20 Back To School Ideas to Safely Get Back Into the 2020 Swing of Things

by The Texas Lifestyle Magazine team on August 18, 2020 in Gift Guides, Lifestyle, Home,
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As summer comes to an end, we can all agree that if there’s anything we’ve gotten used to, it’s the idea of getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. Back to school season is here and whether studying on campus or remotely, we’ve got great essential gift ideas to help students get back into the swing of things (safely) and make their studies easier and enjoyable.

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Lola Koala’s Travel Adventures Lift-the-Flap Board Book

Created by speech pathologist Dr. Tinita Kearney, “Lola Koala’s Travel Adventures: Who, What, Where & Yes/No Questions” is the first in a series designed to teach young children a specific language skill. This lift-the-flap book targets answering the ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’, and ‘yes/no’ questions, which increases your child’s vocabulary skills, curiosity for learning, ability to meet (and potentially exceed!) the expectations of school and other wonderful positive benefits. The book is about a loving koala, Lola, who loves traveling the world. Together with Lola, you and your little one can build language skills, learn about world cultures, and make reading and learning fun and interactive. Launching September 15, set your order reminder here. $14.99

Funkins Kids Secure-Fit Cloth Face Mask with Nose Bridge Wire

Featuring ladybugs, koalas, and ninjas (oh my!) these machine washable face masks make wearing a face covering seem less intimidating for little ones and bring positivity to this 2020 essential wardrobe staple. Made from exclusive soft and breathable Funkins fun cotton fabrics, the masks are secure and comfortable thanks to the use of soft cotton ear straps with rubber stoppers and a soft nose bridge wire that easily bends to fit small faces better. Coordinating adult sizes also available. $8

Mabel’s Labels

Mabel’s Labels are perfect for sticking on lunchboxes, notebooks, backpacks and really any item your kiddo needs to take to school. These peel-and-stick labels are waterproof and dishwasher and microwave safe (if you put one on a water bottle). Customize with your kid’s name and their favorite activities or designs. These labels are durable and adorable! $18.99/80 labels

Mindful Buddiez

With the pandemic and current events happening all over the world, kid mindfulness is especially important now more than ever. Created by a medical expert in neurology and a mother of two, Mindful Buddiez is the first and only self-guided, interactive collection of stuffed animals that introduces mindfulness to kids. Omi the Elephant serves as a friendly and cuddly reminder to stop, breathe, and reset. Simply place Omi on your belly as he guides you through a short mindful breathing exercise. With Omi’s help, children are taught to identify their emotions, process their thoughts, and develop a positive mindset through their practice. The goal is to teach kids independence with coping and resolution skills. From $34.99

OWC USB-C Travel Dock

With many students using distance learning alongside their working parents, reduce the number of devices and adapters you carry around while simultaneously expanding your connectivity options. The OWC USB-C Travel Dock is compatible with both USB Type-C and Thunderbolt 3 ports. This dock works with Mac, iOS, Windows, Android and Chrome systems using an USB Type-C cable. The dock can draw up to 100W power from an attached AC adapter, features 5 ports of connectivity and built-in cable storage, a power adapter pass-thru that allows charging during use, and an Integrated UHS- 11 SD card reader. This Travel Dock’s pocket-sized portability will come in handy when co-working at home. $54.99

CELSIUS Energy Drink

CELSIUS just launched a limited edition Peach Vibe flavor that will be all the rage for those early morning classes. Unlike traditional energy drinks, CELSIUS is a healthy energy drink with NO crash or jitters. This drink is clinically proven to accelerate metabolism, burn fat and calories, boost endurance, and help build lean body muscle. Keep these tasty drinks in the dorm when you need a pick-me-up. $27.99/12-pack

CLIF Coffee Collection Energy Bars

Perfect for any student needing that extra boost of energy, these bars were inspired by coffeehouse favorites and come in three delicious flavors: dark chocolate mocha, vanilla almond latte and caramel macchiato. Made with organic coffee beans from Colombia, each bar has 65mg of caffeine from real coffee (which is equivalent to a shot of espresso!) Clif Coffee bars are easy to have quick access to breakfast in the dorm or at home before the school day starts. $16.20/12-pack

Good Green Cleaner

For those going back to school in the fall, you’re gonna want to take extra sanitary precautions. And for those who are still working from home or attending school virtually, you’ll want to get those living quarters clean as they can be. Good Green Cleaner is an environmentally friendly, food-contact safe cleaner that poses no human health risks when in use. The products are bio-based, which basically means they are composed of renewable sources (like plants and organisms) found in nature. The bottles arrive empty, so just fill with water, twist on the recyclable “pod” to release cleaning agents, and let the cleaning spree begin. $12.99


Catstudio’s Collegiate Line

Catstudio creates some of the most beautiful collegiate gear around (not to mention their city throw pillows!) From decorative pillows to dish towels to glasses and thermal bottles, the Catstudio collegiate line is full of back to school items that will surely put your college student in their school spirit. A percentage of each purchase is donated back to each respective school – funding scholarships, student activities, or recreational programs. $17-$192

