. It stays lightweight without losing any of the protection KEEN is known for like the iconic rubber toe bumper and flexible grippy sole.
We’re also loving the new Big Kids’ Newport Shoe that is styled after their popular and well loved sandals with a leather and performance mesh upper. They’re easy to get on and off with the lace-lock bungee system and hook-and-loop strap. And of course, I really appreciate the eco anti-odor to keep stinky feet and shoes at bay!
Let Jack Wolfskin help you get ready for the school year with top quality jackets and packs for the whole family! The Kids JWP Shell is the perfect ultralight and packable jacket for windy and rainy days. It takes next to no space stuffed into the stow-away pocket and can be kept in their backpack to be ready for any weather. It’s both wind and waterproof while still being breathable and includes a hood to completely protect them from the elements.
When your kids need a small pack for just the essentials of an afternoon hike or a trip to the playground, the Kids Moab Jam is a great pick! It is designed with an ACS TIGHT back system that keeps the pack closely aligned to their body so it’s snug and secure. Plus, ventilation channel that keeps their back cool. It even has built-in capacity for a hydration system.
Mom will love getting comfy with Kyte BABY line of bamboo loungewear that is both incredibly comfortable but also a breathable and cooling fabric. The Women’s Relaxed Fit V-Neck top is perfect for a casual weekend or for dressing up for a night out. It’s simple style is timeless and works in every wardrobe. With the flattering drape, you can wear it through pregnancy and post partum, and the years to follow with confidence.
Add on the Women’s Lounge Pants that are luxuriously soft and breathable and perfect for days spent around the home. They have a relaxed fit and an adjustable tie front waistband that make these bottoms perfect for casual days and slipping on for the morning rush to get kids out the door to school!
Start the new year with a fresh pair of glasses for the whole family with Zenni’s affordable frames and glasses! They offer the same high quality frames and protective lenses you could buy from your optician, but at a fraction of the price! Zenni has been my go-to for kids glasses for years as they are easy to replace when lost or broken, which happens a lot in a household full of boys!
We’re digging this fun new style of Kids’ Rectangle Glasses 2010224 with the pop of greens that are so fun! With Zenni, it’s easy to personalize and spend on just what’s most important to you – like adding Blokz blue light filtering or adding anti-reflective coating to the lenses. You can even engrave a name and icon onto the inside or outside arm of the glasses to personalize and help them be recovered, when lost!
Having Fun After School
Zelda fans will rejoice at the release of The Legend of Zelda™: Skyward Sword HD on the Nintendo Switch! This remastered game take advantage of all the processing power and HD graphics of the Nintendo Switch to deliver a smoother and more beautiful delve into this world of floating islands. The controls are redefined to make the game easier to play in handheld mode or on the Nintendo Switch Lite making it easily accessible!
Add the Zelda & Loftwing amiibo™ figure to quickly travel to the sky – and then back to the same spot on the surface – with just the tap of the amiibo! Complete your gaming experience with The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD Edition Joy-Con with two beautiful shades of blue and unique styling! This is a game that will bring hours of playtime for every member of the family and is rated E10+.
To encourage a love of reading requires keeping fantastic books your kids will want to read on hand! We love turning to Scholastic books for fun new titles my boys can’t wait to read! I send them to bed a little early with a stack of books and they happily oblige! New fun titles for fall include City of Dragons: The Awakening Storm which is the first in a new series of graphic novels and perfect for kids that love fantasy!
Watch for Playing the Cards You’re Dealt and Battle Dragons: City of Thieves both coming this fall! With Scholastic, there’s always something new, exciting, and fresh to add to your family’s to-read list that will give them some screen-free time getting lost in a story!
Enjoy a fun family night in with Thames & Kosmos innovative board games! One of my favorite board games has a brand new family version that lets you children into the world of strategy board games in a way that will be fun for everyone! Andor: The Family Fantasy Game is designed for 2-4 players ages 7+. You’ll play through a fun challenge to rescue the wolf cubs and play as one of 4 heroes in this cooperative board game.
