Backpack Dilemma

Updated on August 12, 2008
D.M. asks from Wixom, MI
50 answers

Ahhhhh! The choices are endless!! What do you all feel about the backpack issue. Most kids I know get a new one every year with the current superhero of choice. However I feel like this is such a waste of money, materials, resources, etc. My 5 year old of coruse wants the spiderman BP, but I want something more sensible that may last a few years. My hubby, dad and best friend think that it's his first year in elementary school and he should get to choose. My MIL and I think it would be better to instill some concept of what is "needed" vs. "excess". I am not (entirely)frugal but I do hate wasting money. What do you think? Am I being an extreme penny pincher or is my husband leading him into the world of consumerism????

:0) Ahh, the stresses of kidnergarten!

D.

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So What Happened?

HAHAHAHAHA! You ladies are a riot. Thanks for the great advice. This question turned into something of a social experiment. I am taking him out next week and will see what he chooses. We went lunch box shopping and SURPRISINGLY he chose the high quality, black and camo Starter lunch box....and it was me who was trying to get him to get the "old school" metal spiderman lunch pail. You are right. This is a wonderful time in his life and who knows, maybe I have rubbed off on him and he will pick out a plain but "sensible" one!! I suggested to him about getting a plain one and decorating it and he thought that idea rocked!!! Good luck to everyone this school year.

D

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N.T.

answers from Detroit on

Hello D., My name is N. T. my children are 13 and 10 and out of all the school years I think they only carried the same back pack for 2 years once. Kids grow up way to fast, let him have his choice, just to see the smile on that little face is all worth it, and what I have done every year is my kids will donate their old back packs to the salvation army or veterans, thats if they last out the year, as they get older the rougher they are on those bags so sometimes you may only get 1 year so I say let him have his super hero. Good luck, and I hope I helped.

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J.N.

answers from Detroit on

I agree with you, but maybe you could let him choose from a resale shop (if they sell backpacks). If you buy a brand new one, and you end up buying another one next year, you will have the opportunity to teach about donating...

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L.K.

answers from Saginaw on

D.
Went through what you are talking about and finally listened to a friend at work that told me about LL Beans backpacks. I bought my girls each one when they were in 3rd and 4th grades and they still had them in high school and they looked like the day I bought them. We put them in the washer on light cycle and let them air dry at the end of the school year.The kids actually got sick of them and they never wore out. They have many different colors and styles and you can have their name put on them or whatever. They are a bit pricy but well worth the money.Good luck in finding the perfect backpack!

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J.S.

answers from Detroit on

Take it from a teacher- very few backpacks make it through an entire year WITHOUT needing to be replaced the following year or shortly into the next year. The kids are rough on them no matter how careful they are. Pencils poke through, straps get worn, etc. I'm as frugle as they come but take it from years of experience- you're going to be purchasing a new one every year for a while.

Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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K.K.

answers from Saginaw on

well...I have 2 kids (8 and 15) and I've NEVER had a backpack make it all the way through the year, good enough to be used next year. It might with kindergarten, but not once they start carrying big text books. Especially in Michigan!!! That thing will get dragged through rain, mud, snow, ice, dirt, etc. It'll be over packed in the winter with boots and snowpants and extra everything...
and shoved into tiny little lockers and cubbies at school.
I'd give in, and figure it to be an expense every year. (the cheaper ones are usually the ones with the superhero's anyway...so you won't spend as much as you think, and he'll be happy)

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S.K.

answers from Detroit on

Dear D.,
I appreciate your dilemma and also do not want my kids to grow up buying stuff just because it's there or it's the flavor of the month.
I bought each of my kids a new backpack for Kindergarten. I picked them out and presented them with great flourish so the kids really thought it was something special. My son is now going in to 4th grade and still has the same backpack.
His is a Polo sport brand I got from Costco. I wash it once or twice a year and he'll use it until it falls apart. My daughter's is a Jansport from Target. She just got her's for kindergarten last year. They are both colorful, but do not have characters or show themes. I do not even mention new backpacks as an option and they have not asked.
You could compromise and get him AN item, like a t-shirt, water bottle, key chain, pen or notebook from whatever show or movie is popular, but a packpack is a durable good and does not need to be replaced every year. I also believe in keeping lunchboxes until they fall apart, but we seem to go through a lot more water bottles, so a character water bottle may be a good option. It also may prevent it from getting lost if it is more special to him because of the character.
Best of luck to you.
S.

