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Cool School Tools

Submitted by on June 7, 2012 – 2:45 amNo Comment

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As America prepares to go back to school, elementary through college-age kids are gearing up with pretty cool tools that are making their school day more efficient, effective and enjoyable. Here’s a quick roundup of novel items for school kids of all ages, with something for everyone—from the younger elementary set through high school and even college-level:

Morning Mashups ( – $19.95 per 4-Pack
Morning Mashups are a whole grain way to start off any kid’s day with the right amount of nutrition. These portable breakfast packs are a ready to eat, morning must-have for kids on the run. With no spoon required, each BPA-free pouch is filled with 100% whole grains, including Quinoa for an extra boost of protein. With no extra mix ins, heat, or stirring required, Morning Mashups come in three breakfast friendly varieties: Raspberry Swirl, Maple Banana, and Oatmeal Raisin. Other types of Morning Mashups include Greek Yogurt selections—a perfect sweet n’ tangy addition to any lunchbox or afterschool snack—available in Cherry Vanilla, Orange Cream, and Strawberry Lemonade.

YooDara Good Luck Charms ( – $9.99
Teens and tweens love collecting fun items to show off their emerging individual style, and they are sure to love YooDara Good Luck Charms. Featured on the NBC Today Show and as part of the 54th Annual Grammy Awards gift bags, this line of 36 handmade string characters, grouped into four tribes by common themes, each provide their own unique, positive message. YooDara promote good luck, protection, power and wisdom. Who can’t use that to start their school day? The key chain feature helps them easily attach to backpacks, purses, rearview mirrors and lockers. This is a fun trend for the upcoming back-to-school season!

The EasyLunchbox System ( – $7.95-$21.95
School mornings often become a three-ring circus of making breakfast, preparing lunches, and ensuring kids are dressed and ready. To reduce some of the chaos, the EasyLunchbox System helps families organize and quickly pack healthy lunches without wasting money, time, paper or plastic. Perfect for school kids of all ages, this unique system means no more wasteful baggies and mismatched plastic containers to struggle with whether it is for a school lunch or even a meal to take on a field trip. These easy-to-open containers with lids are a hit with kids, teachers, and moms because of what they do and what they don’t have—there’s No BPA, phthalates, lead, vinyl, or PVC. The containers are also safe for the dishwasher, freezer, and microwave, and the cooler bags, which have room for a container, ice block, water bottle, thermos and more, are machine washable.

Lunch Notes ( – $6.95
Surprise your child with a lunchtime delight by enriching their emotional wellness with a thoughtful personal note and affirmation. Your child will be surprised to receive a serving of love and encouragement thanks to Hallmark’s bite-sized Lunch Notes. The unexpected “I love you” or “good luck” will let your child know that you’re by their side even when they are on their own at school. Each package contains 50 tear-off notes that not only work well in a lunch box, but you can also use them in a backpack, under a pillow, or on their mirror.

PrintArtKids Personalized Notebooks ( – $29.95
How cool is it to have a custom notebook full of your own artwork and maybe even a favorite photo as the cover?  Thanks to PrintArtKids, kids can transform their art and favorite photos into a school notebook or even a travel/writing journal, diary, or sketch book.  PrintArtKids custom notebooks are 5.5 X 8.5 with metallic spiral binding. The covers are printed on FSC certified recycled cover stock and can showcase your kid’s “masterpiece” or favorite photo on the front with an optional caption on the back. Each notebook offers 50 sheets (100 pages) of FSC-certified, white recycled paper that comes with or without lines. Support your kids’ creativity plus support a MOM-founded, MOM-developed, MOM-inspired and MOM-operated small business. This MOM approves!

Text Bands ( – $14.95
Help your kids stay connected and express themselves in a fun, creative, and modern way. Hallmark Text Bands allow kids to send text messages up to 10 characters long, including letters, numbers, and symbols, from one wristband to another wristband simply by bumping fists or shaking hands. Text Bands are all about positive self-expression and friendship. To make sure that everything stays positive, moms will be happy to hear that it even comes with a filter to keep all texts age appropriate. Text Bands hold up to 24 messages before they are deleted as new ones are added. Kids will appreciate the many colors and designs to choose from!

