The Most Ridiculous Back to School Gadgets

Things that didn’t exist when we were kids…maybe for a reason

Kids are heading back to school with more than simply paper, pens and a backpack. Technology continues to find a way into our lives, whether or not it makes any sense. Take a look at some of the gadgets and toys kids and their parents can use to ensure a safer, more exciting learning environment – according to the product makers that is.

1. Skechers Game Kicks Sneakers

This pair of shoes might be appreciated by parents on a road trip, but can only be the stuff of nightmares for teachers, or anyone else who doesn’t want a kid focused on something they’re wearing rather than the world around them.

Kick it:


2. TempTraq wearable thermometer

Gone are the days when kids and teens could Ferris Bueller their way into a day off of school – instead, parents can now monitor a child’s temperature from an app on a cellphone. Clearly there are multiple positive uses for such technology, but for kids wishing to fake sick, it’s going to take a lot more planning to crack this code.

When products are called intelligent:


3. dokiWatch

Back in the day, a GPS tracker involved a Mom yelling out the door for her kids to get inside for dinner. Now, cell phones and monitors and smartwatches help keep track of kids no matter where they are – or what they’re doing. A Casio Watch is a thing of, say, 1984, while a wristband that can video or voice call, send texts, track location via GPS, GSM and WiFi, warn of a child leaving a certain area and track fitness goals is part of our present. Could be worse though – it could be an ankle bracelet.

Happiest Dad ever. Kid doesn’t care:


4. Amplify

Of course digital education is exciting and fun – we’re the generation that lived for Math Race and the Oregon Trail, after all. But there’s something that feels just a little screen time happy in saying the newest generation is “wired differently” and will learn best via technology – that the language of Shakespeare – words in a book – won’t be as vivid via a student’s imagination and a teachers’ creativity. The Amplify office looks decent enough to sit in, though.

Get educated:


5. Whiffer Sniffer Scented Backpack Clip

With 14 scented Whiffer Sniffer characters to collect and attach to a backpack, it should be no surprise that kids are lining up to hang the scents of Tangerina Ballerina (tangerine), Bitsy Berry (strawberry) and Bubbles (bubble gum) on their school bag. Who on earth is buying Tony Pepperoni (pizza), Ben Sizzlin’ (bacon) or Meatball Paul (meatball) though – and more importantly, who’s following the web site FAQ’s advice to hang them in their car?

Worth it to see the shocked kid Saturday Night Fever’ing himself at the beginning of this commercial:


6. Sleep IQ Bed for Kids

The Sleep IQ Bed is an $800+ smart bed that tracks a child’s sleep patterns, adjusts to suit stuffed up noses and turns on under bed lighting if a child gets restless during the night. It also rewards kids for following a bedtime routine and detects monsters in the room. If that doesn’t sound bizarre – the remote lets you name each side of the bed.

It’s 2016.


7. Gro-clock sleep training clock

You might not remember getting your first alarm clock outside of a parent to help you sleep the night before class or wake up for school, but now it’s never really too early to train humans to sleep until they see the sun. No, no, not the sun in the sky, silly. The sun on the machine, glowing next to their bed.

That wink is creepy, for sure.


8. Makey Makey Kit

A KickStarter campaign for this invention kit that can make something out of anything raised more than $500,000. Is it necessary? Probably not. Is it worth it? If you’ve ever thought that you wanted to make a banana into a keyboard, or a dog into a spacebar – then yes, absolutely.

Don’t believe us? Seeing is believing.


9. The TI-84 Plus

Remember when your teacher said that you had to learn math because you wouldn’t always carry a calculator around with you everywhere you went, and it made sense? But then smartphones came to be and that warning became a meme? The graphing calculator released in 2004 by Texas Instruments is still what you really want in your pocket – so avoid the hype of anything electronic that’s bigger and faster – because the T1-84 remains better.

Further reference: