by Heather Paper
A friend of mine, a third-grade teacher, was recently lamenting that school will be starting in just a few days. Call me crazy, but I’m just a little bit envious. Each year at this time, I watch moms and kids storm the stores to stock up on fresh school supplies. And I find myself looking for a reason to do the same. There’s just something appealing about freshly sharpened pencils and brand spanking new notebooks, not to mention the intoxicating smell of a new box of crayons. But if I were returning to those hallowed halls, I’d deviate just a bit from conventional supplies. I’d kick things up a notch, opting instead for this too-cool-for-school stuff:
These crayons from Spoon Sisters rock! And there’s a method behind their madness. The shape is designed to help develop fine motor skills; using them strengthens the tripod grip muscles, preparing tiny fingers and hands for handwriting. Why do I think Fred Flintstone would’ve loved ‘em?
And why settle for a yellow No. 2 pencil when you can use a Fuzzy Wuzzy, also from Spoon Sisters? They come in a rainbow of colors and their furry “skin” will flat out make you giggle. In fact, the only downside I can see is that the age-old rhyme would inevitably become an earworm: “Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair….”
The design diva in me can’t resist these hand-bound journals from Twine. Covered in vintage wallpaper, they’re not only eye candy but—thanks to the recycled aspect—they’re eco-friendly, too!
As a writer, I wouldn’t be caught dead without my dictionary. But now Twine offers a pictorial version, too! This 500-page gem of a book features 1,500 engravings originally from the pages of 19th-century Webster’s dictionaries, covering everything from acorns to zebras—a treasure trove for all lovers of visual imagery.
Call me old school, but I love chalkboards. And this one from Romp goes the extra mile by providing examples of perfect penmanship, whether you’re tackling your ABCs or your 1-2-3s. Perhaps the ideal gift for a doctor? When it comes to writing ‘scripts, can’t hurt, might help.
Last but not least, the right lunch box—or bag—can make any meal more appetizing. My vote is for this reusable lunch sack from Romp. Not only is it appealingly simple, it’s also machine washable and has a snap-in liner. And just in case you’re concerned that someone might swipe your PB&J, there’s even a place inside to put your ID:
I think any or all of these things make school a blast—as long as I wouldn’t have to face a room full of third-graders. There’s a reason my mother didn’t name me “Patience.”
Heather Paper is a freelance writer/editor who specializes in all subjects design-related. A contributing writer for Miscelaney, she’s a dog-lovin’, wine-slurpin’ resident of Atlanta who considers Seattle her second home.