What will kids be clamoring for as they head back to class this fall?
This year, kids will find cool gear that looks great and is functional, and they will find toys that will expand their minds, and peak their curiosity," said Laurie Schact, co-publisher of The Toy Insider, a consumer guide for parents.
Follow our guide to the latest gadgets, snacks, supplies and good ole fun stuff to get ahead of the trends.
This little pencil takes reusability to the next level. After you're done writing with this cedar, clay and graphite pencil, stick it in a bit of potting soil and grow something. Available in 12 herbs and flowers, the pencil's water-soluble seed container is designed to germinate quickly, and can be grown indoors or out. $17.95 to $35.90 at sproutworld.com
Are your kids emoji lovers? Check out Stride Rite's new Emoji Phibians. They're a hybrid sneaker/sandal. They've got soles like a sneaker and are closed-toed, but they are breathable and made with quick-dry materials. They can be worn without socks and they can get wet, and as it gets colder out they can be worn with socks like a sneaker. Available in little kid sizes 4-10 and big-kid sizes 11-5. $30 at striderite.com
#Creative Vibes Pencil Set
The new #Creative Vibes Pencil set from Sunny Marshmallow, a Melville-based company, changes color from the heat of your child's hands. The pencils feature positive sayings, such as #sunnyvibes, #strongvibes and more. The set comes with five color changing No. 2 pencils; $5.99 at sunnymarshmallow.com.
Wonder Woman mousepad
This years Wonder Woman superhero movie was a hit at the box office - and girls may channel their inner superheroine every time they sit at their desktop computer using this Wonder Woman mousepad from Ata-Boy. $6.50 at amazon.com
Mojicon Blingy Pom Pom Key Chains
Pom poms on a key chain make it easy to find amid all the other clutter in kids backpacks. These Mojicon Blingy Pom Pom Key Chains from Long Island-based Top Trenz are $9 each at area stores.
ZipIt Grillz Pencil Case
Friendly monsters are popping up on pencils, backpacks and pouches. The ZIPIT Grillz Pencil Case, for instance, is a playful pouch with bright eyes and shiny teeth. $7.99 at amazon.com
Cat Screen Cleaner Mitten
This soft screen cleaner will remove fingerprints, dirt and more from all your devices. For every Yoobi item purchased, Yoobi will donate an item to a U.S. classroom in need; $1.99 at yoobi.com.
Shark Bite Pouch
This 100 percent cotton zippered pouch fits markers, colored pencils, pens, crayons and more for your budding artist; $44 at uncommongoods.com.
Peace, Love & Pins Set
Classic pin jewelry is back, with a modern spin. The set comes with safety pins in assorted sizes, seed beads in a variety of colors, novelty beads, a charm, elastic and directions. Attach them to backpacks, lunchboxes, sneakers and more; $14.99 at sunnymarshmallow.com.
Need to label your kids school supplies? The new P-touch Cube is wireless and Bluetooth-enabled. Download the free P-touch Design & Print app to an Apple or Android device, then choose from a wide selection of label templates or design and save your own labels using 450 symbols and a variety of fonts. The P-touch Cube works with Brother P-touch TZe durable, laminated tapes. $59.99 includes label maker and AC Adapter at ptouch.com/cube-label-maker
Holographic pencils, totes, coin purses and more are on-trend this year, and Yoobi offers all those and this mini-backpack as well. Clip it onto a bigger backpack for some extra flair or keep it in a purse to hold keys, ID cards, coins or school supplies. For every Yoobi item purchased, a Yoobi item will be donated to a classroom in need in the United States. $ 3.99 at Target, target.com and yoobi.com
Ban.Do Compliment Pencil Set
Bullying is out and kindness is in. Kids can be kind to themselves and others with these inspirational No. 2 pencils. Theyve got sayings including: You are so smart, Yes, you totally can and You make it rain rainbows. The Ban.Do Compliment Pencil Set includes 10 pencils for $12.90 at boxlunch.com
Mayka Toy Block Tape
Kids can decorate notebooks, pencil cases, lunchboxes and more with the Mayka Toy Block Tape. The toy construction brick tape features a bendable, flexible surface that is compatible with LEGO toys and other construction brands. The other side has a re-usable adhesive backing to stick on objects, around corners and on curved surfaces to create 3D creations. Available in small, medium and large; prices start at $6.99 at maykaworld.com.
Elmer's Disappearing Purple Liquid School Glue
Here's a new twist on an old standby: Elmer's Disappearing Purple Liquid School Glue is, well, purple. It goes on purple but dries clear, so kids know exactly where they're gluing and when it's dry. Available at retailers such as Target, Wal-Mart and Amazon. Five-ounce size retails between $0.99 and $3.99.
Do your kids rifle through their drawers looking for outfits, creating a mess every day? Tidy Snap was invented by parents to give kids a fun way to fold their own clothes and keep their drawers neat and organized. Kids use the system to quickly roll their clothes and keep them rolled up when in their drawers. Check out the how-to video at tidysnap.com, where a kit that includes one tidy board, one tidy rod and 25 tidy bands is $39.99.
KIDBOX delivers clothing that is curated to your child's likes and dislikes. In each box, you'll receive six or seven items from designers such as Adidas, Diesel, 7 for All Mankind, DKNY, Jessica Simpson and more. Clothing may include tops, pants, shorts, dresses, sweaters, shirts and hoodies; $98 at kidbox.com.
Flamingo Binder Clips
This set includes four binder clips and eight paper clips. Choose from flamingos or bears; $2 at Staples stores.
Cat & Jack Ice Packs
The Cat & Jack ice packs are a fun way to keep lunches fresh. Choose from a pretzel, taco and more; $3.99 each at Target.
