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Going back to school this year looks very different for a lot of students but that doesn’t mean that you aren’t allowed to get excited to purchase school supplies.
According to survey results from RetailMeNot.ca, 22 per cent of Canadian parents are considering homeschooling as an option for their children this year, which means that their shopping habits are changing too.
ALSO SEE: The best back to school tech at any age, according to an expert
The survey also reports that 65 per cent of parents are prioritizing school supplies such as books, pencils and notepads and 32 per cent are adding new items to their list this year for things including supplementary tutoring, homeschooling and teaching supplies that include homeschool space setup and technology.
Some post-secondary students will be returning to campus while others will be doing a majority of their learning online. High schools will be involved in a hybrid model where groups of students attend class in-person on altering schedules.
Whether you’re starting the academic year in-class, online or both, we’ve rounded up 13 must-have back-to-school items from Amazon that you’ll look forward to using this year.
Add a Touché Tool to your school supply list this year and help protect yourself or your student from germs on lockers, doors, water fountain buttons and much more.
This anti-microbial tool will allow students to open doors, press buttons and use shared surfaces without direct contact, helping to protect them from germs and bacteria. It’s made from self-cleaning material to keep people safe without the constant use of sanitizer or access to a sink
The Touché Company was started by three siblings selling No Touch Tools while under quarantine together. This family-run business also donates $1 from each sale to Food Bank Canada’s COVID-19 response — which is just another reason to purchase this tool.
“We live in an apartment building so every day we use this cool design Touche Tool to open our entrance door and grocery store doors,” one Amazon customer wrote. “100% benefit! We are 110% happy with this cool design product.”
SHOP IT: Amazon, $13 (originally $15)
A YETI Rambler Stainless Steel Bottle is perfect for high school or post-secondary students. This double-wall vacuum insulated water bottle will keep your water cold or coffee hot until the very last sip.
Its stainless steel construction can stand up to even the toughest of conditions and it allows you to drink faster with the Chug Cap which makes it easy to sip without slowing down — but that’s not recommended for hot beverages.
There is also a YETI Rambler Jr. 12 oz kids bottle with a straw cap available for younger children heading back to school.
One Amazon customer said the bottle is “worth every penny.”
“I love that this one comes with a chug cap since other websites don’t offer it or will charge extra for it. I fill it with ice as I pour water into it to keep cool, and it keeps ice cold all day long,” the customer added.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $50
If your children are heading back to the classroom, the Skrible pencil case is the perfect storage box for kid’s school supplies. It has multiple compartments to fit things like pens, pencils, erasers, sharpeners, markers, crayons, scissors and more.
Students can slide pens and pencils in the 6 slots and keep other stationery in the separate mesh pockets. The pencil case comes in many different designs and will stand out to make sure it’s not misplaced amongst classroom peers.
Purchases of the Skrible pencil case will support WE Well-being and its mission to enrich and empower communities to ensure the emotional, physical, and mental well-being of every child.
One Amazon customer wrote “Works well to hold all the writing supplies I need for work. Not overly bulky.”
SHOP IT: Amazon, $20
The Rocketbook Fusion is a 42-page reusable notebook that has 7 different styles for note-taking planning, listing, goal setting, sketching and sharing ideas. This innovative smart notebook allows you to send your handwritten notes to cloud services like Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud, Slack and more.
The Rocketbook user must allow 15 seconds for the ink from the Pilot Frixion pen, marker or highlighter to dry in order for it to bond to the specialized pages. Wipe the page clean with a damp cloth to start over with new notes.
The book includes a task list, weekly planner, monthly calendar, goal template, Idealist, dot-grid, and lined pages. Each purchase comes with a notebook, 1 Pilot Frixion pen and one microfibre cloth.
The Rocketbook is a No. 1 Best Seller on Amazon with a 4.5-star rating from more than 5,000 reviews.
A recent purchaser wrote, “This notebook is a real game-changer, especially if you are like me and you use a lot of paper notebooks. The upload feature is simple to set up and you can customize and change the destinations of your scans whenever you like.”
SHOP IT: Amazon, $38 (originally $48)
Whether you’re in university or high school, some schools have said the fall semester will be primarily online due to the coronavirus pandemic. This ASUS Vivobook 15 will help you get things done swiftly and efficiently.
The back-lit keyboard is sturdy and the product weighs just 3.5 lbs which makes it travel-friendly so you can bring it along to study groups or lectures if they resumes on campus.
