Back to school: 8 great gifts for students

Group of young teenager friends on a basketball court relaxing using smartphone

Going back to school can bring nerves and excitement. Make sure they’re ready another big year with a thoughtful gift.

From those school essentials to something personal, a gift card can show your support and give them the confidence to embrace a year of learning. Here are our top gift ideas for students, from middle school to high school.

1. Backpack

Where to get it: Pottery Barn Kids, Office Depot
Price range: $10-$50

Kids grow up fast, so, understandably, they may want to ditch their character backpack for something more stylish. Office Depot has a great selection of cool and colorful backpacks, with ample space for laptops, water bottles and textbooks.

From crowded hallways to busy classrooms, it’s easy to misplace your belongings. Luckily, Pottery Barn Kids has a great range of small, large and rolling backpacks that they can personalize with their names.

2. Clothing

Where to get it: Justice, Macy’s
Price range: $15-$50

The first day back at school means a sea of new faces and friendship groups. Help them stand out and show off their unique style with a back to school outfit. Justice specializes in tween clothing for girls at affordable prices, with trendy tops, jeans and dresses to suit the bohemian beauty or adventurous athlete. Macy’s has all their favorite brands in one place or treat them to a stylish pair of Levi jeans and they’ll be top of the class.

3. Books

Where to get it: Barnes & Noble, Audible
Price range: $10-$20

A well-chosen book is the perfect gift idea, for history buffs or fictional readers alike. Barnes & Noble have an impressive range of books for all age brackets, whether they’re hanging onto their childhood or entering teenagerhood. Plus, with a gift card from the Kroger Family of Stores, you don’t have to make the impossible choice of finding something they haven’t already read.

For those long journeys on the school bus, Audible may be a better choice. That way, they can plug in their headphones and listen to their favorite novels on the way home.

4. Headphones

Where to get it: Kroger, JCPenney
Price range: $15-$70

The average school has around 500 students, so the hallways and canteen can be noisy. A good pair of headphones can be a lifesaver when they need to buckle down and study or simply want to block out the chatter. It doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg either.
Our Kroger Family of Stores has a great range of quality headphones for all budgets, from Bluetooth earbuds to noise-cancelling headsets. JCPenney also has a good range of headphones, earbuds and wireless sets in a range of brands, colors and sizes.

5. Afterschool treat

Where to get it: sweetFrog, Krispy Kreme
Price range: $5-$15

As they get in after their first day back at school, they’ll probably have a whole host of exciting tales to tell you about. Why not celebrate a successful day back with a sweet treat? Pop into your local sweetFrog or Krispy Kreme on your way home and sit back as they tell you all about their day. It’s the perfect way to show you’re proud of them and toast the end of a good day at school.

6. Planner

Where to get it: Staples, Michaels
Price range: $5-$30

With each new school year, it’s a fresh start. Make sure they’re prepared and organized from the get-go with a stylish planner. You can find plenty of daily planners at Staples and Michaels, with pretty much any style and pattern you can think of. Choose a calendar-style design for a quick scribble every day or a formal diary layout for planning a busy week in depth.

7. Locker accessories

Where to get it: Claire’s, Target
Price range: $5-$15

Schools are full of rules and guidelines, but one way students can express their creativity freely is with their locker. From sticking a poster up of the latest popstar to a mirror for redoing their lip-gloss between classes, decorating their locker is a fun way to start the school year. Both Claire’s and Target have great and affordable locker accessories, from handy storage containers and erase boards to exciting disco balls and fairy lights.

8. Lunch bag

Where to get it: Bed Bath & Beyond, Kohls
Price range: $5-$60

Food fuels the brain. So, make sure they have all their favorite snacks with a stylish lunch bag. Kohl’s and Bed Bath & Beyond have plenty of food storage solutions. Pick an insulated lunch bag and keep their food hot through to lunch. Or select a lunch box with several compartments, perfect for storing rice, fruit and sauces. Both stores also have clip-on and personalized lunch bags, perfect for matching their new school backpack.

At the Kroger Family of Stores, we have gift cards to suit any occasion, from all your favorite retailers. Browse our gift cards today and find the perfect gifts for students returning to the classroom.