When I first heard about Blum school gear sets, I was both excited and dubious. Excited because I’m a big fan of office and art supplies (a trip to Meininger’s is my idea of a good time) but dubious because Blum claimed that the sets were organized into grade level packs (K-1, 2-4, 5-8). In my experience, such all-inclusive sets rarely have everything you need and usually have lots of stuff you don’t. Plus, the quality of sets is usually much lower than if you just buy the items a-la-carte.
However, I was pleasantly surprised- the set for my son’s grade level (2nd) was spot on: all the things he was supposed to have, and one thing I hadn’t thought of but really liked: a white board. Although a white board was not on our school supply list, we used one frequently at home last year- to work out math problems, to demonstrate how to do a cursive Q, and so forth. on their website they show that it can be used to write reminders (e.g. “I’ll pick you up at 3 for your doctors appt .today”). My son’s reaction to the set: “AWESOME! This has everything!”
The other surprise was the high quality of the items. The scissors are sturdy and cut well, and both the markers and colored pencils have good color saturation and bright shades. Each of these are doubles, such that there is a different color on each end, which is a very clever space-saving strategy. But what really sold these packs for my son and me were the zippered cases with a spot for everything. Elastic holds markers, pens, pencils, glue stick, ruler, and highlighter, plus a mesh pouch for the scissors and additional supplies. There are four different color combinations (my son was a fan of the blue and orange- go Broncos!).
On the outside of the pouches are two zippered pockets. Only something very flat and somewhat small would fit in these, but my son pointed out that you could put lunch money in them. “That way” he said excitedly “You don’t even need a backpack- just take one of these to school!”.
The sets usually retail for $23-29 and can be purchased from a variety of retailers, including Amazon, and directly from the company. Although it is late for many of us to be buying school supplies, we are using ours as an incentive – he is so eager to use it that he is willing to ‘earn’ it; the sooner the better!