Simply Organic Bamboo Sheets

To create a sleeping sanctuary, you need a delicious set of sheets that your body wants to sink into. Simply Organic Bamboo sheet sets are silk-like fabric, made to be eco-friendly and sustainable. In the Texas heat, they help any one, student or not, stay cool during summer and warm in the winter, with temperature-regulating, breathable and moisture-wicking properties. The collection includes throw blankets, comforters, duvet covers, pillowcases, and sleep masks. $19-$229

Kiwi Mattress from My Green Mattress

Sleep is an important piece of a successful school year so make sure your college student (or kid of any age) is getting a good healthy night’s rest. The Kiwi hybrid mattress is a firm yet contouring mattress that is safe, healthy and affordable. All My Green Mattresses are made of GOTS Organic Cotton, GOTS Certified Organic Wool, and GOLS Organic Dunlop Latex. The Kiwi mattress is offered in a one or two-sided option, giving you the choice to flip your mattress and extend its life. Each mattress comes with a 20-Year Warranty and a 120 Night Sleep Trial. The hardest part will be getting your kid out of bed in the morning! From $639

Sijo Eucalyptus Sheet Set

Whether studying in-person or virtual, make sure you’re getting a good night’s rest! These eucalyptus bed sheets are ultra cooling and soft like silk. These luxurious sheets are created sustainably and with certified Oeko-Tex eucalyptus fabric, which means there are no harmful chemicals used. $95

Tech Candy Glow Up

Glow Up lights up your face with the gorgeous glow of LED lights and charges an iPhone. Toss it in your bag when you’re on the go to class. Got Apple gadgets and Android devices? The Triple Header creates a charging hotspot for them all.The Bad Guy Blocker takes control of your security. Clean the camera area of your device, press the security curtain onto your device, and keep the curtain closed to protect your privacy. $5.49-$37

Creativity Magnet – The Abundance Candle 

Times like these can be draining, it’s important to still fuel our creativity without adding to the daily stress. The Spa Girl Life’s luxury vegan candles are the perfect solution for anyone looking to unwind and de-stress in their study-at-home setting. Their fragrant “Creativity Magnet – The Abundance Candle with Botswana Agate” uses soothing scents of clean cotton, lily of the valley and hyacinth to elevate senses during the school day. It balances the spirit, mind, and body, which allows creative solutions to flow easily, attracts love and abundance, and provides comfort and protection. Offered in eight fragrances, each candle is paired with a guided meditation to help nourish the soul. $39.95

Indie Source Face Masks 

Living in today’s world means wearing a face mask everywhere you go, including to campus. This clothing line has constructed fabric face masks to #maskup. From stylish stars to classic camouflage, there are plenty of snazzy designs to choose from. For every mask that is sold, one is donated to a Los Angeles-based front line worker. $16


For those people who are at a computer for several hours a day, BackEmbrace is a good solution to improve your posture and reduce the tension in your neck and shoulders while you sit, stand, walk or do just about anything. Wearing BackEmbrace immediately gently retracts your shoulders into proper alignment. Super soft, this posture corrector can be worn over or under clothes. Just put it on like a vest, strap it accordingly, and you’re good to go. Trust me when I say your neck, back and shoulders will thank you! $59.99-$69.99

Sloth Tank by Outcasty

Show your book-loving personality with this cute Sloth (reading a book) in a Hammock tank. This comfortable tank is handmade and also comes in the option of a T-shirt (if tanks aren’t allowed at your school). Wear back to school or stay comfy at home! $24.99

Plum Paper Planners

Help them get organized and plan their (and your!) day with planners from Plum Paper. These planners are handmade from start to finish and are entirely customizable. You can pick a cover from the wide variety of colorful designs and prints or customize one. Add your favorite picture, quote or monogram to create a planner that’s perfect just for them and their organized lives. $20-$45


Dorm room living can be stressful at the best of times and no one needs any extra stress this year. The BunkTrunk takes the stress out of dorm living and gives college students peace of mind that their valuables won’t be stolen. BunkTrunk is easy to install at the foot of the bed or even under. It takes up no additional space and has a built in digital lock to secure laptops, phones, cameras or anything else of value. They can even charge their phones while electronics are locked up. BunkTrunk also doubles as a nightstand, so they can study or watch movies without waking their roommate! $219-$279

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Cover photo Element5 Digital on Unsplash

One of the pleasures of publishing a lifestyle magazine like Texas Lifestyle Magazine is that we receive invitations to attend events, travel and review products. We accept and write about a small fraction of these offers, always with a view to what would be interesting or helpful to our readers. You may notice that our reviews are generally positive, which is because we don’t enjoy writing negative ones, and therefore choose only to write about the things we can recommend without reservation.