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T.K.

answers from Detroit on

Well, none of my children's backpacks have ever made it through a school year so far (my oldest is going into 4th grade), so I say go for the spiderman. And then apparently, we need to get searching for these lifetime warranties... I was just thinking of the kids' emminent return to school and ruminating to myself the other day how they "don't make backpacks like they used to" lol

Apparently if you look long enough there are a few...

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B.T.

answers from Lansing on

For both of my kids I let them pick out which ever kind of back pack they wanted for Kindergarten. It's a whole new time and exciting and scary and I figured I'd let them have their say in something that wasn't all that important - backpacks and lunch boxes. Of course they both went with the latest style/superhero ones. And those only last about year anyways from all the dragging and throwing and damage a kindergartener can do. Now - after kindergarten I got the final say in these items (with their input of course) and they use the same one for several years in a row before they fall apart. You can find the 'fancy' ones on sale for a decent price. I've paid a little more for their next ones, but those tend to last longer. My advice is they're going through a lot of changes and into a new world, let them have fun with the little things right now. There's plenty of ways to teach about need and excess too so I'm sure you'll do just fine and they'll appreciate it later in life!!!

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D.F.

answers from Detroit on

My kids get to choose a new backpack every year, if they want to. They have a tough year of school ahead of them and they deserve it. Last school year one of my boys wanted to use his old one. He's such a sweetheart. I donate the others to goodwill.

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A.A.

answers from Detroit on

I agree that a new back pack every year seems excessive, however, it worked out that way for my first son because those character backpacks don't hold up to your average boys life in elementary school. So, when my oldest got to second grade and we needed yet another backpack because the one from the year before didn't hold up, the bottoms would wear through, I decided to buy a Land's End backpack and have his name embossed on it. He picked the color he wanted and then how he wanted his name on it. It was awesome! When it arrived he liked it and it has help up so well that it still looks brand new a year later. We plan to use it again this year. I was so impressed at how well it held up to a second graders life that I have since bought one for my soon to be 1st grader and kindergartener. I even got them on clearance at the Land's End's over stocks section.I highly recommend Land's End! They might be pricey but they are well worth the 30 bucks! Good Luck, A.

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T.A.

answers from Grand Rapids on

D.,
I have to say that I agree with you. I have 5 boys and 4 of them are in school this year. Buying a new pack for everyone every year gets expensive!

Here are a few things I've learned about backpacks. The ones with the wheels fall apart in less than a year, they are not well made and get dragged through snow and mud because they have wheels and the kids never seem to realize that you can actually pick them up and carry them.

For kindergarden let him have a cheap character one, they don't cost much and chances are he will be rough on it. Just inspect it at the end of the school year, if it is in good shape (zippers working, straps intact, no major rips or holes) use it again next year. I do this at the end of every school year. Also if you let him pick it out, tell him he has to stay in a certian price range, I do this with my boys and if its too much, I tell them "sorry that one isn't in the budget, lets keep looking". Just make sure you keep the size in mind, come winter not only will he be hauling papers, and artwork, but snowpants, extra mittens, hats, etc. and even possibly be carting his shoes back and forth every day if his teacher doesn't want them left at school.

Later when my boys get backpacks that don't have the characters on them what I do at the end of the school year is throw them in the washer (1 packpack and fill the rest of the washer up with towels) and let hang dry. It really spruces them up and makes them look new again (however I've never had much luck doing this with the character backpacks). Some backpacks we've used up to 3 years.

We keep a couple of the washed backpacks that aren't good enough for school for the kids when they go on sleepovers, or for sports equipment. You can keep the bag packed with the sports stuff so when its time to leave all they have to do is grab the backpack.

Lastly they have a new type bag now and my 7th grader wants one of these instead of a backpack, it's more of a flat bag with 1 shoulder strap,(I know theres a name for them but I can't remember what he called it!) So for him we are going to try one of those, in my thinking just the style of the thing would seem that they wouldn't get treated as roughly as a backpack and I'm hoping it will last much longer. Cross your fingers!

Good luck!

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S.R.

answers from Detroit on

I used to buy my kids the nice Land's End packs when they're on sale, even though the more expensive Meijer or Target are equal cost. My daughter trashes hers every year and we end up with a new one, (same with lunch boxes) so from now on she gets a cheap one. My message to her is if you don't take care of it, you won't get the nicer things on my dime. In K they were pretty oblivious, and somehow characters weren't as important to them, though 1st grade that came more in to play. If its important to him, I'd let him choose but go somewhere for the bargain. If you break it down by daily cost, its really not a big expense thanks to cheap Chinese goods!

