Back to school is looking a little different in 2020. With the COVID-19 pandemic still developing across the U.S., many schools and offices are staying closed for the time being — or at least reducing their in-person schedules to avoid spreading the disease. More people than ever must figure out how to balance learning and working from home.
For those who aren’t used to the WFH life, adjusting can be a challenge. Having a dedicated workspace is one way to help differentiate your leisure time from the daily grind. It’s also important to stay hydrated, take breaks to exercise and have fun, and socialize as much as you can.
We at Polygon put together our annual back to school gift guide with all of that in mind. We’ve got suggestions for sprucing up your home office (even if “home office” just refers to a corner of your bedroom), hardware that can easily go from work to play, and, of course, lots of games and activities to round out your downtime. It’s still a weird year, but you’ve got this!
Listed prices reflect MSRP at the time of writing.
What are you looking for?
Subscriptions Accessories Hardware Furniture Games & Puzzles Apparel & Collectibles
How much do you want to spend?
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Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, $14.99/month
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate combines Microsoft's game subscription service, Xbox Game Pass, with its online service, Xbox Live Gold.
Ring Fit Adventure, $79.99
The Switch-based exercise game Ring Fit Adventure is more popular than ever now that living rooms are doubling as gyms.
Sega Genesis Mini, $49.99
While Switch consoles are hard to find right now, the Sega Genesis Mini is in stock — and on sale.
Arctis 3 Bluetooth headset, $99
SteelSeries' Arctis 3 is perfect for the Nintendo Switch, since it allows simultanous audio from wireless and wired connections.
Secretlab gaming chair, $359
A comfy, supportive chair is a must for working, learning, and playing at home.
Logitech K830 wireless TV keyboard, $59.99
Transitioning from working to watching TV on your PC is made a lot easier with Logitech's keyboard built for your living room.
Blue Yeti Nano microphone, $99.99
Come through crystal clear on your Zoom calls with a compact version of the popular Blue Yeti USB mic.
Genki Covert Dock, $74.99
The tiny Genki Covert Dock is built for travel, but is also convenient if you just don't want to transport your Switch dock from room to room.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons, $59.99
Study breaks are a lot more fun when you're spending them on your Animal Crossing island.
Air Hockey tables are a staple of dorm common rooms, but the Danish game Klask is even more fun — and fits on your kitchen table.
Dungeons & Dragons puzzle, $20
This 1,000-piece puzzle will keep your occupied for much longer than your average D&D session.
Disney Plus 1-year gift subscription, $69.99
Disney is now offering yearly gift subscriptions for its streaming service, Disney Plus.
Hori Split Pad Pro, $49.99
Hori's Split Pad controller replaces the Nintendo Switch's Joy-Cons for a much more comfortable handheld gaming experience.
Doraemon T-shirt, $14.90
Uniqlo recently celebrated the beloved robotic cat's 50th anniversary with a line of adorable T-shirts.
Razer Kraken Pink Kitty headset, $149.99
The kitty ears headset from Razer's Quartz line is a favorite on Instagram and Twitch.
Lego Super Mario, $59.99
Lego's newest video game collaboration is actually an interactive Super Mario Lego set, complete with sound effects.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, $1,449.99
Our sister site, The Verge, called the Asus Rog Zephyrus G14 an excellent choice for gaming on its list of the best laptops of 2020.
Kindle Paperwhite, $129.99
Ditch the bulky textbooks for a slim e-reader, which is now available with a full 32 GB of storage for an extra $30.
Animal Crossing water bottle, $19.99
The Animal Crossing water bottle (that broke Amazon's pricing algorithm) is a great way to stay hydrated in style.
Snorlax bean bag, $149.99
Take a nap on Snorlax's face, why don't you?
Anker Nebula Capsule, $299.99
Elevate your at-home movie nights with a projector the size of a soda can.
Studio Ghibli steelbook, $19.99 each
Studio Ghibli movies are finally streaming on HBO Max, but these SteelBook Blu-rays are too lovely to pass up.
A24 movie mug, $15 each
Whether you love the gentle goodness of First Cow or the slimy frenzy of Uncut Gems, celebrate your favorite A24 film with a mug from the entertainment company's official store.
L-shaped desk with hutch, $244.99
If your workspace could use an upgrade, Wayfair makes an L-shaped desk that resembles Animal Crossing: New Horizon's much-coveted ironwood furniture set.