The 5 Best and 5 Worst School Supplies

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school supplies

I love autumn for many reasons, one of which is the plethora of school supplies. I admit it: I am an office supply junkie. I love fresh notebooks, new pens, Post-It notes, erasers, and paper clips. Sometimes I buy sets of office supplies just because I like them. It's a weird fascination, but it does make going shopping during the back-to-school rush pretty great.

As a kid, I yearned for Lisa Frank items, but as an adult, anything fun will suffice. (Right now, I have a Post-It note dispenser shaped like a purse and a tape dispenser in the shape of a shoe). Given that most kids are returning to school, and given that my stationary obsession began when I was a kid, here are some of the best and worst school supplies:



Crayola Crayons
Crayola Crayons
There's nothing quite like cracking open a brand new box of Crayola crayons. There are so many colors! So many possibilities! Crayola crayons glide effortlessly across the page, they respond to the pressure of your hand so you can get both dark, light, and medium colors from the same crayon, and they're pretty sturdy. They are the difference between a drawing that will end up in the garbage and one hung on the fridge.
RoseArt Crayons
RoseArt Crayons
RoseArt crayons are such an embarrassment to art supplies. I don't even know if they should be called crayons, but rather, colorful pieces of wax, since that's what they are. They will ruin ANY drawing you make, and also possibly ruin your entire day. Rose Art crayons do NOT glide across the page, they do NOT allow for any color gradation in your pictures, and they are NOT sturdy. I hope you like coloring with broken pieces of wax.
Post-It Notes
Post-It Notes
Post-Its, the official name for the delightfully colorful packets of notes, are the perfect way to leave yourself a reminder... or to slap them on unsuspecting passerbyers' back (like your friends). The best part about these is that they work. The new colors make them fun, too.
Sticky Note
"Sticky" Notes
If you've ever tried to buy a non-name brand pad of sticky notes, then you understand what disappointment feels like. They do not stick to any surface and often rip or curl when you try to separate them from the other notes. Obviously "sticky" were named ironically.
Scented Markers
Scented Markers
Scented markers are glorious. Cinnamon, cherry, licorice, green apple... there are so many awesome scented markers in these packs. Whenever you use them, half of your arts and crafts time will be dedicated just to sniffing the markers. Then you end up with a nice-smelling picture!
Dry Erase Markers
Dry Erase Markers
Although writing on white boards is pretty much the coolest, dry erase markers smell so bad. Like, really bad. If you accidentally get a whiff, it is not nearly as delightful as scented markers. Plus, they can only be used on white boards AND they stain your fingers for a zillion years. Womp womp.
Gel Pen
Gel Pens
Gel pens turn ordinary, ugly homework assignments into pretty places for doodles. '90s gel pens were obviously the best, especially the pastels that allowed you to write on black paper.
Ballpoint Pen
Ballpoint Pens
I can't knock ballpoint pens entirely in that they are useful. But are they fun? Will they gain you cool points with your peers? Will they make homework less annoying? I wouldn't really go that far.
Zipper Binder
Zipper Binders
Do you love organization? Keeping everything in one place? Pretty colors? Excellent, then you should be using a zipper binder (AKA a "Trapper Keeper"). These binders come with pouches for your miscellaneous things, like gel pens, and it doesn't matter if the holes on your hole-punched paper break, because everything is securely kept inside (including notes between you and your BFF).
3 Ring Binder
Plastic 3-Ring Binders
These binders get points for affordability, but little else. The internal "folder" pockets constantly rip, the actual rings (AKA the entire point of the binder) are flimsy and often break, and if a hole rips on one of your hole-punched papers, you can pretty much say goodbye to that piece of paper forever. So long, signed permission slip you needed in order to attend a field trip to an adventure park!

Which school supplies to you think are the best? Or worst? Let me know in the comments!

RoseArt image credit to Flickr user woodleywonderworks. Sticky note image credit to Flickr user djpoblete09. Gel pen image credit to Flicker user ChocolatEClairable. Zipper binder image credit to dtweney. Scented markers image credit to San Jose Library. All other images credit to Wikimedia Commons.