Hanson says that backpacks are an essential back-to-school item if last year’s backpack looks raggedy or if your child has outgrown it. She stressed that you have to make sure it’s the right size for your child—adjustable straps will help you make sure the backpack doesn’t hang more than four inches below your child’s waist.
Compartments are another great addition to a backpack, she says, because you can distribute items in the bag to make it feel lighter. As your child gets older, it’s better to have more compartments and pockets because they will most likely have a heavier load.
Also, Hanson says to make sure to use the pockets to your advantage—put the most needed items (pencils, pens, etc.) in the most easily accessible places.
Like the backpack, the lunch bag should be appropriate for the child’s age. Younger children can have simpler bags—something that is small and insulated. An insulated lunch bag and ice packs will help keep your kid’s lunch cool because your child won’t have access to a fridge. Another great item for lunch is sandwich and snack containers, Hanson says. Not only does this reduce the amount of plastic baggies you’re using but it also can help identify whose lunch is whose by assigning each child their own color. Hanson also suggests having a scheduled lunch menu so you and your kids always know what is in store for the next day.
For your older children who have their own locker, maximizing space is the most important thing. Hanson says the best item for a locker is a shelf divider which will prevent book from smashing your child’s lunch and keep all of their books from tumbling out. Another great thing about a locker, Hanson says, is that you can have fun with it. She suggests personalizing it with fun items such as a locker rug, wallpaper or even a chandelier.