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L.C.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Dear D. M.,

My chiropractor sells ones with air in the bottom so that they don't allow all the weight of the books to pull down on the kids' backs and shoulders. It was not that expensive but I have two to buy for and low income. Right now it is not in our budget, but if you can afford it, it would be better for your children if they have many books to carry on their backs.

Hope this helps.

L. C.

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E.S.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Goodness mom! Let him choose his backpack. The years of durability are not too far ahead. Backpacks are all of 10-15 bucks, surely this will not break the bank? He's little, only ONCE. Let him enjoy it. We just bought my kindergartener her backpack from Sears, 12.50, and it's acutally made of the same material that JanSport makes theirs of AND it has Hello Kitty on it. Just look around, find one that HE enjoys and let him run with it!

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S.M.

answers from Saginaw on

Hello D., I too have a chihuahua and love the breed. As far as the bp goes, remember that school will educate your son on social skills as well as the basics. So helping your son fit it is vital at this stage of the game. If he feels left out or out of place you have set the stage for his future years in school. Kindergarden will most likely not put too much wear and tear on his pc, so I'm sure that you will get two years out of it. Wait until high-school and the heavy books demand high quality bps. Don't allow your son to have everything he wants, but to have one fashion statement opens the doors for conversation with his new class mates, and hopefully he will make some new friends. Good luck.

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M.C.

answers from Detroit on

Hi D.,

I went through this same situation with my daughter when she started the early school years. She is now 13 going into the 8th grade and here is what I can tell you--and this will in the long run, save you money, trust me. I agree with your hubby, dad and best friend. Let your son pick out his backpack. I have chosen backpacks for my daughter (amongst other "good quality, long-lasting" things), and later found out she didn't like them, wouldn't use them, and whined until she got the stuff that was "cool and in style." So, I ended up buying the same stuff again and spending more money. If I didn't get these items for her, she went to grandma for them or even worked odd jobs around the house to save enough money to buy what she wanted. So, the backpack I chose went to being sold at our yearly garage sale. If a kid doesn't get to choose their things, they will not be content especially with big items like backpacks. We live in such a materialistic "in style" culture, that if you don't have what's "cool" at the time, you will not be happy. It gets much worse as they hit the tween and teen years. I think it's ok for you to pick out small stuff like maybe pencils, erasers, etc., but when it comes to big stuff items like backpacks and lunch boxes, let him pick them out and tell him that he has to make sure he will use the backpack the entire year, so he has to choose one that he really likes.

Just my 2 cents,

MC

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A.I.

answers from Lansing on

hey D.
i am a mother of 5 girls so we have alot of back packs and they don't last a full yrear the zippers break seam comeapart and they just get down right dirty so we replace them twice a year and it alway there pick find a cheap spiderman one you will replace it before the school year is up good luck

check yard sales

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V.G.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Our daughter went to pre-school last year, and we had to have a back pack for that. Mid-way through the year it bit the dust (she drug it on the ground) so we got her another one. That one is still good, and she will be using it this year for Kindergarten. It's a My Little Pony, so it's kind of a classic stand by, and we did get it on a clearance deal - but it's a nice back pack. Although it may mean getting him a back pack every year the first couple of years, my advice would be to get him an inexpensive, generic back pack to start with. This way if he is a kid at all, and loves it very much (i.e. dragging it on the ground, over cemement, rocks, what have you) and it is dead at the end of the year, you at least didn't spend a lot on it. My mother-in-law spent $20 on the back pack that our daughter used last year (Thomas the Train), when we had to replace it at Winter break, she was upset because to her that was a lot of money that was wasted. If you have to buy another one at the beginning of next year, do the same thing, until he can prove himself worthy of a "Super Hero" back pack.

My mom taught us a lesson with gym shoes one year. My brother wanted the "Nike Air Jordan's" for the school year. We were on a fixed income and he often ruined at least 2 pair of gym shoes a year. She told my brother that if he didn't ruin the cheap, generic shoes, and they were still being worn at the end of the year, then the next year he could have the latest Air Jordan's. He had to tape his shoes together at the end of the year, but he managed to keep them the whole year. The next year he had is Air Jordan's and treated them like gold. Although not the same as a back pack, the morale is the same. If you want something "special" and trendy, which could cost a bit more, then you need to earn it!

Good Luck.

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S.B.

answers from Detroit on

First of all, he is only going into kindergarten and doesn't bring or take home alot to school, so let him feel like a big boy, get him the Superman backpack, etc... Once he hits 1st grade you will need to get him a bigger one to hold lunches, homework & winter boots....and that one can last longer! My 9 year old get's a new one ever 2 years and they are sensible and they are not that expensive.....they just get dirty and hey, who doesn't want a little something new once in awhile!? Good Luck!

