Is it almost time for back to school shopping?? Say it isn’t so! Tanya Schustyk, a Grade 1 to 3 teacher, has been kind enough to give us some amazing backpack tips. Read on before you hit the back to school sales.
- Buy a size appropriate for your child. Your child should NOT be able to fit inside! Don’t buy one for them to grow into because they will likely want a new one or destroy/lose it before then. The backpack should be able to fit an 8 ½” x 11” binder, a lunchbox and winter essentials, including snow pants, inside.
- More compartments means more places to lose school forms, food, and other things. Yes, it is common to find rotten fruit in backpacks, as well as school forms that parents were “never given.”
- More compartments also means more zippers to keep zipped, which can be hard for littles. This can lead to “yard sales” (everything falling out as they walk).
- It is nice if the backpack has an exterior pocket for your child’s water bottle. This will help with spillage and also allows for easier access.
- Consider personalizing the backpack in some way, for example, with symbols or images. One idea is to have your child’s name stitched onto the backpack (for safety reasons, place it on the side that touches their back, inside the bag, or use the last name only). Certain brands of backpacks are very popular and children sometimes grab each other’s bags and lunch boxes! Personalizing bags can also help teachers when littles can’t remember which one is theirs.
- Try to avoid having key chains or precious toys attached to the outside of the bag. They will likely get lost or break.
- Create a space at home the backpack ALWAYS goes. Hooks or cubbies work well.
- Keep a separate waterproof or washable bag with a change of clothes for your child (be sure to include socks) inside backpack. Drawstring bags work well. Print your child’s name clearly on the bag so it is easy to find.