The Best Backpack for Your Kindergartener

The Best Backpack for Your Kindergartener

Do you have a kindergartener this year? Savor those memories! Let’s look at some tips to help you get the best backpack for your kindergartener.

Check the Requirements

In addition to the list of the dozens of fun school supplies to go in the kids’ backpack that your child’s school will no doubt provide, they probably have requirements for backpacks, too. Check the school website and consider chatting with your child’s kindergarten teacher to get their advice. Trends in backpacks come and go, and some of them are better for big kids and adults.

Not long ago, backpacks with wheels on them were all the rage. They are like carry-on bags for airplanes in that you have a telescoping handle and wheels to take the weight off you in transit. This is an attractive idea, but the reality of getting little ones in and out of cars or on and off a school bus with such a contraption is not easy. Make sure that your child’s backpack will pass all the rules and be as simple as possible to transport daily.

Fit is Key

When you go backpack shopping with your kindergartener, make sure to try on the backpack. You’ll want to get one with adjustable straps, but there is more to fit than that. Their backpack should come up close to their shoulders in the back, end at or above their waist, and not be broader than their back. This will be a size that works for them whether they are just wearing a T-shirt, kids’ jeans and sneakers to start the school year or if they are in full midwestern snow gear in winter.

Simple and Secure

Look for a backpack that has secure pockets. Zippers are key. It’s amazing how easy it is for kindergarteners to lose things, and you want everything in the backpack to securely get into the classroom and then back home. Simplicity is helpful here. Perhaps one or two zipper pockets on the outside and one on the inside. Those adult backpacks with a special pocket for everything are great for those of us who like our traveling office or outdoor gear to stay organized, but too many pockets can be confusing for little ones (and the caregivers who help them with their backpacks!).

If your child needs a kids’ lunchbox, make sure that it is as secure and leak-proof as possible, especially if you are considering having them put it in their backpack. If your child will be carrying any electronics to and from school (iPads are a possibility at that age), make sure that they carry anything that could spill outside of the backpack.

Choice is Fun (and Important)

This is fun! Your child will be excited about choosing their kindergarten backpack. Give them this gift. Just steer them to the area of the store that has backpacks that all meet your criteria, so neither of you will get frustrated. Then let them pick out their favorite color, favorite cartoon character, or just the one that they like best.

Just like letting them choose a favorite kids’ graphic T-shirt from a collection of parent-approved choices, let them choose their favorite backpack. This is even easier to do online than in a brick-and-mortar store. It will give them an important sense of independence while keeping them within the rules that you need for them. Also, shop early! If you are new to school supply shopping, it may be a bit of a shock how quickly stores become picked over in mid to late summer.

Visit Their Classroom

Chances are your child’s school will have an open house or classroom visit before the first day of school. Unless the teacher encourages bringing school supplies or donations to the school in advance of the first day, you are probably better off leaving them at home. Let your child’s new elementary school backpack be an exception to this. Even if they only bring home a few papers in their new backpack, they will be excited about getting to visit their big kid school and bringing it along.

Take Pictures!

Okay, this is the fun part! Your kindergartener will love their new backpack and school supplies. Once you get everything, double-check your inventory, and then make sure that you put their name on everything that it needs to be on. Sharpies are great for this as the ink doesn’t run. Sharpies also need to be maintained carefully in a home with little ones—lol.

Why not make a project of unpacking, labeling, and packing everything for the first day of school? In addition to taking that oh-so-adorable traditional first day of school picture when they are ready to get into the car or onto the school bus with their backpack and new school clothes or school uniform, why not take pictures along the way? It will be fun for all and become even more precious as the years go by.

Have fun getting ready for a great year of kindergarten!



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