Yes, I know, it’s still summer and you don’t want to think about getting them ready to go back to school. You (and they) are still in swimming pool/backyard barbecue/weekend road trip mode. But it can’t be avoided, and a little planning ahead can actually take some of the stress out of preparing to go back to school for everyone involved. The right backpack can help make the trek back to school smoother and easier for your children, while giving you peace of mind.
While there all sorts of other things to consider (more on that later), in order to prevent them from “accidentally” leaving it behind in the cafeteria or at the gym or on the school bus, the backpack should look good and be appealing to them. Even if the backpack is stylish or trendy, so that you’re sure to get a good bargain, check to see that it is well-made, that the zippers open and close easily and that buckles, snaps and adjustable straps are user-friendly and age-appropriate.
When buying a backpack, especially for younger children, select one that is the right size; not too big or too small, it fits comfortably and the straps are easily adjustable. To make the backpack convenient to carry around, look for one that has two wide straps, which helps to evenly distribute the contents. Keep in mind that even though you need to send them off to school with everything they will need for the day, remember to pack light. Many health professionals advise that the backpack should be no heavier than 10 to 15 percent of the child’s body weight. Particularly for youngsters, encourage them to use the waist strap, since this further aids to stabilize the pack and adds more support.
Consider who you are buying the backpack for. A child under ten won’t require a laptop backpack (yet) and you’re teen might resent a backpack that has a dinosaur pattern on it. Because backpacks come in all shapes and sizes, with any number of interesting features that make them both functional and attractive, think about what will be the most useful to your child.
- For hauling books, basic necessities like school supplies and a safe place for the science project when transporting it to class, choose one with a main compartment with several smaller zippered pockets.
- Should they have to walk back and forth to school, a backpack with a drink bottle compartment will come in handy.
- High school and college students are most likely to want a backpack that will accommodate their computer, and help keep them organized. You can even get backpacks that are designed with built-in ports for an mp3 player or and iPod so they’ll have music wherever they go.
Backpacks are appealing because they are so convenient, easy to use and very versatile. Maybe a color backpack might just convince them that going back to school isn’t so bad after all…and then again, maybe not.