Updated: Sep 15, 2020
I hit the store (and the internet) trying to add only products to my basket that are made here in the USA. It wasn't as hard as you would think -- and comes with the added benefit of keeping kids busy aisle after aisle reading the labels (patriotism, literacy, and mission -- three in one scavenger hunt!). It feels good to stock the shelves for the new school year -- and to support American workers by voting with my pocketbook.
Here are some of the best of what I found, available at Amazon:
*Note: we do receive a small commission from the links below if you decide to purchase; this funding helps Primerrily grow!
There's nothing like the classics. Whether doodling or taking notes, American factories produce many of the iconic writing tools we all grew up with. I can still smell the Mr. Sketch markers in my memory (perhaps the origin of my black licorice obsession?).
Tape + Glue
When you just can't hold it all together... there's tape and glue to help. Despite its name, Scotch tape's "Magic" line is actually American -- just like Elmer's glue.
Art class can still be hands on, even remotely with these fun supplies from small American businesses. I love the crayon rocks since my toddler can't break them (and is less tempted to chew a rock shape!). Also love that this finger paint is edible, should they decide to take a lick.
Five Star notebooks are made in California, New York, Mississippi, Ohio, and Colorado (maybe the name derives from the fact those states comprise "five stars" on the American flag?).
When you're feeling low on lesson plans, pull out one of these kits and learn about crystals, engineering, chemical properties, and more.
If you've ever watched the news and wished you could give the world or the country a hug -- here is your chance. These darling cushions are great for learning geography even during quiet time. And if your kids are interested in urban planning and civil engineering (think directions, roads, neighborhoods) try mapping out a neighborhood of your own -- right on the playroom floor with this clever tape.
We love these lunch boxes and snack storage items to add some playfulness during chow time. And don't forget to include a little note! All Post-it Notes are made in the USA, and come in more colors and shapes than good old Canary Yellow square.
The backpack selection for Made in USA products aren't plentiful -- and pretty niche since Jansport moved their manufacturing overseas in 1990. But a few finds still remain, like this black tech-friendly option made from recycled bicycle tires. Its laptop sleeve and charger pockets are ideal for big kids learning remotely. We also love this upcycled color-blocked gem and an adorable animated backpack featuring man's best friend.
Activity Ideas (for when learning remotely falters!)
I'm a big fan of "The Idea Box" brand -- a box of wooden chips engraved with ideas for everything from what to do on an airplane to all the different challenges you can do with a roll of masking tape. When you need some self-directed learning, have your child pull a token from the box.
Just because you're at home doesn't mean you can't set up a place dedicated to learning. These decor items create a welcoming environment for learning and reinforce some of our core beliefs -- that readers are leaders, the importance of gratitude, and an understanding that we are all Americans -- no matter which st