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School Supplies That May Make Your Child’s Learn-From-Home Experience a Whole Lot Easier

And may also make your life less stressful.

Lap Desk photo courtesy of Amazon

The Lap Desk

LapGear’s cushioned lap desk has a ledge to keep a laptop or tablet from sliding off, a strap to hold a pen or paper, and a slot for a cell phone. $30.49 and up, in assorted fabrics, on Amazon.

Photo courtesy of Amazon

The KeyBoard

A wireless keyboard and mouse for kids using a tablet can prevent nerve pain, says spine surgeon Thomas Schuler. KBD’s mini keyboard set, also in pink or green, is $39.99 on Amazon.

Photo courtesy of Amazon

The Tablet

A Google Chromebook is durable, its battery lasts seven hours, and it’s inexpensive compared with a laptop. Best of all, it’s compatible with a lot of education platforms, including Seesaw and Classroom. $199 and up at google.com/chromebook.

Photo courtesy of Amazon

The Headphones

After testing more than three dozen headphones designed for small ears, the New York Times’ Wirecutter deemed the Puro BT2200 best.

A volume-limit feature keeps audio within safe levels, and the wireless, Bluetooth-connected design means no cords to tangle. The kid panelists liked it, too. $79.99 at purosound.com.

Photograph of Wobble chair courtesy of Kore Kids

The Chair

Virginia Spine Institute founder Thomas Schuler also likes Kore’s ergonomic Wobble Chair to keep kids sitting tall. $36.99 and up, in assorted colors and heights, at wobbleseat.com.

Photograph of couch courtesy of NUgget Comfort

The Play Space

Can’t get to a playground for recess? Try the Nugget “play couch,” whose foam pieces can be reconfigured from seating into a fort, a spaceship, or whatever else your child dreams up. $229 at nuggetcomfort.com.

Photograph of notebooks courtesy of Appointed

The Notebooks

Remember the thrill of cracking open clean, new notebooks to start the school year? Appointed’s composition books look smart, and you’ll be supporting a local business. $16 for a set of two at appntd.com.

Photograph of highlighters courtesy of Amazon

The Highlighters

Yoobi’s mini highlighters aren’t just cute and practical, with a triangular shape that’s easy to grip, but they also give back: For every set sold, Yoobi donates one to a child in need. $3.97 for a set of six colors at yoobi.com.

Photograph of organizer courtesy of Ikea

The Organizer

Take it from Brittany Capizzi, a local home­school mom of eight: Ikea’s “Råskog” cart neatly corrals all those supplies. $29.99, also in white or black, at Ikea.

Photograph of science kit courtesy of Steve Spangler Science

The Science Kit Miss America Likes

Our expert:

Camille Schrier, Miss Virginia and Miss America 2020, who graduated from Virginia Tech with a major in biochemistry and systems biology.

The science kit she recommends for kids:

Steve Spangler Science Club.

Why:

“He’s amazing. He has this science club, a monthly subscription box with a science activity you can do with your kids. It’s great for parents—it just comes to them each month. The sample box I got was for growing jelly marbles. It comes with everything you need, and it explains what to do and why it’s happening—which is 99 percent of the point.” Subscriptions cost $19.99 or $29.99 a month at stevespanglerscience.com/club.

Should you get one?

“I think science kits are great. Every year when I was little, my aunt would send me a butterfly kit. I would mail-order caterpillars and watch them hatch. I have so many pictures of me with butterflies on my nose.

“But don’t let the science kit drive the exploration. Allow it to happen in other pieces of your life. Rather than ‘Let’s sit down and do a science experiment,’ it should be organic.

“My biggest science kit was the kitchen. I spent a lot of time cooking and baking as a kid. My parents explained how things around me were science. I understood yeast was a living organism at the age of five. I said, ‘Wait, this thing you put in bread is alive?’ The curious exploration that ensued was beneficial to me going forward.

“All these fun things we can do in life are driven by science. Talk about what’s happening when you bake cookies. Catch a fish and say, ‘Guess what—fish can breathe under water.’ That hands-on, experiential stuff is so helpful.”

Executive Editor

Sherri Dalphonse joined Washingtonian in 1986. She is the editor in charge of such consumer topics as travel, fitness, health, finance, and beauty, as well as the editor who handles such cover stories as Great Places to Work, Best of Washington, Day Trips, Hidden Gems, Top Doctors, and Great Small Towns. She lives in DC.