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Back-to-school time is always hectic, what with getting the kids ready for another academic year and supplying them with the latest tools and gadgets they’ll need to succeed, all on top of your usual work and family obligations. That’s why we’re here to help you maximize your precious time and zero in on the most-utility-per-dollar-spent products your child needs to make this the best school year yet.

Gorilla Super Glue Brush & Nozzle ($4.84; walmart.com)


The uses for Gorilla Glue know no end. The adhesive is easy to use, rugged, and bonds to just about anything. That’s good news for the youngsters among us, since childhood is pretty much one long string of broken objects and shattered vessels. Sure, it might not help your child’s fear of what goes bump in the night, but it’ll do plenty for all the stuff that goes bump (and crash) in the day.

BIC Wite-Out EZcorrect Correction Tape ($5.47; walmart.com)

white out

Most of us of a certain age know how excruciating it is to wait for correction fluid to dry. Save your children from the hassle and send them off with these convenient correction tapes. They’re easy to use and apply dry, so your kid can get to making things right without all that painful waiting around.

Post-it Original Sticky Notes ($5.52; walmart.com)

post it

Is there anything more affordably useful than the humble Post-it? Use them to keep organized, brainstorm ideas, pass on reminders or notes, make pixel art, create origami, and so much more. For what’s basically just a square of paper with a bit of adhesive, they’re pretty darn versatile. Don’t leave home without them.

Clorox Disinfecting Wipes ($5.98; walmart.com)


Childhood is full of spills and splashes, and just because your kiddo’s sitting at a desk in school doesn’t mean he or she is exempt from the inexorable laws of the universe. The Clorox wipe is the indispensable tool in the parental arsenal, so why not make it part of your kid’s, too? The antimicrobial properties mean adolescents and adults all benefit from having a stash for the backpack, locker or desk.

Ticonderoga #2 Pencils ($5.97; walmart.com)


Does this one come as any surprise? Ounce per ounce, shaving per shaving, there’s probably little else in the back-to-school portfolio quite as useful as the classic #2 pencil. Write, draw, doodle, twirl, slip one above your ear, use it to put your hair up in a pinch — there’s almost nothing you can’t do with a #2 once you put your mind to it. Prove us wrong.

Dry Erase Monthly Calendar ($5.73; walmart.com)


Organization is half the battle in life, and a simple tracker for chores, homework and other obligations is one way to get your kids on the winning side, early. A simple write-on, wipe-off surface keeps it useful all week, every week.

Note: The prices above reflect the retailer’s listed price at the time of publication.