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K.T.

answers from Detroit on

D. -

I totally understand your situation. What I did was let my kids chose backpacks for preschol and I think they used the same ones for kindergarten. When I saw that the backpacks were falling apart before the end of the year I decided that it was time for an "investment". When each of my children entered first grade, I purchased a Land's End backpack and matching lunchbox. I let the kids pick the color and had them monogramed with their first name on the backpack and initials on the lunch box. My daughter is entering 5th grade and is still using the same backpack. She's on her second lunch box because she's pretty hard on them but I just wait till they are on clearence and get one that goes with her backpack. I fully expect her to use this backpack in middle school and perhaps even high school. It's never too early to teach the value of a dollar.

Good Luck in your decision - hoped this helped.

K.

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B.M.

answers from Detroit on

i believe that the first year kidnergarten is the most important adjustment grade . although i dont believe in consumerism completely but i do believe in allowing the child to pick his first backpack , will help him feel a bit more secure and confident... after all he only will be bringing home papers and stuff , not 10 -12 textbooks.i am a mom to 3 grown boys , and they each picked their first backpack in kidnergarten, if one was needed and now i have a grandson who is going to kidnergarten.. lol he has a backpack with wheels...

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S.B.

answers from Detroit on

Hi D.,
I agree with the L.L. Bean backpack idea. They last longer than the ones in the stores. My daughter is on year 3 and I think it will last through elementary school! They had some in the past with embroidered balls or other small icons on them, as well. (We have one with a flamingo.)

T.M.

answers from Lansing on

For kindergarten my kids were allow to pick a character backpack and because they are cheaper they barely lasted the entire school year. After that we've bought better quality (more expensive) backpacks that they kids use for as long as possible, but I do let the kids pick the colors, etc.

Good luck!

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Z.P.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Honey, as a mother of four (two of whom are well into their school years) I'm going to have to agree with you hubby and his group. The backpacks aren't expensive, and they actually are likely to wear out in a year. Even the nice ones, when dragged around by a kindergartener, get holes in them and by the end of the year are ready to go away. My kids get a new backpack each year in elementary school simply because of what they do to them. As they get older, and are better at taking care of their things, they will get nice sturdy backpacks that will last a few years. But for little ones, a nice cute little backpack will make him excited about going and more likely to remember the backpack. :)

Good luck!

-Z.

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L.J.

answers from Detroit on

my daughter is starting kindergarten this year too and we told her she can pick out a backpack, she wants hannah montana. she knows that this is a special occassion and won't be an every year thing. if you explain that to your son he might be understanding of it.

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B.T.

answers from Saginaw on

D.,
Well, I do end up buying one each year. My kids just seem to be rough on them; and, it has never seemed to matter whether it had a character or a cover. However, I also use backpacks for more than school. If one happens to make it through the year before, it becomes that "bag" that spends the night or takes extra items to school or travels in the van with swim/sport equipment. But they do use them until they are "dead". I have to be frugal also, so they do have a price limit because they are so hard on them. It aslo has become a "thing" with their dad. He takes each one of them, individually, to pick out their backpack. He used to do lunch boxes also, but because those aren't used as much, they don't wear out as fast. Those we always buy nice but in colors not characters, because they like both hot and cold lunches. Have fun and enjoy this new adventure of KG with your child!
b

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C.J.

answers from Lansing on

D.,

I agree with some of the other posts. I would allow your son to pick out his first backpack that has a super hero on it (if that's what he likes).

My son is going into first grade in September. Last year he used a Diego backpack, but this year I purchased an L.L. Bean pack. It was nearly the same amount of money as the packs at the store, but it has a lifetime guarantee. I let my son pick the color so he was still able to choose his backpack from what I made available. The L.L. Bean pack is a much better fit and I think will hold up to homework, spelling books, and school lunches.

Before next year you may need to find out from your son's principle the dimensions the packs need to be. We couldn't exceed a certain dimension because the bags needed to fit into a locker.

I hope your son has fun in kindergarten!

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A.H.

answers from Lansing on

I am doing the same this year so don't feel bad. My son is going into 2nd grade but he had a plain backpack last year and didn't seem to mind. This year I want to get him a eastpak or similiar that will last a couple of years. I will let him pick out the design though.

