That dreaded point of the summer has arrived. I have to come to terms with the fact that I need to start preparing for back to school. I dislike doing it all in a mad rush, especially when our children’s school has a rather specific list of supplies. I need to make sure I get everything we need and in time so I try to start doing it mid to late July.
Our particular school has a uniform for all kids First Grade and up, so worrying about clothes shopping isn’t as critical for us. Though, I do need to make sure that we have the correct shoes and our preschooler is dressed presentably through the year. While the uniform helps us not stress too much about those aspects of returning to school, there are the many other parts of back to school shopping that must be completed. If you asked my soon-to-be-second-grader, he would tell you that there are two very important things to buy. The backpack and the lunch box. Of course he would think this. There are no rules or restrictions on his backpack or lunch box, and while wearing a uniform.. what better way to express yourself? As his parents, however, we do have rules and restrictions on his backpack and lunch box. Sure, I want him to have a way to express what he likes.. but I have a few criteria, mostly for his backpack:
- It needs to be adequate in size. What good is a backpack that can’t hold all of your belongings? However, it also needs to be appropriately sized for the child to carry or wear.
- While I don’t mind a fun print.. I don’t want it to be a tacky walking advertisement strapped to my child’s back.
- It needs to be high quality. I am willing to buy a new backpack each year, but the idea of needing to buy more than one? Or have my child walking around with holes in his back pack? I am not okay with that.
- It needs to maximize the usability within it. A rule I have taken from my diaper bag criteria. It needs pockets and places to put things. Not just a big open bag where things sink to the bottom and get lost in an abyss.
- I prefer that the lunch box also be practical in use. If it can fit a bento-style box inside it, that is preferred.
I am sure this looks incredibly specific to some people. It might be easier if I just ran to whatever store and grabbed any backpack and lunch box he wanted and made do.. but that’s just not how I, personally, do things. If you’ve read this blog before, you know I like things of quality. I don’t just buy anything. I look into it. Research it. Do my best to make sure the money I am spending is being spent wisely.
When our oldest son went to Kindergarten, we found the perfect backpack that fit my criteria. The Pottery Barn Kids collection of backpacks and lunch boxes. They come in a variety of sizes, so as he grows and the contents of his backpack grows, there are many options. The quality is outstanding. So far, they have lasted through the school year and beyond.
Yes, I do buy a new bag for each new school year, but the previous year’s bag still gets used for things like travel, sleep overs and trips to grandma’s house. Not only do the bags fit my criteria, but my boys love that they can get them in styles they enjoy. (Our oldest is quite fond of his Star Wars one..) The Batman, Spiderman and Star Wars collections draw my kids in with glee, while I don’t shudder upon seeing them. They aren’t overly tacky. I also love that they sell matching backpacks and lunch boxes. Not only do they sell lunch boxes, but they also sell bento boxes that fit inside many of their lunch boxes. You can even get Planet Lunch Boxes to match some of their backpack collections. What eco-friendly mom doesn’t love that?
Also, our son’s school has a “water only” policy. They are allowed to have a water bottle at their desk throughout the day, but that is the only beverage they are allowed, even during lunch. They can also refill it as needed. For this we love that Pottery Barn Kids also sells the Klean Kanteen kids bottles with spouts. You can get them to match the backpack and lunch box collections.
Knowing that I can go to one place to get all of these items and that they are of amazing quality makes me that much happier.
Are you already preparing for back to school? Are you as particular about the school items you purchase for your kids as I am? How many of you are embarking on the school journey for the first time this year?
** This is not a sponsored post. I was not paid for this post and no products were provided to me. We love these items and wanted to share that love with you**