Take on the thrill of an escape room from the comfort of your home in EXIT: The Deserted Lighthouse. This latest title in the wildly popular EXIT line of games is off in a new direction now with Jigsaw Puzzles in place of cards to add to the puzzling fun. We have loved every EXIT game we’ve played and can’t wait to try to solve one with this new twist!
New Tastes for the School Year
Take your drinks up to the next level with Vitapod that infuses vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and lots of flavor into each drink. You start with ordinary tap water and add your choice of Vitapod, each with a different flavor and benefits to take your water up a notch.
First, your water is filtered multiple times, then it is chilled to the perfect drinking temperature, then it blends in your selected Vitapod with no mess or fuss. In the end, you have a perfect drink that’s even better for you than water! They offer a variety of fun flavors like Blueberry Pomegranate, Pineapple Coconut, and Watermelon that have no sugar but amazing flavor!
Get the fresh taste of Naples, Italy straight to your table with Talia’s authentic Neapolitan pizza. All Talia di Napoli pizzas are hand crafted and baked, and then prepared for shipping with a deep flash-freeze that keeps them just like they were prepared. You can order a set of pizzas or setup a recurring shipment to keep your daily fix of amazing pizza!
Talia di Napoli Pizza is delivered in eco-friendly materials right to your door, and then can be ready to eat with just 10 minutes in the oven. They have five authentic flavors to try including a Four Cheese, Mozzarella, and even a gluten free Margherita! We got a chance to sample and the pizza tasted so fresh, delicious, and was so easy to prep!
This school year mix up mealtime with a Ventray Pro 600 Blender to help! It will quickly and easily stir, chop, or puree ingredients to help you with your food prep and make mealtimes that much faster. Of course it can blend like a champ with it’s commercial grade 1500W, 30,000 RMP, 8-spee motor that will make delicious smoothies, milkshakes, and more!
The Ventray Pro 600 Blender has built-in pre-programmed functions that make it easy to get the perfect blend or you can manually set and adjust the timer to fit your recipe. We use a blender all the time for making homemade sauces, salsa, smoothies, and even soups!
Off to College Favorite Picks
Get your college-bound child ready for their dorm or apartment with the help of OCM that makes it a cinch to get all the essentials! Start with one of the Value Paks that include all the essentials for their bedding, bath, and dorm needs! The Varsity Collection includes 27-pieces with 2 complete sets of sheets, pillows, comforter, throw, mattress pad and topper, plush blanket, 2 complete bath towel sets, laundry bag, and extras they’ll appreciate include a surge protector, bedside caddy, and a clip fan and lamp!
Add on a 3-Tier Rolling Cart to help them stay organized with flexibility. This rolling cart is the perfect solution because the tiered shelves give lots of space to stash their belongings and it can work as a nightstand, bathroom organization in an apartment, or be helpful in the kitchen or by their desk – the uses are endless!
There’s a new earbud in town with the innovative 1MORE Comfobuds Z True Wireless In-Ear Headphones. These offer everything you’ve looked for in a wireless earbud but with all day, and night, in mind. They were designed specifically to be comfortable to wear while you sleep with noise isolation to block out outside noise and smart auto-off timers to help lull you to sleep.
The Comfobuds Z even have 30 integrated soothing sounds that can help comfort you to sleep. You no longer need to fuss with a white noise machine or app, just use your wireless earbuds you already love to help with restless nights as well! During the day, you can then tune into your favorite podcasts, music, or turn on an audiobook with the full-range and balanced sound profile that’s tuned to perfection.
Add in time for relaxing and fun with the Pro-Spin 4-Player All-in-One Portable Table Tennis Set. You need nothing more than any table (up to 2″ thick) to instantly make a space transform into fun! It’s great for college parties, dorm lounges, or visiting with friends and family. Just setup the retractable net that can span to up to 72″ wide. With the scratch resistant rubber feet, you won’t leave a mark and can instant go from study time to time to unwind!
