What will kids be clamoring for as they head back to class this fall?
"This back-to-school season will be filled with collectibles that kids can purchase for themselves, and of course the 'surprise' element is stronger than ever," said Laurie Schacht, co-publisher of The Toy Insider, a consumer guide for parents. "Kids will find cool gear that looks great and is functional, and they will find toys that will expand their minds, and pique their curiosity."
Follow our guide to the latest gadgets, supplies and good ole fun stuff to get ahead of the trends.
Scratch-off Lunchbox Notes
These scratch-off notes help parents and kids stay connected during the school day. Before school, parents can write a message on the card's blank box, cover it with a scratch-off sticker and place the card along with a penny inside their child's lunchbox. Kids then use the penny to reveal the hidden message. Inking's Scratch-off Lunchbox Notes set comes with 24 cards and 24 stickers; $24 inklingspaperie.com.
Mini Scented Candy Twist Highlighters
These pencils can be customized with encouraging messages like "You're on point," your child's name or symbols like hearts, smiley faces, crowns and paw prints. A pack comes with 12 No. 2 pencils and you can choose the rainbow, silver, white or pastel color collection; $14.99; shutterfly.com.
Ombre Locker Kit
Take all the thought out of locker decorating with this all-inclusive kit. Paper Source's stylish set comes with one sheet of purple, blue and pink ombre wallpaper, a magnetic dry erase board, a mirror, a sparkly pencil pocket and four round magnets; $29.95; papersource.com.
Post-it State Notes
Students can show their New York pride with these state-shaped stickie notes; $2.99; post-it.com.
Flip & Reveal Sequin Dinosaur Tee
When kids run their hands across the neon green sequins in the shape of a dinosaur, they flip over to reveal a black and white dinosaur skeleton. The shirt is available in sizes 4-14; $10; www.oshkosh.com.
Kids can keep their favorite books on display between these two whimsical unicorn bookends; $59; potterybarnkids.com.
Making in the Moment Liquid Galaxy Journal
This journal's cover features a shimmery liquid with floating glitter and stars. Kids can touch the cover and move around the sparkles. On the inside, the journal's lined pages are ready to be filled with writing or drawings. The pages can also be customized with the journal's included stickers, scented gel pens, cut-out shapes and more. The 80-page journal comes with four art sheets, one puffy sticker sheet, six markers, five cut-out shapes, one metallic sticker sheet, two scented gel pens, one glue stick, two sticker rolls and two sticker sheets; $14.99; target.com.
This wearable toy is a great way to wish kids good luck before they go back to school. Each bracelet comes in a plastic fortune cookie that kids can split open to reveal their new piece of jewelry, and a fortune with an inspiring message. These collectible bracelets feature a special charm, such as pizza, a four-leaf clover, a starfish and more; $3.99 for a single pack and $11.99 for a 4-pack take-out box; luckyfortune.wowwee.com.
Kids can get rid of their mistakes with these multicolored llama erasers. The heads and bodies detach from one another to create different color combinations; $9.95; papersource.com.
FITspirations Mini Note Cards
Perfect for children's lunchboxes, gym bags or backpacks, parents can surprise their loved ones with these mini note cards that feature motivational phrases. There are lines on the back of each card to leave personalized messages, too. One box contains 24 cards; $6.95; livelifefit.com.
Acting as a stand or an extra grip for a cellphone, PopSockets new collection showcases designs like pink donuts and the solar system. These new PopSockets have 3D designs and are made from metal and colorful enamel; $15; popsockets.com.
Pokémon Plush Backpack Clips
Kids can attach these Pokémon key chains to their backpacks, lunchboxes and more. Choose from six different characters, such as Pikachu, Squirtle and Mew; $10.99; wickedcooltoys.com.
Designed for kids ages 5 to 9, this planner helps them stay organized while having fun. The planner features colorful calendars, sections like reading logs and 12 monthly goal-setting spreads, as well as tons of stickers. It comes with an interchangeable cover that says "My dreams are out of this world." It also comes with a 12 monthly sticker sheets and a resealable plastic pouch for storage; $28; www.erincondren.com.
Kids will dream about eating sweets from Dylan's Candy Bar when they use this notebook. It's covered in a picture of rainbow sprinkles and has 160 lined pages; $18; dylanscandybar.com.
