Metro Mama & Metro Baby

By Kim Taylor

Part of the back to school thrill for children of all ages is scoping out the latest school supplies, getting new clothes, and picking out a backpack. These products are designed to please parents as well as kids, and to make back-to-school an enriching endeavor.

Office Depot sponsors a National Backpack Program geared for children at risk, which provides children with a new backpack so they can get down to business. This successful program has been providing backpacks for six years now, and will provide funds or supplies for schools as well. Visit www.community.officedepot.com.

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After flipping out a calculator with 30 killer apps and a kickstand slide case, your little brainiac will be awesome in math class. The Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus is a graphing calculator with 8 display lines that feature 16 characters. Students can share their work with the class by connecting their TI-84 Plus to any Texas Instruments presentation tools. Compatible with TI-83 Plus and transferable to your computer, this calculator requires 4 AAA batteries and can be found at Wal-Mart and other school supply outlets.

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Teens need skincare products made with care for their sensitive skin, and the Tess (Teen Everyday Skincare System) line fits the bill. Created by entrepreneurial moms with their teen daughters, the line is paraben-free, and chock full of vitamins and natural extracts. Cheerful packaging and a convenient kit renders the line perfect for budding beauties. The Tess skincare line encompasses a cleanser, toner, a blemish stick, lotion, lip gloss and night cream, and comes in “Skin with Attitude” (i.e. prone to break-outs) and Almost Normal. Available at the Times Square Sephora store, at www.sephora.com, and at www.tessskin.com.

Lunches packed at home with love are always tastier than school-issued chili or mac-n-cheese. Wadda Juice, a new juice brand with 50% less sugar, is spillproof, vitamin-fortified (100% RDI of vitamin C), and without any preservatives or artificial flavors. Visit www.waddajuice.com or call 1-866-wadda4u to stock up in apple, wild berry or grape. Town House Toppers, new crackers with a “mini bowl” in the middle for favorite spreads, are ideal for school lunches too and are now available in grocery stores.

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Books are always part of the picture at school, and kids of all ages will find their favorite author or series at www.randomhouse.com/kids. New for fall for the middle school and older set are the equally captivating The Monstrous Memoirs of A Mighty McFearless by Ahmet Zappa (parents may have heard of the author’s dad, musician Frank Zappa) and Queen B by Laura Peyton Roberts.

Essential reading for parents of schoolchildren is Why Do Positive Thinkers Win by Ken Bossone. This thoughtful compendium of inspirational messages and stories will help you parent in a positive manner and guide your child to success in school – and will help in other realms of life as well. Available at www.authorhouse.com.

Backpack, books, savory lunch, calculator…and the freshest face possible. Send your loved ones off to the hallowed halls of school in style and comfort.

Originally published September 2006
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