J.B. asks from Columbus, OH on July 07, 2010
Backpacks & Lunchboxes
Hi Mamas! I'm trying to get a "jump start" on prepping my DD who will start Kindergarten at the end of August. I wanted to ask your opinions as to whether its worth the extra money to splurge on a nicer backpack from Lands End, LLBean, or something of the like?? I know it won't have all the fun designs such as princesses or tinkerbell, etc on it, but did your kids really care? Do they really hold up better or should I just go with a cheaper, fun one? Also did you go w/ a lunch sack from one of those places or just one from Walmart, Meijer, Target, etc?? Would love to have input on whats held up best, whats your favorite, and been the better buy in your opinions!!
K.B. answers from Columbus on July 08, 2010
Hello, I would try- The Lunchbots- to hold the actual food. They are safe unlike some that you would find in stores. You can order them online, or at certain stores depending on where you live. And I would go with a good backpack- we homeschool so I am not the best to ask about backpacks!!! But I would definitely go with the Lunchbots as well!!!!
S.B. answers from Minneapolis on July 07, 2010
My kids always used the "cheap" backpacks until they were in about 5th grade. That way, if they wanted the current "cute one" each year, I didn't mind. Just look for the smaller ones - the "regular sized" ones are so big :)
I did get the nicer lunch sacks and ordered them with their names stiched right on them. The nicer ones tended to be easier to clean and with the names on them, I had no worries that there would be a mix-up (even in my own house!).
N.B. answers from Toledo on July 07, 2010
Get the cheap ones on both. They get torn up or lost. A broken zipper, and your expensive one goes in the trash. The girls love their princesses. Get what she wants. She'll love picking one out.
B.C. answers from Dallas on July 07, 2010
I see that people are telling you to get a small backpack. Before you do that, make sure that she won't need a full sized for school. My daughters, even at preschoool, have been required to have a regular backpack. Folders don't fit in the small ones.
Just get a cheap one from target with a character that she likes. They get dragged around everywhere! :)
K.M. answers from Kansas City on July 07, 2010
We did the LL Bean backpack for my daughter when she started preschool. She carried that backpack until she was in third grade. In fourth grade, she decided that she was bored with it and her dad and I felt that she was well within her right to get a new one!
Children's Place sells backpacks that are every bit as sturdy and have matching lunch boxes. Happy shopping!
E.R. answers from Chicago on July 07, 2010
For kindergarten, I would say just get a small backpack- one with Tinkerbell or something is about the right size. For one, your child really will not need a heavy-duty backpack yet. Believe me, there will be plenty of time for that, coming up!
My son had a Spiderman backpack for pre-school and kindergarten and a Spiderman insulated lunchbox. The lunchbox did not make it through the year, but we ended up passing the backpack on to someone else.
Now he is going into 5th grade. he has been using a heavy-duty backpack since 1st grade, but has requested one with wheels for this coming year, because he has a lot more homework and heavier books to carry now. I am planning to invest on a good quality one from Lands End, which hopefully will see him through high school!
We have been using the same insulated cloth lunchbox with a shoulder carrying strap since about 2nd grade. It came from Target and has worked just fine all this time.
As the kids get older, boys especially don't seem to need as much 'decorated' stuff- my son puts his own stickers, etc. on his backpacks and lunchbox now. Get your kids the silly, little kid stuff now, while its age-appropriate. They will need heavy-duty gear before you know it!
C.L. answers from Fresno on July 07, 2010
Pottery Barn kids have the cutest personalized backpacks and matching lunchboxes
C.F. answers from Columbus on July 08, 2010
You have to be sure any backpack you get is WIDE enough for folders. Some of the character backpacks are too narrow. The better made backpacks do last longer. The cheaper ones may not last a full school year. And its very difficult to find lunch boxes and backpacks after the fall.
Be careful about buying the smaller backpacks from lands end too - may not be wide enough for folders, binders, etc when they get into 1st, 2nd grade.
Lunchboxes - get one which has a separate sandwich compartment so they don't get crushed. I don't want to put the sandwiches in tupperware containers because the kids loose them, or throw them out by mistake. I there is a separate compartment other stuff won't crush the sandwich. Buy at least 2 - they get lost, they forget to bring them home, or food spills inside. Lunch boxes are very hard to find if you need to replace them mid year. I have never bought the lands end lunch boxes. I don't need to buy new ones every year, but I make sure we have 3 at the beginning of the school year. When they are younger, its also good to have a back pack big enough to put the lunch box inside - then the kids are less likely to loose it.
Y.C. answers from New York on July 07, 2010
I would buy the luchboxe from Lands End, because when is about keeping food good I rather play safe, besides you can use it later; and I would buy her a cute cheap backpack with her favorite character. Even if I think that the Lands End will hold better, part of the fun think about staring school is shop for her stuff. Besides, every year they hope to have a different one and they do destroy the old one. I would only buy a good one when they go to High school.