These colorful pets serve two purposes: To store kids food during the school day, and a plush stuffed animal. Lunch Pets come in four styles: SnackyCat, Yumicorn, HungryPup and Munchosaur. Each has an insulated interior and comes with a tag to write kids' names on; $19.99; wickedcooltoys.com.
Vera Bradley Decorative Tape
These rolls of tape feature floral designs and can be used to customize the inside of lockers, notebooks, pens and pencils, or folders. Three rolls of tape are sold as a set; $10; verabradley.com.
Cuts and scrapes happen, especially on the playground. The 48 gentle, absorbent bandages come in a tin container 4 in three different patterns; $6.99; www.getwelly.com.
Squishy Scented Stickers
Decorate backpacks, lunchboxes, pencil cases, notebooks and folders with these cute, fruit-scented stickers. Each squishy sticker is sold separately and come in shapes like llamas, a game console, unicorns, sloths and more; $2.50; toptrenz.com.
These No. 2 pencils feature colorful patterns and glittery mermaid tail charms attatched at the top. Pencils come in pink, purple and green; $2 each; officedepot.com.
Kids Encouragement Cards
It's the small things that mean the most. These encouragement cards will brighten your child's day when they find a card in their pencil case, lunchbox or backpack. Each pack comes with six cards, each featuring a different picture and saying; $9.99; hallmark.com.
iTouch PlayZoom Smartwatch
Made specifically for kids, this smartwatch features a digital touchscreen, interchangeable bands in different designs such as green camouflage and rainbows, a built-in camera to take pictures and videos, as well as a voice recorder. The watch also comes with educational games that teach kids how to tell time, learn colors, animal names and more. Custom alarms can be set to remind them to do their homework or brush their teeth. For ages 4 and older; $49.99; itouchwearables.com.
Kids can stay organized with Shutterfly's two-pocket folders, which come in sports themes, animals and geometric prints, as well as cute sayings like "Dream big." All folders can be customized with your child's name and picture; $9.99 per folder; shutterfly.com.
Help your kids create moments of mindfulness throughout their hectic school day with this Happy Tracker notebook. The daily gratitude journal features 172 pages that prompt kids to write down something that made them happy that day, and also provides space to doodle or write down other thoughts. The journal also comes with three sheets of stickers for tracking mood, nutrition and physical activity; $12.95; livelifefit.com.
Ombre Initial Sleeved Water Bottle
Stay hydrated -- and stylish -- with this colorful ombre water bottle. It comes in a sleeve that can be purchased with a child's initial, and has a star keychain attached; $12.90; shopjustice.com.
Mabel's Labels Lunchbox Labels
These lunchbox peel-and-stick labels come in 15 designs, including whales, dragons, ice cream, Kello Kitty and more. The labels can be personalized with a child's name, as well. One pack of labels comes with nine large stickers; $21; mabelslabels.com.
Squishy Scented Backpack Clips
These squishy keychain clips have a sweet scent and can clip onto backpacks, lunchboxes and more. Kids can choose from different shapes and designs, such as puppies, doughnuts, pop tarts, cookies, baseballs, basketballs and more; $2.50; toptrenz.com.
Pomsie Poos' long tails can wrap around kids' backpacks, shoes or lunchboxes. The plush animals come in 12 different collectible characters, such as cats, dogs, pandas, foxes and koalas. Pomsie Poos also have a heart-shaped clasp that can be attached to clothing and accessories; $4.99; pomsies.com.
Toy Story Pencil Case
Go to infinity and beyond at school with this Toy Story-themed pencil case, which is shaped like a rocket and features pictures of space aliens along both sides of the zipper; $12.95; shopdisney.com.
Students can utilize this pastel, flexible 12-inch ruler when learning about shapes and measurement, or during art class. The ruler comes in mint green, light purple and pink; $2; staples.com.
Draper James Tote Bag
Stuff this tote with game day essentials during football season. It has enough space to store snacks and water bottles, a blanket and other items for players on the field and those watching in the stands; $30; draperjames.com.
This set of cooler packs keep kids' lunches cold and come in four varieties, each with a different animal and quote; $3; target.com.
Kate Spade Layered Notebook
This notebook has three different sizes of paper, so students can decide how much room they need to write down their notes during class; $14; lifeguardpress.com.
Puffer Cell Bag
This metallic, puffy bag has a larger inner pocket to hold a cellphone, a small pocket on the outside to keep cash or a school ID, and an adjustable strap that comes in rainbow, lightning bolt and camouflage patterms; $24; toptrenz.com.
