The back-to-school shopping season seems to never end for parents whose children always lose their pens and pencils. A pack of pens can disappear in a week, with no explanation other than “I don’t know where I put them.” Can the never-ending pen and pencil purchasing cycle be broken? Here are 4 tips to help your child keep a hold of their writing utensils.

Buy affordable, high quality writing instruments

It may be tempting to purchase a bulk pack of cheap pens or pencils so that when your child loses one it isn’t that costly to give them another. However, the low quality of the product might be making matters worse. A pen with ink that skips or stops could be left rather than lost. The Z-Grip offers a smooth flowing ink pen and reliable mechanical pencil with good erasers at an affordable price that means it won’t be the end of the world if one gets lost.

Have your child pick the supplies

By allowing your child to pick pens or pencils with the colors or patterns they like, they are more likely to keep up with them. Also, utensils in bright colors or patterns are more likely to be spotted if left on a desk or on the floor.

Work with your child to establish a system

Many frustrated teachers and parents attempting to find ways to battle the lost pen and pencil epidemic have noted that establishing reward and punishment systems don’t often work. Instead of mandating a punishment or reward, try letting children come up with their own system of consequences. If the child creates the reward or the punishment himself or herself, they will be more likely to remember it the next time they almost leave something behind.

Use a Pencil Pouch

And oldie, but a goodie. Providing your child with a designated place to put their pen or pencil after they’ve finished using it might be the key to preventing them from leaving it somewhere else. Make sure the pouch itself is a bright color or has the ability to connect to a notebook, binder, or backpack, so that your child doesn’t also lose the pouch.

It might seem like you’ll never be able to fill the black hole that is eating all of your child’s writing instruments. But, with a pack of pens that they actually like, like our Z-Grips, and the right approach, you might be able to actually go back-to-school shopping once a year.