Supporting a child of any age in their distance-learning experience is a study in paradox: Keep it flex but stay on schedule; go lo-fi yet hyperfunctional. Now repeat. No one thing—be it a zoomies-taming chair or a notebook with a higher purpose—is the golden ticket to school-from-home success, but a few things can certainly help the cause. Including a space (kitchen tables and living room nooks welcome) that inspires healthy focus. Below, the supplies, gear, and organizational tools with the most potential to help students meet theirs. And a list of programs helping kids who are facing a set of obstacles that goes far beyond stuff.
DESKS + CHAIRS
Work from Home Desks
KIDS AT HOME DESK & STOOL
Work from Home Desks, $269
Breaks down easily, so you can tuck it away in a closet or stow it underneath their bed when it’s not in use.
THE PLAY KIT
Sleek, sustainable, and Scandinavian-inspired.
UPLIFT Desk, $99
More ergonomic than a bar stool and more comfortable than any desk chair we’ve sat in.
DESK PRO DT20
What goes up also comes down: It has room for two screens and can be adjusted to their (growing) size.
ADJUSTABLE-HEIGHT ACTIVE LEARNING STOOL
School Outfitters, $110
Three words: range of motion. It spins. It adjusts. It moves from side to side. All super helpful features if your kid is the wiggly type.
THE ORIGINAL SPROUT PENCIL, 8 Pack
Sprout World, $15
Each plantable pencil contains teeny seedlings, so instead of tossing them in the trash, you can stick them in the soil and watch them bloom into baby herbs.
An Organised Life
2020/2021 MID YEAR
In a year when every day feels like Groundhog Day, there’s this to help keep track of projects, assignments, and of course, breaks.
An Organised Life
Manifesting, sketching, ideating—this one goes out to all the little thinkers with big dreams.
MARKER SET, 12 PIECES
Mochi Things, $25
Doodling in class is better when nontoxic markers are involved.
NATURE LOVERS 6-SPIRAL BUNDLE
The Dough Project
DOUGH IT YOURSELF
The Dough Project, $35
Make your own batch of plant-based playdough without the chemicals or artificial dyes.
DECOMPOSITION FOLDER, 5-PACK
And the cutest, most earth-friendly recycled school supplies of the year award goes to…
Kid Made Modern
ARTS AND CRAFTS SUPPLY LIBRARY
Arts and crafts on crafts on crafts to stretch those imagination muscles.
SPECTRUM WALL PLANNER
As helpful for them as it will be for you. It minimizes that “What day is it, again?” feeling.
The Journal Shop, $12
Multipurpose boxes made out of recycled newspapers.
Go ahead and get multiples.
HIGHFIELD SMALL POUCH
A place for their pens, a home for their highlighters.
RISATORP WIRE BASKET
Makes cleaning up and transporting school supplies from spot to spot considerably more manageable.
BLUE LIGHT BLOCKING SCREEN PROTECTOR
Help minimize eye strain during PowerPoint presentations…
BLUE LIGHT BLOCKER
…and TikTok breaks.
PLYWOOD TABLET STAND
Yamazaki Home, $20
As chic as it is sensible.
Puro Sound Labs
BT2200s VOLUME LIMITED
Puro Sound Labs, $90
Studio-grade audio quality with a built-in safeguard: The volume maxes out at eighty-five decibels to protect little ears.
Apply to pulse points and repeat: “Distance learning will not break me…”
LOROX ALIGNED DOME
If your whole household is doing at-home everything, plan family acupressure breaks throughout the day. Or set the kids up with links to Lo’s goop stories so they can try on their own.
goop, $55 for 60/$30 for 30
Mother’s (or Father’s or Grandma’s or…) little helper.
Get the kids stoked on their favorite scents, then teach them about each botanical and its benefits.
INDOOR PLANT SUBSCRIPTION
Horti, from $18 a month
Everything you need—including care instructions, so they can learn a bit about botany—comes in the box.
The Coloring Method
DAILY SELF BLESSINGS
More than a meditative break, this coloring book guides kids and adults alike through breathing exercises and self-kindness mantras.
Donate directly to the projects teachers need funded. Choose a school in your city or a subject close to your heart and look for donation-matching opportunities that double your contribution.
Room to Read Obama Foundation Partnership
Help the Obama Foundation support girls’ education in Vietnam through programs and outreach that get—and keep—girls in school.
This is About Humanity
Border-crossing, cross-functional, and family-focused, TIAH raises awareness for separated and reunified families at the US-Mexico border, leads fund-raising efforts, and educates allies on the US asylum system. And now, it’s also providing kids at the border with the tools they need to keep up with their studies.
Supply a student in need with essential school supplies. Sending a full kit costs $18, and individual items like pencils and scissors cost as little as $2—an easy number to carve out of a kid’s allowance if they’re ready to make their first donation.
Para Los Niños
An organization that cares for the whole child: Para Los Niños uses donations to provide Wi-Fi connections, school supplies, and fresh food for families in need.
The Schoolbox Project
By transforming unused, available spaces—from shipping containers to sidewalks—into classrooms in refugee camps and crisis situations, The Schoolbox Project provides children with trauma-informed education and art and play programs.
Homeschooling Tips, Educational Resources for Parents, and Activities for Kids
The Four Keys to Mindful Parenting
The Parent’s Guide to Healthy Screen Time for Kids
Coping Mechanisms for Stressed-Out Teenagers