Back-to-school sales are all about the kids. Backpacks, laptops, sheets, and comforters for
the dorm. I’ll make an argument that parents need back-to-school supplies too. Gadgets to
make letting the kids go off to college and helping mom and dad sleep at night.

As a dad, I know when your kids are away from home, you worry about their vehicle. What if it
makes a noise or a light comes on? Will they keep it serviced? OBD II scanners are very
affordable now and will let parents keep an eye on their car even from hundreds of miles away.

The scanners plug into the OBD port, usually under the driver’s side dash. If a check engine
light comes on, the app can tell you what’s wrong, and if it’s nothing, it can clear the error light.
Back at home, parents can monitor what’s going on with the car, get updates, and see when it’s
time for an oil change. You don’t want a call saying they’ve lost their backpack or something else important. Apple Airtags track anything they’re connected to on iPhones.

They’ll see where it is on a map, and you can help them find it because its location will be shown on your iPhone too. An alternative for Android users is a Tile tracker to fit on keys, wallets, and anything else. You probably wouldn’t think to send them off with a flashlight, but they’re small enough to fit in a backpack, purse, or even a pants pocket. The Anker Bolder flashlights are rechargeable. Great for emergencies and late walks across campus.

Nothing’s worse than being worried about your kids and they don’t answer texts or calls
because their battery is dead. Portable battery chargers are a must for everyone. Most require a
cable but Anker, iOtti, and other brands make chargers that connect to the phone magnetically
to stay charged.

If they’ve left home for the first time, you might just miss seeing what they’re up to. These digital
picture frames are great for sharing photos. Using the app, they can send home pictures they
take with their phone and they’re immediately displayed in the frame.
All the buzz is about back-to-school supplies, but parents sending their kids off to school need
some supplies too.