Photo Credit: L.L. Bean

Deluxe Book Pack with 3M Scotchlite Reflective Material ( – $39.95
3M and LL. Bean are making it easier than ever to ensure your kid is the “brightest on the block” with the L.L. Bean Deluxe Book Pack that brilliantly incorporates 3M Scotchlite Reflective Material. Bright colors are not always enough to help your child to be seen by oncoming traffic in low light situations; the use of reflective materials helps your child be seen and potentially provides them with a way to stay safe if they are walking to school or home. The Scotchlite reflective material is designed specifically to illuminate in the path of headlights. Combined with the high-quality reputation built by L.L. Bean over the last 25 years in terms of durable, well-constructed backpacks, this Deluxe Book Pack is a no-brainer and gets high marks from parents and kids, alike.

Hook UM! ( – $6.99-$7.99
Hook UM!s are designed with patented suction technology so they stick to any non-porous surface and can be stuck and re-stuck as many times as kids would like. Hook UM!s come in various shapes, designs, and colors and each supports up to ten pounds. These are great for every type of room – from your bedroom to the dorm room – because they mean no more hammering or drilling to hang up pictures or other items only to have to then refill in the hole in the wall once you need to remove the hardware. They are also perfect for the inside of a locker. What’s more, these hooks are eco-friendly and do not leave any residue on walls. Hook UM!’s are simple, versatile and oh-so-helpful hanging solution.

DaVinci Stylus ( — $24.95
Managing digital data has gotten a lot easier thanks to The Joy Factory’s DaVinci Hi-Definition Stylus. Designed to maximize usage of today’s touch screen devices, including the iPad, iPhone, XOOM, Galaxy, Kindle Fire and NOOKColor, the DaVinci Stylus Pen has a pressure-sensitive tip that makes it easy to emulate the experience of using a stencil or drawing tool. That makes it easy to edit documents, highlight text in a digital format by using applications like Penultimate for note taking, and sketch pictures with Autodesk SketchBook Mobile. The stylus even comes in colors that students will think are cool, such as metallic silver, dark purple, and charcoal.

Monet Stylus ( – $24.95
With an 8mm tip and the balanced weight design of a pen, The Joy Factory’s pressure-sensitive Monet Stylus mimics the touch of a fine drawing instrument, such as a paintbrush or marker, to make it easier to illustrate your digital document or create sketches on the fly. Leveraging the balanced weight design, the Monet stylus can also be tilted and used at just about any angle with less pressure to support digital shading and sketching applications. Each pen also features embedded magnets that easily adhere to Apple’s Smart Cover and to popular automatic Wake/Sleep-enabled cases for quick storage. The Monet Stylus also comes in trendy colors, including metallic green, pink, and charcoal.

Ultra-Slim Bluetooth Keyboard ( – $54.99
For mobile communication device devotees on-the-go, Verbatim’s Ultra-Slim Bluetooth Keyboard offers a stylish, thin design for the utmost in mobility. Designed to work with your iPad, iPad 2, and iPhone, along with other Bluetooth-enabled electronics (with HID keyboard support), this keyboard features an ultra-compact design that readily fits into the included carrying case for exceptional portability and easy storage. The keyboard has easy-to-use smart keys that allow you to cut, copy, paste and undo while additional controls handle music, power off, and device locking. This keyboard also eliminates the need to constantly change the battery because it has a built-in rechargeable power source.

Teensavers Home Drug Test Kit ( – $ 16-$40
The statistics are scary: 4,000 kids try drugs for the first time every day, and 2,500 of them abuse prescription drugs. Rather than wondering or feeling suspicious if your kids are part of this statistic, concerned parents can utilize the latest generation of home drug testing products. The Teensavers Home Drug Test Kit is a total solution for families, offering a parental guide and free 24/7 support along with the test. The kit starts working once you bring it home. This kit not only detects experimentation before it becomes addiction, but it is also an excellent way to deter poor choices and empower your kids to stand up to peer pressure and just say “no!” There are five different tests available that detect 1,3,5,7 or 12 types of drugs.

***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s)
detailed above were provided at no cost and/or sponsored to accommodate this review, but all opinions
expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any
way as per the disclosure policy on our “Legal” page***


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