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Kohl’s
Backpacks with skulls, moustaches and florals are available at Kohl’s.

New and cool for back-to-school

Target
Target’s metallic dot binders hit the unisex pattern trends head on.
Staples
Staples’ Lego Lunch box allows students to build a healthy lunch inside this classic toy design.
Staples
School supplies are lighting up with fiber-optic treatments. Staples’ Glo-Lite collection features staplers, rulers and dry-erase boards that light up when pushed.
Staples
Staples goes retro with Jansport and Puma backpacks in neon colors, as well as other school items such as binders, clipboards and pencil pouches.
www.mysweetmuffin.com
Space Robot Double Deck lunch bento box

There’s nothing that can put a damper on summer break quite like the words “back to school.”

Even worse is the realization that there is less than a month before school is back in session.

If there is a silver lining in this announcement, it is that a new school year also means back-to-school shopping. And for the student who loves the idea of a new backpack, notebooks, pencils and locker accessories, there are some great items to consider this year.

Backpacks

Vera Bradley’s backpack tote is a perfect way to combine work with play. The bag, which comes in colorful designs such as Tutti Frutti and Va Va Bloom, can be worn as a backpack while at school, or remove the backpack straps and turn it into a tote for after-class activities. The backpack can be found in local stores that carry Vera Bradley items or online at www.verabradley.com.

Kohl’s has backpacks for fall that aim to appeal to kids from elementary through high school.

“Backpacks are a fashionable and functional way for students to express their personality and show off their style,” said Sofia Wacksman, Kohl’s vice president for trends. “Bright colors and bold prints are a big trend this back-to-school season.”

Girls might like the colored leopard print, boho floral and fun graphic hearts patterns. Plaids, moustaches, leaf prints and skulls round out the range. (www.kohls.com)

Staples goes retro with Jansport and Puma backpacks in neon colors, as well as other school items such as binders, clipboards and pencil pouches in bold pinks, oranges, blues and lime green hues.

Lunch bags

The traditional Japanese bento-box lunch kit has found its way to our shores in a big way. Parents like that they’re reusable, and kids like that the little compartments neatly hold a variety of snacks.

Japanese maker Shinzi Katoh makes some of the best ones – space robot, forest, circus and Paddington Bear designs are featured on tiered, non-toxic boxes. They also make a clever lunchbox that unzips into a tidy placemat: Choose a cow, cat or dog design. (www.mysweetmuffin.com)

Staples’ Lego Lunch box allows students to build a healthy lunch by using this classic toy design.

Target has some cute lunch kits with cheetah or owl faces, and a colorful line of lunch sacks and snack and sandwich sleeves from Built NY that might mean sharesies with brown-bagging parents.

Rubbermaid ice packs in the shape of silly owls, dogs or monsters are whimsical ways to keep lunch cool. (www.target.com)

Work items

For the classroom, Target’s houndstooth, plaid and metallic dot binders hit the unisex pattern trends head on. Blinged-out scissors and staplers, and fun pencil cases shaped like flip-flops or printed in colorful lace patterns, have a girly vibe.

School supplies are lighting up with fiber-optic treatments. Staples’ Glo-Lite collection features staplers, rulers and dry-erase boards that light up when pushed.

Lockers

Students can make their locker feel like home with the Magnetic Motion Sensor Locker Chandelier at Staples. The chandelier has seven LEDs that will add a little light on the subject.

Make sure you stay looking good all day by adding Vera Bradley’s locker mirror, which includes a storage dish for compacts and lip glosses.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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