A notebook and pencil on a desk in a school classroom

When I was younger, my school would post class and school supplies lists on the door about a month before school started. I remember my friends and I begging our parents to take us up to the school so we could see which teacher we got and which of our friends were in the class with us.

After the initial surprise of finding out who my teacher would be and celebrating with friends who’d be in the class with me, I quickly started dreaming up what kind of school supplies I’d pick out.

Lisa Frank was my first choice when I was growing up, so clearly that would be on the list, along with feather-topped pens and neon erasers that fit on top of my pencils.

Nowadays, Lisa Frank doesn’t line the aisles of the office supplies section (although she totally should, if you ask me) and pens with the crazy, fuzzy tops have been switched out for pencils that quote lines from movies. Wondering what the trendiest school supplies will be for 2016? From grade school to high school, we have you covered.

Grade School Supplies

If you’re shopping for a student between first and sixth grade, this is the section for you.

Backpack

5 Cool Back-to-School Supplies From Grade School to High School - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

Image: PotteryBarnKids.com

Finding backpacks that are the right size for grade-schoolers can be difficult. I love Pottery Barn Kids for their range of sizes and styles. They even have a helpful sizing chart so you can find the right backpack based on your child’s height.

These backpacks come in a wide array of colors and patterns, and better yet – they’re customizable! You can add patches and your child’s name to a backpack to make it uniquely theirs.

Technology

5 Cool Back-to-School Supplies From Grade School to High School - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

Image: Amazon.com

This might be one of the coolest calculators in existence. It’s pretty basic as far as function goes; you won’t figure out tangent and cosine, but it’s perfect for a grade school student! It’s the Mustard Draw It Yourself Calculator.

This calculator looks like a blank sheet of paper when you first receive it, but with their template and a little creativity, your student can draw on it themselves and create a fun calculator they’ll be excited to use.

Writing Utensils

5 Cool Back-to-School Supplies From Grade School to High School - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

Image: ScentCoInc.com

These aren’t just your standard No. 2 pencils. No, these are scented No. 2 pencils. They’ll fit with most schools’ guidelines about what kind of pencils your students should get, and their colorful packaging adds a fun element. Food characters on each pencil match how they smell, and scents include root beer, apple, cola and even cupcakes!

Lunch Boxes

5 Cool Back-to-School Supplies From Grade School to High School - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

Image: Goodbyn.com

Bento boxes are a traditional packed meal in Japanesse culture and have become popular in other countries as well. A colorful bento box is the perfect choice for students to take to school, especially if they’re picky about their food touching. These boxes keep everything separated in their own compartments and save you money on those little plastic bags.

Not sure what to fill a box with or just want to get a little more creative with packed lunches? Pinterest has thousands of bento box ideas your kids are sure to love!

Organization

5 Cool Back-to-School Supplies From Grade School to High School - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

Image: CoolPencilCase.com

Your student is going to need a pencil case for those scented pencils and all their other odds and ends, so why not store them in something cute? Cool Pencil Case has thousands of options, but these Wonder Ear Animal Pencil Cases are my favorite! You can choose a bear, a lamb, a penguin or a critter – and they’re all so cute, you can’t go wrong.

High School Supplies

High school is the time to be cool, and a lot of the school supplies you’ve been toting around are more cute than trendy. But there are some awesome school supplies that any teenager will want to show off.

Backpack

5 Cool Back-to-School Supplies From Grade School to High School - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

Image: Asos.com

Black leather backpacks are trendy for men and women alike and will be perfect for any teenager looking for a stylish back-to-school look. They’re classic and edgy at the same time. Look for some with unique details like a fold-over top, gold hardware or tassels to make it unique.

Technology

5 Cool Back-to-School Supplies From Grade School to High School - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

Image: Amazon.com

High school means research papers and group projects, so a USB flash drive is always a good idea, and they don’t have to be bland or boring. You can find cute and even stylish USB drives like the gold one pictured above. Since metallics are a big trend in office supplies, finding a sleek gold or silver USB is pretty easy.

Writing Utensil

5 Cool Back-to-School Supplies From Grade School to High School - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

Image: etsy.com

I’m not sure when pencils became a way to express yourself, but I’m sure glad they did. Etsy has countless options for quote pencils that can be a fun way to show a little more personality. From movie quotes to compliments, you can get just about anything! Harry Potter fans? They have pencils for them. Love Mean Girls? They’ve got you covered.

Lunch Boxes

5 Cool Back-to-School Supplies From Grade School to High School - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

Image: Firebox.com

Lets face it, bringing a lunch box to high school isn’t the coolest, but it’s often the most economical. The Foodskin Flexable Lunchbox is a slim, unassuming way to bring a packed lunch. The top is made from an elastic silicone that molds around whatever you stuff it with. This keeps your food fresh and doesn’t smash it. It also saves you from having to bag individual items and lays flat when it’s empty, so it won’t take up much room in a backpack.

Organization

5 Cool Back-to-School Supplies From Grade School to High School - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

Image: Target.com

Flying back and forth between classes can leave your locker a mess. Luckily, stores have started selling magnetic storage options that will attach to the back of your locker and provide a little more organization. Toss any pens, pencils, highlighters or notes into one of these, and you won’t have to search before class starts. You’ll know right where your extra supplies are.

Which school supplies are on your list for the fall? Share in the comment section below!

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