Summer break is over, and the new school year has arrived. And while dropping a few hundred dollars on hyper-specific supply lists isn’t fun, we are here to help. Why do big box stores not anticipate needing only plastic folders with brads and pockets in a wide variety of colors? Why? And why do I always forget I will need eleventy billion Ticonderoga pencils? It’s like my brain represses the trauma of back-to-school shopping every year. The good news is with “nerd culture” being “in,” most big box stores carry fun nerd gear. Something that will provide you a bit of serotonin as you and your kids head back into the halls for another year of learning.

We’ve scoured the internet and stores for some of our favorite nerdy school supplies you should check out!

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Black Panther Composition Book

Let’s kick this list off in superhero style! First up is this adorable Black Panther composition notebook. And folx, I am a sucker for a good notebook. This standard college-ruled notebook should be acceptable for any class that doesn’t require the standard black and white option. Looking forward to the upcoming movie and want to rep their stuff? Additional Wakanda Forever merch can be found here.

A notebook featuring the Black Panter hanggliding.

Black Panther

Mandalorian Lunch Kit

Can we all just take a moment to appreciate that Star Wars is so mainstream now that hunting down gear for your little padawan isn’t a big deal? My girls have been utterly delighted at all the nerdy school supplies merch we can find in almost any store these days. I am particularly fond of little Grogu from The Mandalorian. I’m also nearly certain that is not an accident on the part of Disney. I mean, he meets all the standard cartoon “cute” criteria: 

  • oversized head (like a baby’s) ✔
  • Eyes spaced low on the head and usually wide and far apart. ✔
  • Fat legs, short and tapering down into small feet for type. ✔
  • Tummy bulges—looks well fed. ✔

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Made in a lab to be cute notwithstanding, I really do enjoy The Mandalorian and the Star Wars universe. This is great because there are dozens of options for lunch kits, backpacks, and other nerdy school supplies to be found. My personal favorite is this lunch kit. No need to use the force. Just go here.

A lunch box featuring pictures of Grogu.

The Mandalorian

Captain Marvel Folder

If you or your child don’t need fifty plain red plastic folders with brads and pockets, these folders are an adorable addition to the back-to-school list. And let’s face it, we think you should try to convince the teacher that the red in Captain Marvel‘s outfit counts toward the criteria. Seriously, who could say no to that argument?

A folder featuring Captain Marvel and positive quotes in the background.

Captain Marvel

Liquid Filled Kawaii Captain America Notebook

Look. I am aware no teacher in existence wants this distraction in her classroom, but my inner child just about died when I saw this notebook. Captain America is one of my favorites, and this notebook is too cute. You can find it here.

A notebook with a gel filled cover with little Captain America and sheilds floating inside.

Captain America

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Stardew Valley Waterbottle Stickers

Maybe superheroes aren’t your thing. I get it. I’m a little Marveled out myself at the moment. My particular hyper fixation (one I share with my kids) is playing Stardew Valley. It’s such a fun game, and everyone in our household loves it. So when it comes to nerdy school supplies, I was really hoping I could find something Stardew Valley-related. And Amazon delivered. Literally and metaphorically in this case. Our kids need water bottles at school, and they hate having boring ones. These stickers are a great addition to any water bottle, notebook, folder, or lunchbox. Useful for getting hearts from friends and family.

A collage of Stardew Valley stickers featuring characters and items from in the game.

Stardew Valley

The Expanse Notebook

Maybe when you think “nerdy school supplies,” you don’t think of video games, comic books or movies. Perhaps books are your jam (high five, me too!) I am an unashamed sci-fi and fantasy nerd. I was delighted to discover I could purchase an Expanse-themed notebook. Find it and others here.

A notebook inspired by The Expanse.

The Expanse

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Doctor Who Shirt

One thing I used to love about back-to-school shopping as a kid was getting new clothes. I don’t know how I missed the memo that Hot Topic is now the place to go to find niche, nerdy merch, but I just learned this recently. They rep a great number of fandoms. I loved this Doctor Who shirt for my girls. Find this and so much more on their site. Allons-y!

A tshirt inspired by Doctor Who.

Doctor Who

Totoro Backpack

Doctor Who not niche enough for your preferences? I get it. Is Studio Ghibli more your thing? This backpack practically made me swoon. Grab it while you can! What a time to be alive, huh? If you aren’t excited, I don’t know what to tell you. There is a Totoro backpack! 

Tortoro inspired backpack.


You may be struggling to coax yourself or your kid out the door to go back to school. I get it; it’s hard. This year, we were almost late the past 8 out of 10 school days. However, knowing that these sweet school supplies were part of the deal, I might be more excited to get to school myself.

This article was written by Chrissy Gochnauer.

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