Without the mess of traditional glitter, kids can add sparkle to their backpacks, key chains and notebooks with Crayola's Glitter Dots. To use, place the dots on surfaces like wood, plastic or fabric, and press the glitter inside the dot to spread it out. The glitter stays inside the dot and won't get on kids fingers; prices start at $4.99; crayola.com.
Lunch Box Letters
Need inspiration for writing your kids lunchbox letters? This book provides pages of sample letters and advice from the authors, as well as 100 customizeable tear-out notes; $9.95; fireflybooks.com.
Squishie Llama Glitter Journal
This bright pink glitter journal features 80 lined pages and a rainbow llama squishie on the cover; $14.95; papersource.com.
Squishy Squad Scented Pens
Each of these squishy pens have a sweet smell and are soft to the touch. The pens have caps, so no need to worry about ink leaking in kids pencil cases. The pens come shaped like sports balls, llamas, unicorns and more; $6; toptrenz.com.
Sliding Pencil Cases
Available in five fun patterns, these cases are made of durable plastic and can hold an assortment of writing utensils kids need in class; $2; staples.com.
Favor Pencil Case
These washable pencil cases are made from organic cotton and are big enough to hold pencils, pens and highlighters, as well as headphones or even a pair of glasses. Choose from three designs: cactus, grey stripes or paper airplanes; $15 each; infavorof.com.
S'nack by Swell
Instead of packing kids snacks in plastic bags, invest in this reusable container that keeps food hot for up to four hours or cold for up to five hours. The 10 oz. containers come in designs like cookies, gummy bears and watermelons; $19.99; swell.com.
Flat Mini Supply Kit
Perfect for kids who like to do homework on the go, or to keep on-hand at home, Yoobi's flat mini supply kit features eight items in a small case that's easy to store. The kit includes a pencil sharpener, scissors, stapler, staple remover, staples, tape dispenser, tape refill and hole puncher. The carrying case comes in different colors like neon blue and pink, or with cute sayings on the lid; $5.99; yoobi.com.
Notebook with Stickers
This notebook comes with two pages of stickers for kids to use as they write notes on the pages. There is a front pocket on the interior of the cover, so kids can keep track of loose sheets, too. The notebook comes in three unicorn animal designs: Caticorn, Dogicorn and Zebricorn; $4.99 each; officedepot.com.
Speak & Spell
The popular gadget from the '80s is making a comeback. With multiple play modes and challenge levels, kids can use this Speak & Spell educational toy to learn more than 200 commonly misspelled words. The toy uses a speech synthesizer, light-up screen and keyboard to make spelling entertaining; $24.99; available in August at basicfun.com.
Peach Dry Erase Board
Write reminders on this dry erase board shaped like a peach. It comes with a pack of three magnets to hang the board on a refrigerator and one dry erase marker; $20; urbanoutfitters.com.
Fiskars Kids Scissors
Featuring handles with designer patterns, these five-inch scissors are designed for kids ages 4 and older, and are available with a non-stick blunt or pointed tip. The scissors accommodate both right- and left-handed students, and come in floral patterns, geometric designs or bright colors; $5.50; fiskars.com.
Sequin Gold Tiger Pencil Case
This pouch is large enough to fit pens, pencils and other supplies, and it doesn't take up too much room in kids' backpacks; $6.99; target.com.
Sneaker Pencil Case
This roomy pencil case that looks like a high-top sneaker can store some school supplies while also making organization fun. The sneaker case comes in classic black and a funky design featuring rainbows, smiley faces and more; $6.99; yoobi.com.
Star Locker Decal Mirrors
These star decals function as fun decorations for the inside of a locker, and feature a unique mirror for students to check themselves out in between classes; $22.50; pbteen.com.
Spruce up the metal walls of a school or sports locker with tropical wallpaper. Four sheets of wallpaper are included, and each are magnetic, which makes for easy application. The magnetic wallpaper also comes in a pink tropical pattern; $9.99; target.com.
Take Note! Erasable Highlighters
Each highlighter has its own clear eraser tip on the opposite side of the ink. The set comes with six bright colors; $5.99; crayola.com.
Lilly Pulitzer Pencil Case
This bright pencil case has gold accents and can also be used for storing toiletries during overnight trips; $14; lillypulitzer.com.