Back-to-school supplies: 13 of the trendiest items of 2018

3 odd, yet interesting, back to school gadgets for 2018
Three odd, yet interesting, back-to-school gadgets for 2018

Summer vacation is almost over, which means parents and students are thinking back-to-school.

From supplies to fall clothes to the most budget-friendly dorm accessories, the season for many is all about starting from scratch. But this also means creating a budget — and sticking to it.

According to a recent survey from, 69 per cent of Canadians agreed back-to-school was one of the most expensive times of the year, but only half of respondents made a budget.

READ MORE: Is there a Canadian teacher who changed your life? Tell us about them

The survey noted 19 per cent of parents spent money on new school supplies and clothes, while 11 per cent spend it on new shoes and laptops — items traditionally more expensive.

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And with a whirlwind of pens, laptops and even sneakers to choose from, we narrow down a list of 13 of our favourite back-to-school items: from the trendiest to the most classic to the items that made us raise an eyebrow.

Doodle bento box

Bringing your lunch to school never looked cooler. This compact-size lunch box comes with an inner divider, perfect for kids to trade what they please.

Price: $19.50
Available at Indigo.


Laptops are a must-have for students entering post-secondary, but some of them can get pricey. This HP Stream notebook (under $300) includes a 14-inch LCD display and a one-year subscription to Microsoft’s Office programs.

Price: $249
Available at Staples.

Microwave crisper

It’s 2018 and you want to microwave your food in style. If the school year means dorm life, make things a tad bit fancier with this microwave crisper. Instead of just reheating food, the crisper gives your takeout, pizza or bread new life.

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Price: $60
Available at Bed Bath & Beyond


Backpacks are needed for every school year and this year, we suggest something classic. Canadian brand Herschel’s heritage edition comes with a laptop sleeve, internal media pocket and a faux leather bottom.

Price: $65
Available at

READ MORE: 10 healthy, tasty, 3-ingredient back-to-school lunches for kids

Smart grill with Bluetooth

We’ve entered the future of dorm cooking. The T-Fal Optigrill’s Bluetooth technology lets students monitor their food via an app and even assigns “doneness” levels. It will also alert you when your meal is ready to eat.

Price: $179
Available at Best Buy

Sequin lunch tote

It doesn’t seem like sequin is going away anytime soon. These colour-changing lunch bags from Amazon Canada feature insulated compartments and a mesh zipper pocket.

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Price: $40
Available at Amazon Canada.

String light clips

Take dorm decor to the next level with these LED string light clips, perfect for capturing all of first year.

Price: $18
Available at HP.

All weather notebooks

Your child has a wild imagination and sometimes, this means working on doodles, poems or stories in every weather condition. These Rite in the Rain notebooks are waterproof and work with pens, crayons, markers and pencils.

Price: $16
Available at Amazon Canada.

READ MORE: Canadians who didn’t finish university or college degrees — and have zero regrets

Smart device

As much as we don’t want our kids attached to their phones, the Kidibuzz ensures what they watch, read and share is educational. Each “phone” allows kids to send texts to anyone in the family over a Wi-Fi network and allows parents to teach additional skills after school hours.

Price: $119
Available at VTech.

Mermaid pencil case

Unicorns are a thing of the past. This adorable mermaid tail pencil case will hold all of your child’s pencils, pens, markers and crayons. Yoobi is also a Canadian exclusive brand for Indigo and to give back this season, proceeds from each case (or other Yoobi items) will go towards buying school supplies for children in need in the country.

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Price: $7.50
Available at Indigo.

Digital pen

Taking notes will completely change with this IrisNotes Air 3 digital pen that sends handwritten notes and graphs directly to your smartphone — this way, you don’t have to type them out later. You can even create digital versions of your favourite doodles.

Price: $200
Available at Best Buy.


For the student off to college or university, this all-in-one bed set comes with a comforter, flat sheet, fitted sheet, pillowcases and a pillow sham. Comes in twin and double/queen sizes.

Price: $44.88
Available at Walmart Canada.

USB Bed Lift Set

If the problem in your new space is a lack of outlets, this four-piece bed lift works in two ways. First, you can create extra storage space under your bed and two, each lift comes with an outlet as well as a USB slot.

Price: $45
Available at Bed Bath & Beyond.
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