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Vintage school supplies your kids will love

Shopping for school supplies can be a lot of fun for you and your kids! Add to the fun and look for the kinds of supplies you used when you were little. Try these vintage school supplies on for size — we think your kids will love them.

Trapper Keepers

Trapper Keeper

At the start of every school year, kids in the ’80s yearned to go to the store and pick out their new Trapper Keeper. You could choose from a ton of different designs — from a gorgeous galloping horse to football or rainbows. Modern Trapper Keepers (, $15) are not quite the same but they do come in several different colors and feature a clear-view front cover so your child can customize it himself. If you don’t have one of your old ones lurking in your closets, check out the selection of vintage Trapper Keepers on eBay — but be warned, they will cost you!

Composition notebooks

Composition Notebook

Composition notebooks have been requested school supplies for decades — and today is no exception. The classic black-and-white marbled design is still an option, but modern composition notebooks come in a bevy of designs and your child’s favorite colors. If you’re really looking to go old school, check out this one from Mead (, $21/pack of 12), or try out this awesome 12-pack featuring several different colors (, $34).

Pee Chee Folders

Pee Chee Folder

Making a first appearance in 1943, these relatively inexpensive folders featured two internal pockets that were perfect for storing school papers. They are still being made by Mead (Mead, $2), and the retro sports designs on the outside are still accompanied by conversion tables, multiplication tables and tables of measurement on the inside.

Hello Kitty pencil cases

Hello Kitty pencil case

What cooler way is there to store your pencils than this Hello Kitty Mechanical Pencil Case (Sanrio, $13)? Complete with on-board pencil sharpeners, this reminds us of the good old days when everyone had to have a Hello Kitty pencil case. This modern version has two main pencil compartments as well as a compartment for erasers, so your kiddo won’t lose any pencils ever again — we hope!

Drawing pastels

Oil pastels

No art teacher of the past would miss sending you home with a request for a nice set of drawing pastels, such as this set we found from Pentel (, $6). Smoother and richer than crayons, the colors blend together really well and can give art projects a really nice finish. If your child’s art teacher doesn’t request them, they make a really nice art supply item for the home.

Prang watercolors

Prang Watercolors

Ah, the ultimate watercolor set — Prang is still the most popular brand of watercolors today, and they make an appearance on school supply lists everywhere. Do you remember using your favorite colors until they were just a hollowed-out ring? We do too, and your kids can have that same experience this school year with this Prang watercolor set (, $5).

More on back to school

Old-school lunch boxes that are popular today
4 Ways to get kids to school on time
Teaching kids how to make friends at school

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