After some practice, you can take your ping pong game up a level with the Elite Series Carbo Ping Pong Rackets. They are designed for those that love the game with an ultralight design and a shock absorbing handle that can tackle all the spins and spikes. It’s made of 7 layers including 2 powerful layers of carbon fiber that will up your power and spin potential to show off your skills.
Sneak in some exercise and fun with a JumpSport 350 Fitness Trampoline to keep you active. It’s the perfect option for in-home fitness with a generous 32.5″ jumping surface and arched legs that add to the style and sleek profile. The 350 Fitness Trampoline uses advanced EnduroLast Elastic Cord that provide a low-impact bounce that can keep up a variety of workouts including barre, dance, HITT, and more! Using elastic cording also means you’ll have a quiet and cushioned bounce that won’t bother your roomates.
You can easily stash the 350 Fitness Trampoline under your bed out of way, when not in use, or store it next to your desk to remind you to take frequent study breaks to keep the blood flowing. A fitness trampoline can be a fantastic tool for a healthy lifestyle including toning muscles, losing weight, even enhancing your mental health and wellness making in a perfect choice for students (and parents) of all ages!
Health & Wellness Essentials
Help your kids take on the world with a darling Adventure Medical Kits Backpack Adventure Medical Kit with all the essentials. It includes a mini carabiner clip so it can attach right to their backpack or beltloop to go along with them to school, out to play with friends, off on a school field trip or family hike, or wherever they go! It includes everything your child would need for basic first aid including bandages, hand sanitizer, and antibiotic ointment – plus room to add their own personal medications or treasures!
Another important thing to think about with the new school is protecting your home from Tick’s with Ben’s Tick Fence that makes it easy to spray your backyard perimeter with the battery powered wand to repel and kill ticks for up to 35 days. This helps create a safe space for your kids, and the neighbor friends, to come and play in your yard without the danger of ticks and Lyme disease!
Is there anything more important for the school year ahead than a good nights sleep? The MLILY JAMA 7″ Mattress is a medium firmness mattress made with layers of AdaptiFoam and Gel Memory Foam with a flexible and supportive foam base. It’s designed with an eco-friendly cover that’s both breathable and washable. Plus, it comes included with a JAMA Protector that’s a removable for easy cleaning and is waterproof and machine washable to not need to worry about any accidents.
They’ll love their new JAMA kids mattress that has combines a bounce and comfort with the AdaptiFoam with the temperature regulation benefits of the Gel Memory Foam that won’t leave them feeling hot and stuffy like some foam mattresses do. It’s available in a variety of sizes and in two fun colors – teal or purple!
Keep your lips protected and moisturized with Eco Lips certified organic lip balms! The Mongo Kiss line is made with an organic Mongongo oil from Africa and mixed with Fair Trade Certified cocoa butter for an ultra-nourishing product for your lips that provides nutrients, too! I love all the fun and unique flavors like Banana, Yumberry, Blood Orange that come in the Mongo Kiss variety pack.
You can take an additional step to smooth dry and rough lips with the Lip Scrub Variety set with four crave-worthy flavors including mint truffle and brown sugar! Just rub onto your lips in a circular motion, then wipe or lick off (it’s safe to eat!)
Get ready to tackle a new school year with Seven Minerals non-toxic oils, soaps, blends, and aloe. They carry Castile Soap in a Sweet Orange scent that is the perfect go-to soap to keep on hand! It’s a versatile solution that can be used as a dish soap, shampoo, veggie wash, laundry detergent, shave gel, and so many other uses! It’s USA made with no palm oil so it’s completely eco-friendly and with the added healing benefits of castor oil to soothe and nourish skin.
Or, try the Skin Repair Pack that includes soothing aloe and a magnesium skin repair cream for a lasting hydration to leave you with soft and moisturized skin. Another great pick is their Relax Massage Oil to help soothe away a stressful day for parents, or the kiddos! Just add a little oil to your palms and start massaging shoulders, hands, temples, or wherever they are tense.
What are your family’s top picks for the new school year?