This customizable social journal features more than 55 questions to choose from, 24 secret identity stickers and more for friends to share; $12.99 at sunnymarshmallow.com.
Post-it Emoji Notes
Express how you're feeling with emoji faces Post-it notes; $2.99 at post-it.com.
Magic Rainbow Sequins
Reversible sequins - swipe them and they turn from rainbow to silver and back again - are a new trend. They're on backpacks, lunchboxes, pencil cases and more at area retailers and online. This Magic Rainbow Sequins lunchbox is available for $17.49 at fashionangels.com.
Macaroon and Donut Eraser Jars
These mason jars are filled with 12 colorful erasers. Choose either a macaroon or donut shape; $4 each at Staples stores.
Nail Polish Highlighters
Highlighters have become an art form: These study aids are now shaped like a bottle of nail polish, popsicles and more. $3 for a set of three at Staples.
Back to school also means back to carpooling. The Grab-and-Go Booster from mifold makes it easy to transport older kids safely -- instead of lifting the child up, it brings the seatbelt down. The booster folds up for easy storage and transporting. Made for ages 4 and older; available for $39.99 each at Buy Buy Baby.
Silly Scents Washable Markers
These washable markers come in sweet-smelling scents such as strawberry, cotton candy, root beer, green apple, grape, fruit punch, coconut and more; $4.99 and up at crayola.com.
Pop-Up Bear Dispenser
Keep Post-It notes in this adorable bear dispenser; $9.99 at post-it.com.
Girls will be clamoring for V-neck shirts that lace up the front, retailers predict. This one retails for $43.50 a Denny's in Plainview.
Wee Blessing sends a customized box tailored to your child's taste, age, budget and lifestyle, for newborns and kids up to age 14. The package contains four outfits from brands such as Disney, Polo, Nike, Sperry and more. Keep what you like and return what you don't for free, pricing depends on the outfits you choose at weeblessing.com.
Composition books are a traditional requirement in elementary school -- but now the black-and-white designs go beyond just a marble pattern. These 100-page, wide-ruled books have black-and-white hearts, swirls, geometric patterns or flowers. $2 each at Staples
"Roar & Sparkle Go to School"
Kids just starting kindergarten? Are they a little nervous? Stony Brook author Sarah Beth Durst has written her first children's book, "Roar & Sparkles Go to School" (Running Press), about a little dinosaur named Roar who is worried about his first day of school. His big sister, Sparkles, helps him overcome the jitters. "It's such a pivotal time in your life," Durst says of beginning the school years. $16.99 where books are sold
College students who share a bathroom may appreciate this personal, lockable shower locker to hold shampoo, soap and other items on the wall. The Shlocker -- combining the words shower and locker in one -- comes with two commercial-grade suction cups that adhere to tile or glass. Invented by a Bridgehampton couple. Comes in grey, white, blue, pink or green. $39.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond, amazon.com, shlocker.com
Add the collectible line of hair pin accessories to a buns, braids, ponytails and more. Each Buntopper characters has her own distinct features, for example, Alex the Rockstar, Ellie the Cook, Lily the Soccer Player, Reece the Bookworm, Violet the Ballet Dancer and more; $9 each at buntoppers.com.
Star patterns on clothing
Stars are the hottest pattern for girls, according to multiple retailers. They're appearing on shirts, on backpacks and more. Pictured is a top that sells for $48 at Lester's in Greenvale
Divoga Scented Notebooks
Scented notebooks? Yes! Try these lovelies -- Divoga Scented Composition Books and Divoga Scented Notebooks; $3 each at Office Depot.
iPops are designed to fit perfectly into a FitBit and Apple Watch wristband. Choose from more than 130 charms to give your gadgets a shiny new makeover; prices range from $6.99 to $14.99 at myipops.com.
Inspired by waffles, this notebook is bound by a removable silicone cover that you can build on. The set comes with various lettered and Emoji cubes, so kids can create their own designs; prices start at $10.50 at waffstore.myshopify.com.
Emojis continue to be hot -- and girls will sport them wherever they can, including their fingernails. Nailmoji polish, by Forsythe Cosmetic Group based in Freeport as part of their Color Club brand, offers tiny emoji lips, smiley faces, hearts and even the comical poop. Wear them alone or over a black or white polish; $8.50 at colorclub.com or area specialty stores.
Patches are a new fad for kids who want to customize jeans, sneakers, backpacks, phone cases and more with the peel-and-stick items. Some clothing comes with images of patches already on them. Pictured are hipstapatches, developed last year by a 17-year-old girl from South Florida, in such images as a doughnut, an ice cream cone, a slice of pizza, a skull and more; $5 each at hipstapatch.com or area specialty stores. For more bling, there's StickerBeans, about $4 each at stickerbeans.com or at Lester's Denny's and other area stores.
Duck Tape Transparent Tints
Label school supplies, water bottles and more with new translucent Duck Tape Transparent Tints. The tape comes in aqua, fuchsia and lime, and can be used to create items such as tablet and pencil cases. The suggest retail price for the 1.88-inch-by-10-yard rolls is $4 to $6, Find store locations at duckbrand.com.
Snack in the Box
This dual-chambered snack container features two separate compartments with pop-up lids for easy access. It's leak-proof, spill-proof and dishwasher safe. The Drink in the Box comes in a new size and is reusable, made from Tritan. It's BPA and Phthalate-free; $9.99 for snack box, $7.99 (8 oz.) and $11.99 (12 oz.) drink box at drinkinthebox.com.
Whiffer Sniffer Backpack Clips
The collectible Whiffer Sniffer Backpack Clips come in a variety of characters and scents, including Tangerina Ballerina, Tony Pepperoni (pizza), Adam Apple, Bitsy Berry, I.B. Poppin (popcorn), Milton Melon (watermelon) and many more. $8 at whifferniffers.com