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Back-to-School Gear Bonanza

  • Produced by Christina Vercelletto
    Photos by Valerie Fischel
    Written by Cinya Burton

    Lunch break

    This perky polka dot meal tote will brighten up the favorite part of your kid's school day. ($14.50; Gymboree.com) Or show some imagination with this drool-worthy alternative to yet another superhero lunch box. Also available in Ballet Slippers, Polar Bear, and Horse themes.($29.50; landsend.com)

  • Off and Running

    Stride Rite knows recess means lots of wear-and-tear on new sneakers. Be prepared with these tough but irresistibly traditional kicks. ($52; Stride Rite stores)

  • Red Light, Green Light

    Pottery Barn Teen's adorable bright lime green backpack with reflective stitching in the webbing is sure to stop traffic and get your munchkin home safe. ($35; pbteen.com)

  • Dandy Denim

    Jeans are on the top of every mom's to-buy list this season. Old Navy and Gap kid-pleasing styles are made to withstand playground adventures yet won't break your budget! ($19.50; oldnavy.com, $29.50; gap.com)

  • Mother (Nature) Knows Best

    Kelty Junior Packs definitely have the cool factor, and are just the right size for grade-school kids. Bonus -- each backpack sold equals a donation to the National Wildlife Federation -- and three free issues to Ranger Rick magazine for your budding environmentalist. Who said being green isn't easy? ($37; keltykids.com)

  • Funky Footwear

    A must-have for fall, these adorable Cape Clogs have stay-on straps to make sure your sweetie can keep up with her classmates. ($50; capeclogs.com)

  • Creativity Booster

    Crayola knows how to make every drawing a masterpiece with these True to Life markers designed to mimic the real hues found in nature. ($4; crayolastore.com)

  • Trendy Tyke

    Starting kindergarten is a big deal for any little girl. You're probably as excited about finding the perfect outfit as she is! We think this Lucy Sykes New York shirt-dress is it. Those first-day bus stop pictures only happen once. ($78; Nordstrom stores)

  • Heavy Duty

    Older kids seem to be toting texts that weigh more than them! Time to upgrade to wheeled packs and take the load off your guy with these roll-backpacks from Lands' End. ($56.50 each; landsend.com)

  • Fancy Feet

    Few things bring back memories of elementary school like knee high socks. Let your darling diva march to a retro beat in 70s throwbacks, upgraded in bright blues, greens, pinks, and oranges. ($12 for a pack of 3; littlemissmatched.com)

  • Silver Lining

    Brighten up rainy days with Hatley's glow-in-the-dark outer space jacket for guys or super-sweet fruit topper for gals. ($40 each; hatleystore.com)

  • An Apple a Day

    What could be cuter for fall? These Out to Tea hairclips are fully lined to stay put, even in fine locks, and add the finishing touch to any classroom fashionista's wardrobe. ($6-$13 depending on style; out-to-tea.com)

  • Cool for Schools

    Street Science knows that self-expression is important at any age. This new line of notebooks lets your hipster chose from fashion glam, music, hip hop, or snazzy technology themes. Better yet, a percentage of proceeds goes to fund inner-city schools. ($3 - $8; amazon.com)

  • Easy to Spot

    Lost school supplies may be inenvitable...but a pencil case that's hard to miss will help. This pretty pouch will encourage her hang on to pencils, erasers, and more. ($10; littlemissmatched.com)

  • Good Morning Sunshine!

    If you don't want to deal with the grumps and groans of getting your tween out of bed during the week, try it her way with Pottery Barn Teen's floral iPod alarm clock. She can wake up to her fav band. (boy style also available in navy or digital print, $129; pbteen.com)

  • Pocket Pal

    Acing English class will be a cinch thanks to Franklin's Children's Talking Dictionary with Spell Corrector. With over 40,000 easy-to-grasp definitions, as well as an animated handwriting helper, your star student can learn on the go. ($50; franklin.com and Borders and Barnes and Noble stores)

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