This week, I’m continuing with the Back to School theme posts. Today, it is all about the best school backpack! I never gave much thought to backpacks until my son started 3rd grade. That was the school year when his homework began to vary by subject and the need to get and stay organized became important. I bought a backpack for him, but shortly after the school year started, I realized that it was way too small and everything was getting crammed in. I quickly found a replacement and it worked beautifully for many years. With my son starting middle school next week, it was time to upgrade his backpack to something that will keep him organized with school supplies and make room for tech gadgets. After learning my lesson with a backpack that didn’t work well, I shopped around to find the ideal school backpack that would last him for the next three years until high school begins (and I can’t even believe I am typing the words high school). I settled on a High Sierra, below are the features I like about this backpack and my tips on packing it so everything is easily accessible and organized!
On a previous post here, I listed all the school supplies – there are a lot of items that we need to fit into this backpack everyday. My son also has a Case-it that he carries.
One of the first things that I look for in a backpack is the weight and material. It has to be light, yet strong and washable. The second feature I look for is the size and quantity of pouches and compartments. This backpack features three main pouches. The back pouch has three compartments – the back compartment is for folders and composition notebooks, the Tech Spot (middle compartment) can be used for a kindle, iPad or laptop, and the front compartment is best suited for a binder. I pack the heaviest items in the back compartment and the lightest items in the front, this helps with proper weight distribution.
Back compartment is narrower, and great for flat items like folders and composition notebooks.
The TECH SPOT is designed for a kindle, iPad or laptop – it has a padded back and bottom to protect it when the backpack is dropped.
The front compartment is spacious and is ideal for a binder that will hold paper.
The middle pouch holds his lunch bag and snack. More on healthy school snacks and lunches in tomorrow’s post!
I started writing riddles on the front of his snack bag, I write the answer on the bottom of the bag. He started getting a little teasing from his classmates, but after a week or so, they all waited for snack time to see who could solve the riddle the fastest.
Padded and adjustable straps are so important! See illustration below for more information, this is from a Huffington Post article on backpack ergonomics and the importance of fit and sizing.
The part that rests on his back is padded, I like the extra insulation so it feels comfortable. Backpacks get heavy very fast with all the supplies that are needed.Insist that your student use both shoulder straps to equalize the weight, and fit the backpack so it is snug to their body.
If you have a child that is using a combination lock for the first time, the best gift you can give them is a combination lock of their own to practice on before school starts. Teach them how to unlock it until they are a pro, this will avoid a lot of frustration the first week in school as students are attempting to open their lockers. I’m sending wishes to everyone for a happy and successful school year!