The ASUS Vivobook 15 has a built-in fingerprint sensor on the touchpad so you don’t have to type in your password.
An Amazon customer said that “this is the best laptop I have ever had. The screen quality is impressive. The SDD is fast. It takes 5 sec to boot.”
SHOP IT: Amazon, $699
An essential oil diffuser can help with workflow by boosting mood and productivity with therapeutic fragrances.
This essential oil diffuser also functions as a humidifier to help improve your home’s air and atmosphere quality. It can help remove contaminants from the air in a room.
“Nice size, runs quiet, easy to use, and looks lovely. Very happy with this unit,” one customer wrote.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $37 (originally $40)
Epson’s EcoTank printer is perfect for those parents who are choosing to teach their children at home this year and are concerned about too much screen time. The printer features easy-to-fill, supersized ink tanks that you fill with bottles instead of cartridges.
This printer allows you to print thousands of pages before replacing any ink, making it the ultimate printer for convenience and value. The box includes up to two years’ worth of ink so that you can print out important school documents from pictures for projects to study notes for a test without worrying about running out of ink.
This printer also has hands-free voice-activated printing capabilities for those tech-savvy students. It has a 250-sheet paper tray, easy setup and navigation with a 2.4-inch colour touchscreen. Maximize your productivity with the auto 2-sided printing, scanning, copying, fax and 30-sheet Auto Document Feeder.
“Product arrived promptly, was easy to set up and works very well,” one happy customer wrote in their five-star review. “I especially like the reservoir feature for the ink!!!! No more expensive cartridges!”
SHOP IT: Amazon, $600
Schools will look different for many students this year and that may require a place to learn at home. It is important to search for a comfortable chair to use during school hours.
This chair has a high-density sponge cushion, ergonomic design, armrests and a highly ventilated mesh back that will help provide comfort while sitting for long periods of time.
“Great product. It came fast and proper packaging nothing missing or damaged. Feels really comfortable and is great on back support would recommend to anyone looking for the perfect office chair,” a happy Amazon customer wrote in their review.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $115
These Allergy Smart Cookies are a great snack choice for those students heading back to the classroom.
They are made in Canada and have an allergen-free recipe, eliminating all potential allergens including gluten, wheat, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs, dairy, soy, sesame, mustard and shellfish.
These cookies are sold in trays of 12 or 24 packs and come in three flavours: oatmeal raisin, snickerdoodle and double chocolate.
“I’m allergic to life and these are the best-tasting allergy-friendly sweets (not just cookies, but no better candy, cake, etc) I’ve ever had. The double chocolate and oatmeal raisin are addicting,” an Amazon customer wrote.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $17
Due to the risk of transmitting COVID-19, many students will be required to wear face masks at school.
The Weddingstar Washable Cloth Face Mask has five layers of protection, adjustable ear straps, flexible wire noseband and prevents fogging when wearing it with glasses.
These 100 per cent cotton and rayon masks are machine washable and come in many different designs.
One Amazon customer said, “This is, so far, the best mask I have tried. The nose wire helps get a good fit, and the adjustable ear elastic was an added bonus. The ear elastic is comfortable and soft. I wore it for an hour with no problem.”
SHOP IT: Amazon, $15
A backpack is one of the most important staples when it comes to back-to-school shopping. It helps you bring everything you need to the classroom and holds all of your supplies.
The Herschel backpack is a great choice for post-secondary students because it has a padded and fleece-lined 15-inch laptop sleeve inside the bag and a front-pocket with internal organizers.
This bag, which includes a lifetime warranty, comes in many colours and prints.
“This bag was purchased for my daughters use at university. Great size. Fits MacBook and enough room for other items,” an Amazon user wrote in their review.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $85
In the age of COVID-19, it’s likely that schools and classrooms will be stocked with hand sanitizer but it’s also a great idea to bring some with you.
This refillable 60 ml hand sanitizer comes in a five-pack and has a dispensing disc cap which is perfect for using it on the go. It also contains Aloe Vera and Vitamin E to help nourish your skin.
One Amazon customer wrote, “Great to have in the car when out shopping.”
SHOP IT: Amazon, $20
Stay organized and highlight the most important information this school year with this highlighter set that includes 12 colours and 12 replacement cartridges.
The Ohuhu Highlighter marker doesn’t dry out or leak and the fluorescent colour will not fade.
“I bought this highlight mark for my daughter. She likes all colourful things, this is exactly what she likes. There are also 12 colours of ink, very thoughtful,” one Amazon shopper wrote.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $11 (originally $12)