7 Delightful Back-To-School Gadgets for Kids (and kids at heart)

The Back-to-School crush is in full swing! Last minute supplies are being assembled and the kiddos are looking smart in their new backpacks. Remember that feeling of optimism you had with a brand new notepad and pencil pouch? Some of us were lucky enough to get Trapper Keepers, others had to trick out their Pee Chees as best they could. Kids these days of course have a much more digital connection to their school, homework, and friends. But life isn’t all about staring at a phone; a blend of analog and digital makes for a richer life. With that in mind, here are seven of our favorite things for kids going back to school.

Livescribe Smartpen 3


Taking the chore out of taking notes is what the Livescribe Smartpen 3 does best! Used with a special type of paper (available in packs or print for free with a laser printer), the Smartpen translates your handwriting into digital information that is then uploaded to your Bluetooth-enabled device. From there, sky’s the limit on how you can manipulate the data. Cost: $149.99

Stainless Steel Water Bottle


Staying hydrated is key to optimal school performance, and keeping those plastic water bottles out of the landfill is just as important. Accomplish both goals with this Kleen Kanteen Stainless Steel water bottle! BPA-free and will not retain odors or tastes. Get one of these easy-to-clean money-savers and keep the brain watered for sharp performance! Available in 18oz, 27oz, and 40oz sizes. Cost: starting at $18.95

JamStik


Super-portable and at the ready in a heartbeat, the Jamstik will turn you into a guitar player in no time! Productively fill those minutes between classes or waiting for rides with this Guitar Hero inspired learning tool. Using Bluetooth tech, your mobile device becomes the teacher and amplifier. No tuning required and uses real metal strings. Cost: $199.99

On-The-Go Game Pad


Younger tots don’t need digital gizmos to have a good time. Enter the On-The-Go Game Pad! Filled with classic games that require only a pencil, the Game Pad is an affordable pass-time that will entertain young and old alike. Cost: $8.95

FiLip


For elementary school kids, getting them their own cell phone usually isn’t worth the cost. The phones are easily lost and there’s functionality that no kid requires. Still it would be nice for the kids to have some form of communication. The FiLip looks to bridge that gap by offering a solution Dick Tracy would adore. Not quite a smart phone, the FiLip can make and receive phone calls from pre-assigned contacts, and receive texts. And if little Jane/Johnny gets lost, there’s a GPS locator function that allows you to see where they are right on your mobile device. Available in a variety of colors. Cost: $149.99 plus AT&T exclusive activation ($10/mo with unlimited voice + data)

Kitchen Safe


We LOVE the Kitchen Safe! Troll your kids with it, control your cravings with it, the Kitchen Safe helps those of us with less than heroic self restraint. Very simple and easy to use, you put something in the safe, turn the knob to set the time, and then press the knob to activate. There’s a failsafe feature, it’s made from BPA-free plastics, and food safe. We enjoy the Kitchen Safe a lot, and think you will, too! Cost: $48.95

BB-8 Droid


We’re sort of cheating by including this little guy, they won’t be for sale yet until later this year. That’s not going to stop us from spreading the word though! Based on the BB-8 droid (already famous from the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailers), this app-enabled “toy” employs some cutting-edge attributes that makes it right at home in the future: Bluetooth tech to connect to your mobile device, inductive (wireless) charging, gyroscopic propulsion, and a 60-minute run time. Cost: TBD

Useful Tools for Outdoor Dining

Outdoor_diningSummer nights beg to be enjoyed outside. What better way to spend a warm evening than dining by sunset? We’ve gathered a list of useful tools to help you make the most of your outdoor dining this summer!


Clean Flip BBQ Trayclean-flip-bbq-tray

Whether you’re grilling or not, this handy carrying tray makes transporting food (cooked or uncooked) a breeze! The Clean Flip BBQ Tray is a dual-sided grilling tray that prevents contamination. One side holds the uncooked meat that you’re carrying to the grill, and with a simple flip, you have a safe surface for your delicious dinner. Lightweight and durable, this BBQ tray is a must-have for your outdoor dinner table.


Fairy Berries 

fairy-berriesAdd elegance and ambiance to any outdoor gathering with these whimsical Fairy Berries! Sprinkle them throughout your garden, hide them in the trees, or even watch them float in a votive. Fairy Berries are .75 inches in diameter so they are the perfect size to add light without getting in the way! These little LED lights glow and fade to create a twinkling effect and add magic to your outdoor dinners.


Stainless Steel Wine Glasses 

stainless-steel-wine-glassesThese stainless steel wine glasses provide durability and functionality to your dinner parities, without being unattractive. Plenty of outdoor drinkware feels a little cheap and flimsy. Not the case with these handsome stainless steel glasses. Perfect for any outdoor dining, these glasses are incredibly durable. They won’t break if you drop them, of if they get knocked over. Provide your guests with a sturdy, elegant, and useful wine glass while they enjoy the evening.


Rugged Rukusrugged_rukus_black

Treat your guests to fine music and fine dining. The Eton Rugged Rukus is a bluetooth speaker that allows you to play your favorite music wirelessly. The solar panel on top allows you to charge it during the day and dance all night. If you exhaust the solar charge, not to worry. This portable stereo also has a USB port to charge through an outlet. Its durability is right in the name. Perfect for any outdoor party, the Rugged Rukus is a workhorse of a stereo just waiting to help host the party of the summer.


TV Dinner Traytv-dinner-tray-birdseye

To give your guests a laugh, serve them an elegant meal on this 50’s style TV-dinner tray! Durable and spill-resistant, this dinner tray is a fun way to carry food and drinks to your outdoor dining soiree! Screen printed with an image of a typical TV-dinner, our serving tray can only make your food seem even more appetizing than it already is. Both functional and fun, every party should have this dinner tray.


Hopefully you’ve found just the tool you need to host an epic summer get-together. Whether you’re gathering around the grill or an elegant garden, we have the tools you need to have the best dinner party on the block!