The Best Back to School Supplies For Another Uncertain Year

Back before the Delta variant blew through much of this country, most school districts were fairly confident that kids would be back in person. But as battles over mask mandates heat up, and virus cases among unvaccinated kids rise, nothing is certain. To say the least. But in some form or other, schools will be open. And that means kids still need back to school supplies. These are the best back to school supplies for yet another dicey year.

Parents should be prepared for inevitable school closures, which means you need supplies on hand at home for remote learning. We're big fans of Apple's keyboard, which pairs automatically with Mac devices and has gives kids a comfortable and precise typing experience.

Kids don't need the fanciest iPad. And this Air is durable, smart, and easy for them to manage. It has two cameras, stereo audio, and a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display with True Tone and P3 wide color.

Kids need to stay hydrated. We're fans of this water bottle because it's relatively lightweight, it's dishwasher safe with a slip-free powder coating that won't sweat, and best of all, the screw-top lid doesn't leak.

Maybe you need the bib. Maybe you don't. We're big fans of this silicone bento set because it's one the only ones we found that kids can manage on their own. There's no spillage. Everything is easy to clean. And nothing gets stuck or trapped in weird crevices.

Easy on the eyes and easy to clean (you just wipe down the interior and exterior), this lunch bag has an open mouth front double zipper pocket for silverware or granola bars, and a main compartment that snaps and Velcros shut to keep things cold.

If your kids would rather 'write' on actual 'paper': This 42 page smart notebook is endlessly reusable and lets kids send their notes to Google drive, Dropbox, Evernote, box, OneNote, Slack, iCloud, or their email. Which means that whole 'dog at my homework' excuse won't ever work again.

Washing hands is still important, but if there's no soap and water on hand, this is a handy solution. This handy clip-on hand sanitizer is made with 65 percent alcohol, and you get roughly 300 sprays per bottle. They are refillable and attach to backpacks.

Why this backpack? It's one of the few that's this well-made while still being machine washable. And you'll want to wash it aplenty. It has water bottle pockets, a zippered main compartment, zippered and padded laptop/tablet compartment, zippered front folder pocket, zippered side-access front pocket and soft-lined top accessory pocket for phones.

Listen, if you're the parent who's always erring on the side of caution, we feel you. And if you need an air purifier when you drop your kids off at school, or pick them back up, this is the one for you. Weighing just about as much as a football, this ultra-portable air purifier is what you want to take with. The battery works up to eight hours on a single charge, and the purifier itself filters out 99 percent of 0.3-micron ultra-fine dust particles.

If you haven't yet sorted our your wifi situation, our apologies. Best get on that. Netgear's Orbi system is what you need. Why? You get a mind-blowing 6Gbps of consistent WiFi speed, covering up to 5,000 square feet of your home. Which means you can have 100 devices (not a typo) being on Zoom, downloading homework, or even gaming. And yes, you can stop parental controls to filter out any inappropriate content.

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