We can't believe it, either. It's almost time...
To make your life a little easier this fall, check out our list of back to school shopping ideas. We hope you'll find some you can use, and we'd love to hear what else is on your back to school list, too.
By Elise Smith
Don't look now, but the first day of school is just around the corner. Going back to school means getting organized, getting efficient and getting back to work -- for both parents and students.
A Runaway Hit
When Clocky’s alarm goes off, there’s no sleeping in! It jumps to the floor and skitters across the room, with R2D2-like twitters and beeps that make it impossible to ignore. Truly, the only way to turn it off is to chase it down. Rest easy knowing your kids will make that early class. ($42.85-$49.99) Buy Clocky, the best bedside alarm clock here.
Customized Kicks. With sneakart’s punchy graphic films, you can unleash your creativity and transform your plain leather (or leather-like) shoes into something that showcases your personal style.
Running your life on scraps of paper and envelope backs? Always losing your to-do list? Get your life in order just in time for the school rush with the List Maker Desktop Caddy, an organized supply of note papers for shopping lists, honey-do lists, telephone notes or reminder notes. ($40.00) Buy B Designs letterpress notecards here.
Netflix-style Book Rental
Don't want to lay out big bucks for the syllabus list? Tired of long wait lists for the hottest best-sellers at the library? BookSwim gets it right: for a flat monthly rate pick the books you need for home delivery and keep them as long as you need them. (Memberships start at $19.98 / month) Find out more about BookSwim online book rental here.
No Smartphone? No Problem!
Don't need all the complications and expense of a Blackberry or iPhone but still need to stay in touch on the go? Peek Mobile Email Device is a simple, inexpensive answer because all it does is handle messages. ($59.95) Learn more about the Peek handheld mobile email device here.
Kids can keep their bikes safe without straining their brains trying to keeping track of the combination. WordLock has a five-foot vinyl-coated cable with a lock that opens with a four-letter password you select (hint: use a word other than “bike”!). ($14.99) Buy the Wordlock cable bike lock here.
Portable Tunes for Your On-The-Go Life Wherever you go to study or get away from it all once the school year has begun, you can take your MP3 player along and forget the earbuds with the Altec Lansing Orbit portable speaker. The perfect gift for college kids, teens (or just for you!). ($28.41) Buy Altec Lansing Orbit portable MP3 speaker here.
You Sneeze, You Lose!
Keeping kids safe from germs at school is a pretty tough challenge. Hand sanitizers can help, but most are filled with harsh chemicals. The CleanWell formula is just as effective but it's non-toxic since it's made with a patented formulation of naturally antimicrobial plant oils. Smart, right? ($3.39 and up) Buy CleanWell all natural and safe hand sanitizer here.
This inventive mom decided enough was enough, and started stitching her way to a greener lunchtime solution for her kids. These cotton, nylon-coated, reusable lunch and snack bags from SnackTaxi.put an end to plastic in our homes – and they’ve got great patterns to choose from (bright and fun for kids, hip for teens, even stylish options for us parents). ($6.95-$8.95 per bag) Buy snackTAXI reusable snack and sandwich bags here.
No more trips to the School Lost and Found
Tired of losing every new jacket, mitten, ballet shoe or sport bag you buy? Check out Mabel's Labels --the perfect solution for labeling everything your kids need for back to school. Mabel's Labels come in a variety of designs and colors -- you can personalize them to match your kids' favorite activities or colors. Buy Mabel's Labels children's clothing labels here.