Choosing the perfect backpack for your kids will make them happy, help to keep them organized and on schedule (we know, amazing, right?), and make your life easier. Here are some tips for picking the perfect backpack for everything from family vacations to social activities to sports.
The key to choosing the perfect backpack for your kids is to give them some ownership in the process. You'll want to make sure that it's functional and high quality but let them be the final decision maker concerning color and patterns. You may prefer basic black for your travel bags for women; however, they may opt for that neon color or cartoon character that is oh-so-fashionable with their set. Give them that.
Once they have their backpack, choose a good spot for it in your home. Somewhere that they can access that is near the front door is a good idea. Put them in charge of making sure that they have everything that they need (and want within reason) in their backpack. You'll still be supervising all of this, but it will help to teach them responsibility while giving them a sense of autonomy. This will comfortable and familiar routine will become invaluable as you head out the door with a busy family schedule.
Backpacks are the best carry-ons for your kids. Instead of dealing with some new contraption that has wheels to get caught on everything from curbs to escalators to car doors and one main compartment to open and spill things from, they can grab their trusty backpack and be ready to go. Choose a “not too big not too small” water-resistant backpack with handy storage pockets for those items they will want to be able to pull out at a moment’s notice. Most kids’ backpacks are small enough to fit under an airplane seat with ease and are made from rugged material that will withstand a few bumps along the way. When you choose a backpack, make sure that it will be big enough for items like snacks, books, and electronics to keep them occupied, and a kids’ hoodie in case of aggressive air conditioning.
The familiarity of carrying their backpack will also make riding in cars, waiting in lines, and getting through airport security that much easier. It’s kind of like having everyone in the family wear slip-on shoes—one less thing to worry about when traveling is a beautiful thing. When they're wearing their backpack, it can even give you a convenient “handle” for guiding them along and keeping them safe through crowds.
Whether they're spending the night with grandparents and want their favorite stuffed animal or are going to a slumber party where they will be little slumbering, backpacks are perfect for everything from pajamas and toothbrushes to girls swimsuits or boys swim trunks to games and snacks.
If they're carrying anything “messy,” make sure to put it in a plastic bag that zips shut before putting it in the backpack and alert a grown-up that it's in there, but their backpack can still be a good option. Kids backpacks are designed by people who know real kids and make them rugged and water-resistant for a reason.
Whether it’s day camp to get them out in the sunshine while you're working or a week away from home with that long list of required camp gear, their backpack will be invaluable. Everything from water bottles to sunscreen to plenty of room for homemade crafts will not only fit into their backpack but keep it from getting lost before it gets back home.
From pre-K soccer to high school sports, it’s amazing the amount of stuff that they need to bring with them to be ready to play. Not only will they need items like the proper shoes, socks, and shin guards, but water bottles and sunscreen.
Why buy yet another bag when they already have the perfect backpack? Keep it simple. Choose a backpack that will be large enough for all their gear (minus big things like lacrosse sticks) and make sure that they have it handy in that regular spot before it’s time to leave for practice. It’s also a good idea with this one to have an unpacking routine right after they get home. By putting their backpack where it belongs as soon as they get home (and emptying it of any clothes that need to be laundered or equipment that needs to be cleaned) your home will stay more put together and there will be less rushing around in a couple of days when you need to do it all over again.
The perfect backpack for your kids will make everyone’s life easier!