Other ways to use backpacks besides for school
Usually when we think of backpacks, the first thing that pops into our mind is probably… school! Maybe when you were a kid, your parents let you pick out whichever one you wanted and you chose the one that was sparkly and had rainbow hearts all over it or the really cool orange camo one. Maybe now you’re a parent and your kid has been begging for the tie dye space backpack she saw Jessie wearing in the hallway or the red rolling backpack Alex brought to the bus stop.
Backpacks are a huge part of going to school – they hold everything we need for a full day of learning and playing. From pencils, to laptops, to gym clothes, to binders and folders, there’s room for all of it. But, backpacks can be used in so many other ways than just for school. Here’s a few ways that your kids can use their backpacks outside of the classroom.
- Road trips – just like when you pack your kids’ backpack, utilizing all the pockets while you travel ensures they have everything they need for a road trip. Driving a few hours to Grandma’s for a long weekend? Put a couple coloring or activity books in the interior folder pocket of their backpack. Stick some crayons in the zippered front pocket. Pack their favorite picture book in the main pocket. If you’re lucky enough to have a little TV in your car, let them hold the DVDs in their backpack, too. And don’t forget the lunchbox! Hook it to their backpacks on the lunchbox loop and pack all the snacks they’ll need during the long drive in it. That way, you won’t have to go digging through your own bag or the cooler in the trunk when they get hungry!
- Plane rides – same as for a road trip, packing the kids’ backpacks as their carry-on helps make sure everything they need while on the plane is right with them. Put their headphones in the zippered front pocket along with a pack of gum (it helps with pressure during flights!). Stick their video game console in there, too. If your kid has a favorite blanket, pack that in the main compartment in case they get cold during the flight. Or, put a sweatshirt in there. Durable mesh water bottle pockets on the sides are great for extra bottles of water or juice you buy after you go through security. Make sure you fill out the Name/Address label inside their backpack and include your phone number in case your child accidently leaves it on the plane or if they ever get lost at the airport.
- Hiking – backpacks are also great to bring along when you’re going hiking or for a long walk with your kids. There’s plenty of room for snacks, towels, water bottles, cameras, sunscreen, band aids – whatever your kids will need for a day of exercise.
- Going to the beach – Instead of trying to stuff everything into your canvas tote bag, encourage your kids to bring their own beach bag! Using a backpack makes it even easier because it can go right on their back so they won’t have to drag it along in the sand if it’s too heavy. Padded shoulder straps and the adjustable chest strap make it super easy to carry all the way from the parking lot to that perfect spot they scoped out by the water. Pack their towel, goggles, a few beach toys, a ball to toss around, a change of clothes to put on after and a hat to block the sun from burning their little faces.
- Sleepovers – your kid might be at the age where they’re beginning to ask if they can spend the night at Jack or Megan’s house. If that’s the case, they’re going to need to bring a few things for a successful sleepover. Pack their toothbrush and toothpaste in the zippered front pocket. Stick their pajamas in the main compartment and a bag of chips or popcorn to share in there, too. And don’t forget an outfit for the next day! They’ll have to carry their pillow and sleeping bag, but everything else will fit perfectly in their backpack.
So, if it’s summer and your kids’ backpacks are basically retired in the back of their closet, or if they haven’t been to school in a while, pull that thing out and put it to use! And if you haven’t yet purchased a backpack for them – now you have 5 reasons to do it!