How to Pack Your Kid’s Backpack!
Have you got a little one starting school in the fall, and you have no idea how to pack your kid’s backpack? Or perhaps a big kid whose backpack is always a disaster, and you want to tame the chaos? From my years as a teacher, here are some tips on how to pack your kids backpack that will make everybody’s day smoother!
Fit & Style
When choosing a backpack, look for one that isn’t too large for your child’s frame. The bigger the pack, the more kids tend to stuff it full of things (or treasures). Ideally, your child’s pack should never carry more than 10-15% of their body weight. If you can, choose a backpack that comes with an outside pocket to hold a water bottle. We have learned the HARD way what happens when a bottle leaks inside the bag! If your pack doesn’t have this option, send the bottle inside a zip top bag
Make a Checklist
I don’t know how many times things have been left at school when needed! Print out or create a checklist for what goes TO and FROM school every day. You can put the list next to the door where you keep your backpacks at home. I’ve even seen the brilliant idea of popping your little list inside a luggage tag and attaching it to the pack. Use images and keep the words simple so your child can help prepare their backpack. Soon enough, they’ll one day do it on their own! This is a super important life skill that will serve them well as they get older. I also recommend preparing the backpack the night before, with how hectic school mornings can be!
Label, label, label!
Anything you send in the backpack should be labeled! First and last names are helpful in case there is more than one child with the same name in the school. This helps teachers locate items from the school lost and found and get them back to their owners.
Pack a Folder
I highly recommend if your child’s teacher doesn’t supply one, a plasticized pocket folder to send important information to and from school in. This helps your child learn to keep track of assignments, permission forms and notes from the teacher. This is another great habit for your child to know what needs to be turned in at school. All too often teachers go searching through packs to find these items all balled up in the bottom of the bag!
Pack Rain Gear
Nothing is worse than having to learn all afternoon in wet clothes! I highly recommend packing some rain gear in their bag. It may not look like rain in the morning, but come recess or lunch, having the right gear can be such a lifesaver. Jan & Jul’s rain gear rolls up nice and small to fit inside the backpack. Now your kiddo is ready to play outside in ANY weather!
Now you know how to pack your kid’s backpack! I hope these strategies were helpful and I wish you and your little one all the best for the school year! What treasures have you found in your kid’s backpack before?
Sandra, teacher and mom living in the PNW