— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.
Backpack? Check. Lunchbox? Check. You have all the new school supplies checked off your back-to-school shopping list, and you even have that “First Day of School” sign filled out, but have you thought beyond the backpack to gifting your elementary school student a fun fidget toy, comforting plushie or one of our best scooters to get them excited for the new school year? We here at Reviewed certainly have!
Get deals and shopping advice delivered straight to your phone. Sign up for text message alerts from the experts at Reviewed.
If your child has been sleeping in and eating ice cream all summer, they probably don’t have much interest in hopping off the couch and into the classroom, so there’s nothing like a little gift—or, let’s be honest, a bribe—to give them a little boost of motivation. We love showing our teachers how much we appreciate them with a thoughtful present, now here are 15 back-to-school gift ideas for kids including our favorite kids tablet, a sweet treat and even a smartwatch made just for kids.
1. For the kid who’s earned some screen time: Amazon Fire tablet
After homework has been completed, score extra credit with your kid by gifting them the best tablet for kids we tested. We love how the Amazon Fire HD is stocked with easily accessible, ad-free and most importantly, fun content! One year of Amazon Kids+ is included with each tablet, providing access to more than 20,000 games, apps, videos and books, in addition to videos from Disney, PBS Kids and more. For parents who are concerned about screen time, the parental controls allow you to limit the amount of time spent on the device.
2. For the kid who can’t sit still: Fidget toys
Mini poppers, squishy toys, spinners and more—you can never have too many fidget toys (in the mind of your child, anyway). This set is one of the best sensory toys we reviewed and comes packed with a variety of 50 fidget toys to keep kids engaged or stave off anxiety or boredom at any time throughout the day. They’re also great for travel and a fun way for younger kids to stay focused long enough for you to make them their next snack.
3. For the kid who helps in the kitchen: Raddish Kids Baking Club membership
Going back to school means going back to after-school snacks! Kids who love helping out in the kitchen will love a Raddish Baking Club membership. As a member, a new baking kit is delivered to your doorstep every month. Each kit includes two recipe guides, a kitchen tool, an apron patch plus a fun baking embellishment like sprinkles, cake toppers or candy. It’s worth noting the rest of the ingredients will need to be purchased separately, but a handy shopping list is provided. If your kid prefers cooking up something savory, we also tried a dinner kit from the Cooking Club and found the quality to be outstanding.
4. For the kid who likes staying on task: T-Mobile kids smartwatch
Are your kids constantly asking what time it is? If so, gift them our favorite smartwatch made specifically for kids to help them manage time and have fun. The T-Mobile SyncUp Kids Watch puts the “fun” in functional with so many fantastic features both kids and parents want in a watch. For parents, you are prompted to set up approved contacts to limit outside communication, you can assign daily tasks and there’s a built-in GPS so you won’t accidentally lose your kid at the mall (again). For kids, they can tell time, play games and text (approved) friends. Talk about a win-win!
5. For the kid with a short commute to school: Jetson scooter
If your student lives near their school and usually walks, a new scooter might be just the motivation they need to get out the door on time. The Jetson Jupiter Scooter with LED Lights is the best two-wheel scooter we tested. It’s a classic metal scooter but even better because it’s adorned with 100 LED lights on the body and wheels so your little one who loves being the center of attention can pull up to school in style.
6. For the stylish kid: A new wardrobe from Dopple
If you have kid who’s into fashion, there’s nothing more enticing about going back to school than getting new clothes, am I right? Gifting a clothing subscription from Dopple takes that to the next level, delivering a box full of brand new, seasonally-appropriate clothes once every three months. The clothes are chosen based on a style quiz that finds out about sizes, preferred brands, budget and more. Our Parenting Editor loved it for her kids, and the mini fashionista in your life will, too.
7. For the kid who thrives on routine: Wonderbly personalized book
Bring back the school night bedtime routine with a book where your child is the main character! (Sound familiar?) Kids who thrive on that nightly ritual will be thrilled to see their name in print and realize they are the stars of their own stories in these inspiring, personalized books from Wonderbly. If you have a young one who is struggling a bit with reading, these books may be just what they need to spark a little more interest.
8. For the budding artist: Art supply kit
You bought them the mega pack of #2 pencils for the classroom, but if your budding artist comes home and prefers some color, this complete drawing kit might be just right for them. The 72-piece set includes 12 of each type of these pencils: graphite, charcoal, watercolor, colored and metallic. A 100-sheet sketchbook is also included, which is always a bonus, especially if you have a kid like mine who is constantly sketching their favorite video game characters!
9. For the kid who loves stuffed animals: A popular Squishmallow plushie
When kids come home from a long day at school, sometimes they just need a hug from a loved one—and sometimes they might just want to snuggle up to one of those TikTok-famous Squishmallows. We have to admit they are so satisfyingly squishy, cute and come in so many different adorable characters, so you’re sure to find one perfect for your kiddo.
10. For the kid who loves to read: Reading nook tent
For a kid who loves to read, their own cozy corner to curl up in and open a book would make them so happy. A Kids Teepee Tent makes the perfect personal space to do just that. Made of natural cotton canvas and solid pine poles, the tent not only makes a great space to read, but with a padded mat and a string of whimsical fairy lights also included, play time and nap time just got a nice upgrade, too.
11. For the kid who is into tech: Osmo coding game
If you have a future Steve Jobs on your hands, keep encouraging your little genius with Osmo’s Coding Starter Kit. This is a hands-on game where kids interact with physical blocks and an iPad (not included) to control the main character, Awbie, on a fun adventure. Players will learn coding fundamentals, programming basics, creative problem solving and even music creation.
12. For the kid who appreciates custom gifts: Pottery Barn Kids school supplies
School supplies are essential, but they also make a great gift when they are cute and customizable. Pottery Barn Kids has mastered this space with pencil cases and homework folders in dozens of patterns for kids to choose from. From Star Wars to unicorns to even glow-in-the-dark styles, there is something with any type of kids name on it—literally.
13. For the introverted kid: Inspiring stories for kids
For a child who tends to get butterflies before the first day of school, listening to the inspiring stories behind the likes of Michael Phelps and Serena Williams could be helpful. Perfectly Imperfect Stories is an inspirational book that celebrates 28 famous folks from the world of sports, entertainment and more who overcame mental health challenges. It’s an easy read accompanied by colorful illustrations that aims to help any young person who might feel sad, angry or anxious to know they’re not alone.
14. For the kid with a sweet tooth: Cheryl’s Cookies
Make the first day of school a big ol’ celebration with fun and yummy Back to School Artisan Iced Cookies from Cheryl’s Cookies. The hand-decorated butter cookies come in a set of five or eight, and in an assortment of school-themed shapes like pencils, apples and school books. As many of us parents know all too well, when all else fails, bribe them with sugar.
We’ve tested Cheryl’s Cookies and particularly loved them for their melt-in-your-mouth buttercream and creative packaging.
15. For the kid who likes sleeping in: LittleHippo alarm clock
Getting up early for school might not be fun, but a cute alarm clock can help. The LittleHippo Mella is the best alarm clock for kids we tested for its variety of useful functions. The clock is designed with a sweet little face and, of course, works as a traditional alarm clock for kids who otherwise like to sleep in late. For those early risers in the family, it also has an “OK to wake” feature in addition to a button for white noise and a built-in night light.
There’s a lot more where this came from. Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get all our reviews, expert advice, deals and more.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.