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calling all school supply shopping moms

Monday, July 27, 2009

I need your help. I'm working on a story about school supply shopping and I need to know what the hot stuff is right now. I'm totally lost in the 80s and my kids aren't really that into anything right now.
Anyone know what the equivalent of the Bic 4 Color Pen and Trapper Keepers are today?
Anything else I should be looking into?
Any help you all can give me would be fantastic. I'm swimming upstream at work today, without a paddle...and possibly without my swimming suit. The story is due tomorrow morning and all I've had time to do today so far is get pictures taken and surfed the web for ideas for questions.

18 salty messages:

jessy July 27, 2009 at 11:51 AM  

Sorry I can't help you. We moved into a complex with a closet full of school supplies. I'll never school supply shop again! Praise the Lord!
Thanks to our economy, I think many more parents will be buying only the necessities (what is on their class list), and telling kids they will have to do without the trendy "want to haves."
It seems to me that there is also a rising trend among public schools not to allow students to carry these "extras," claiming it separates and labels students into those who have and have not. Socialist doctrine--er hogwash--at work.

Courtney July 27, 2009 at 11:53 AM  

For me, what's in is what's CHEAP! I'm scouring all of the ads for the $0.25 and under stuff. ;) Sorry I'm not any help on what's cool--my kids aren't old enough to be into "cool" yet!

Momstart July 27, 2009 at 1:03 PM  

I'm not sure what's in the stores but I just did a review for carolina pad and it's really snazzy.


I was just dropping my EC and I noticed your request, Please don't feel like I'm spamming you.

Bethany July 27, 2009 at 1:53 PM  

Unfortunately for you, but fortunately for me, A.J. isn't into trends yet. But, I did see a trapper keeper brand folder at the store the other day! Good luck!

Anonymous,  July 27, 2009 at 2:16 PM  

Ok, here's what I got for you...

A (12, going into 7th) ... had no ideas. But he's been saving for a laptop because he really really wants one of his own. I know at least a couple of his friends already have laptops.

K (14 going into 9th). Had no ideas. But last year she told me "ALL" the girls had Vera Bradley lunch bags.

R and Zeeb ... no ideas. And then I remembered that I don't have to buy their school supplies this year because the PTA does this thing where you can write them a check (about $30?) and they put all the necessary supplies into a box and give it to your kid the first day of school. LOVE that. They did that at our old school too... maybe it's worth mentioning in your article??

Sorry I wasn't more help, guess my kids don't care much about the trends either!!

Tammy July 27, 2009 at 3:50 PM  

Wish I could help...you sound in a bit of a panic! I'm WAY out of it! God help you!

Mom July 27, 2009 at 4:03 PM  

You know, I haven't really seen anything trendy like that these past couple of years.

The locker organizers do tend to be popular now. (Wish we'd had those back in the day...)

Other than that, I have no idea.

Anonymous,  July 27, 2009 at 4:04 PM  

No help for you, but you totally took me back to Trapper Keepers and Bic 4 color pens....wow...

Tina in CT July 27, 2009 at 4:15 PM  

I buy school supplies for the drive at work that goes to help kids that don't have the means to purchase them. I buy whatever is on special so I'm not a big help.

Barb in WI,  July 27, 2009 at 5:24 PM  

I'm at a loss too...still in summer mode I guess. I will tell you I love the thick plastic 2 pocket folders vs the cardboard style ones. The cardboard style catch the kids's eye because of the designs but simply don't last like the plastic. I haven't really taken a look at my kids's list. The school I work at offers school kits already put together with lunchboxes and backpacks included. I don't know the price but it's a nice idea for busy parents. Although it's kinda fun going with your child to pick everything out together (individually of course! Good luck with the story.


Lynne July 27, 2009 at 5:30 PM  

My 13 year old daughter & I just finished her back to school supply shopping. I can't say that I really saw anything new or different. By the way, they do still sell Trapper Keepers!
For the junior high girl, back packs seem to be out and this year it's canvas totes. Pencils, kids like the mechanical ones in a variety of color (black lead).

Anonymous,  July 27, 2009 at 6:31 PM  

Don't know what is hot, but could you do an article on the ridiculous things they request. My 7 year old rising 2nd grader has in addition to all of the regular things...6 Ball Point Pens (GREEN ONLY)...

I'm like ...okay, you cannot buy green pens individually so this is like buying 6 packs of pens. Can't imagine why they need green pens.

Annie July 27, 2009 at 7:39 PM  

Undoubtedly this is NOT what you want, but one of the most interesting essays on school supplies and school shopping was in the book "Dumbing Us Down" by John Taylor Gatto. (I'm pretty sure that is the book....) He writes about the "economic conspiracy" that has begun to surround "school shopping" and the hype which causes parents to buy hundreds of dollars of new clothes (when children have perfectly fine clothes already), lots of new materials - many of which are not really needed, and might even go unused, and other things....new backpacks when the old ones are fine, haircuts, new bikes, new shoes, etc.

Alerted to the phenomenon, I noticed the amazing array of things which are advertised as part of "back to school" shopping - everything from new cars to vacations.... It really is something.

I try to do the shopping by myself, because the kids will talk me into "fun" and expensive things that will just cause trouble in the classroom. Frankly, when I taught I would have been happier if the kids had had the most boring "regulation" materials.... how much distraction is caused by all those "character" folders and binders and how much absurd shame endured by the kids (like mine and Courtney's, apparently) who have the "cheap" stuff).

Tina in CT July 27, 2009 at 10:20 PM  

Vera Bradley lunch bags!!!! OMG!!!! How impractical and expensive. Don't get me wrong as I love anything VB but not lunchboxes for kids.

Carlee July 27, 2009 at 11:25 PM  

This year for us it was the stuff at Staples that ended up free after rebates. I "spent" almost $60, but will get it all back in a rebate.

What I saw seemed to be old classics. Colored Pencils, cute mechanical pencils called caboodles that look like regular pencils, erasers, gluesticks, and of course, the good old Trapper Keeper.

I do think computers are now on peoples' back to school shopping lists. It is getting to the point where most high school students we know either have their own, or get their own their senior year.

Cascia July 28, 2009 at 2:08 PM  

Go and take a look around your local department store. They all have Back To School stuff out. Something different comes out every year. Good luck!

Kim July 28, 2009 at 5:28 PM  

I remember just having to get a Trapper Keeper. heehee

I am too late since ur article was due today, sorry. I had just the perfect thing for you too. the hoodie backpack! My daughter HAS to have one. And she is in high school.

I don't know about what's cool for younger kids though.

Anonymous,  July 29, 2009 at 9:40 AM  

Tina, Believe it or not, the VB lunch bags are not much more than the ones you can get at Target or Lands End. And since it was the first time my daughter ever wanted what the other girl's had (she's very 'independent' like that) I was happy to indulge. :-)

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