Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Chocolate Bars, Puppies, and Paper Clips

Rochel Burstyn

The world’s wackiest school supplies

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

 Mishpacha image


S hopping for school supplies is great fun for students, who are getting brand-new, shiny, unsharpened pencils, crisp new binders, and the most adorable new folders… but parents feel a little differently about it. After all, parents everywhere know that a fair amount of these supplies are going to come home unopened and unused on the last day of school!

So, if you want to calm your folks down a little, you can tell them about some of these unusual school supplies and thank your lucky stars that they’re not on YOUR school-supplies list… or are they?!

Edible Pencils

What are hungry students supposed to do when lunchtime is an hour away and their stomachs are growling? In the old days, you’d just have to wait till recess, but some creative individuals have taken on this “problem” as a serious challenge! For example, Italy’s Cecilia Felli designed a pencil that is half licorice, half graphite, so you can chew away, innocently looking like any other student gnawing on the end of their pencil, without getting told off for eating in class! Super handy… until you reach the end of the licorice and take a bite of the graphite, spit it out and squeal “Yuck!” and end up in trouble for disturbing the class!

Gluten-Free Paint

We all know kindergarteners tend to do weird things. Sniffing glue, tasting paint, and sticking crayons up their noses are just the tip of the iceberg. So, we all definitely understand the need for non-toxic supplies. But some companies are taking the extra step to ensure that every child is safe from allergens and toxins and they’re creating things like gluten-free paint, glue, and crayons.


While it’s a serious chesed for little kids with celiac and wheat sensitivities, hopefully most high schoolers are better at washing their hands after art class and won’t be needing a special kind of paint.

Foodie Pencil Cases

When most parents look at the school-supplies list and see the words “pencil case,” they may be inclined to grab the cheapest, flimsiest thing off the store shelf and throw it into the overloaded shopping cart. But there are companies out there that design fun pencil cases in the shapes of different types of food and are making billions of dollars off hungry students around the world. There are pencil cases in the shape of different flavored milk cartons, pita, and even a heavenly scented-one in the shape of a drool-inducing chocolate bar! 

And for the lactose intolerant and fleishig-lovers among us, there’s also a pencil case that looks just like a ketchup and mustard topped hot dog! If you’re more of a pareve person, here’s something just for you: the fish pencil case! When you zip it open, you’ll be looking at, not only your pens and pencils, but the special fish gut design INSIDE the pencil case, too… which might turn you on to science, but definitely also might put you off your lunch… (Excerpted from Teen Pages, Issue 675)

Related Stories

That’s Old School

Miriam Bloch

We interviewed adults about their school memories and regrets, the things they wish they’d known, an...

DMC: Creating an Explosive

As told to Leah Greenburg

I figure you’re either similar to me and nodding along in understanding, or shaking your head, compl...

Lucky Sister

Rachelli Weinstein

My family is kind of different from the typical, large, frum brood. I, a 14-year-old ninth grader, w...

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

Weekly Struggle
Shoshana Friedman Cover text: promise big and deliver what we promise
Only Through You
Rabbi Moshe Grylak A response to last week’s letter, “Waiting in Passaic”
No Image Available
Are You Making a Kiddush Hashem?
Yonoson Rosenblum In communal affairs, “one bad apple…” often applies
Chance of a Lifetime
Eytan Kobre I identify with the urge to shout, “No, don’t do it!”
No Image Available
Work / Life Solutions with Bunim Laskin
Moe Mernick "You only get every day once"
Seeking a Truly Meaningful Blessing
Dovid Zaidman We want to get married. Help us want to date
Shivah Meditations
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Equivalence between two such polar opposites is puzzling
Magnet Moment
Jacob L. Freedman Everyone’s fighting a battle we know nothing about
Secrets and Surprises
Riki Goldstein Top-secret suits Eli Gerstner just fine
Blasts of Warmth
Riki Goldstein Keeping the chuppah music upbeat in low temperatures
Behind the Scenes
Faigy Peritzman The intrinsic value of each mitzvah
Good Vision
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Good or bad, nice or not? What you see is what you get
Day of Peace
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz On Shabbos we celebrate peace within and without