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S.D.

answers from Detroit on

Let him pick it out! It's really exciting for kids to be able to pick out their own stuff, & he'll probably be more confident and will want to show it off to his classmates! It's not a waste of money to make ur son happy with it, especially when its only once a year! Just make sure you price around and get it somewhere cheap, like Walmart. :)

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N.A.

answers from Lansing on

I have to say I am frugal but it is one of my boys fave thing to go pick out their backpack every year. it gets them pumped up and excited. They are not really that much, you just have to watch the sales. It also gives the kids something to talk about etc.
I have to go along with your DH on this. To me it is a right of passage to get a new backpack. i do tell my kids that they have a budget and they see us checking ads and shopping around so they know it is not a free for all.

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S.C.

answers from Lansing on

I've raised two now and it seemed like even when I did pick out what I thought was the better quality backpack it still was falling apart by the end of the school year. It wasn't until they got into high school and bought army surplus back packs (boys) that the packs became durable and lasted more than one year! And for them that was the ulitmate in cool. If you're like most of us you might find you're replacing that pack each year no matter what you purchase. Since it's kindergarden I would vote for letting him pick out his own backpack and have fun with it. There are sooooo many other issues with kids once they get into school don't expend too much energy on this one. Enjoy these years, they're the best.

S.

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S.S.

answers from Detroit on

We have an entire collection of old backpacks because of this issue! :) But, if it keeps my son excited to go to school, I'm there. Pick your battles and donate the used ones to someone who needs them. We used the old ones for trips to places so that my son can pack his stuff in them.

S.
[email protected]____.com

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L.R.

answers from Detroit on

I understand your dilema. But 5 seems a bit young to try to instill "needed" vs. "excess". This is your childs first year in school. Let him/her have what s/he wants. Maybe next year or so would be a better time to teach a lesson. For now just get the fun backpack. Try to go to Meijer or Walmart where you can get it cheaper. Plus you can use this packpack later for overnight visits to grandma's or for long car rides as a place to put snacks and toys ect so that it won't go to waster. Practicallity is not something any 5 year old will understand.

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C._.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Hello D.,

A couple of ideas, get a useful backpack and a spiderman key chain that you can hang on it and therefore it's customized to his taste.

Another idea, check out thrift stores and garage sales...might find what you want for just a couple of dollars. a lot of times the price difference is not much.
My kids are going into 3rd and 1st grade and maybe this year I'll let my son pick because of the different styles (no characters on it).

Also, how about ONE spiderman notebook? spiderman pencils?
Good luck! Once I was just trolling through a thrift store and found a pokemon backpack for like $1. it was like new! We still have it! Good luck. ~Carmen~

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C.H.

answers from Detroit on

I just ordered some from LL Bean because all the reviews say they last for years (and years and years in some cases). I got my Kindergartener the Jr. one for his size and my 3rd grader the medium sized one for his size. I figure by the time my little guy needs a new one my oldest will need a larger size. I got tired of buying them and having them not even last the full year without looking ratty. My 5 year old didn't seem to mind that it didn't have a character on it. I brought them over to the PC and let them pick the color, he got Camo and loves it :)

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M.A.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Let your son get the spiderman backpack this year and his choice for the first few years of elementary school. He won't need an "industrial strength" one until he's in middle school and high school where the books and homework load are much heavier! Once he's older, he'll prefer a more reliable backpack and will help you in choosing one that will last. Good luck, have fun and be sure to take pictures of him with his chosen backpack. When he graduates you and he will look back on this with fond memories :)

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J.D.

answers from Grand Rapids on

I would just get the spiderman one... backpacks typically don't last until the following year, but if it is still in decent condition next year, spiderman is acceptable for a 1st grader too.
I'll tell you what my dad told me... in ten years your not going to look back and say "i'm really glad I saved that $10"
your going to say you wanted a spiderman backpack for your first day of school, and we found one on sale!

good luck.

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J.M.

answers from Detroit on

I don't think that kids are *ever* too young to instill the needed vs. excesses idea. You can get him one at LL Bean or Land's End and get his name embroidered on it (unless you feel that's a safety issue), or perhaps a nickname or even "spiderman" written on it, then buy an iron-on patch or some such thing to personalize it further for him. The lessons we instill young are often held the deepest. I *so* wish we hadn't started the Disney Princess garbage when my girls were young!

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L.N.

answers from Benton Harbor on

Personally, this is a battle I wouldn't choose. Tell him what you are willing to spend on a backpack and then let him pick out one he wants. I have yet to get 2 years out of one anyway...my 17 year old barely makes it thru a schoolyear with the same bag. I am not a fan of the character clothing, shoes, bags, etc...but kids are so I indulge them. Let them be kids!

~L.

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M.S.

answers from Detroit on

Hi D.,
I will be interested in everyone's comments as well. I understand and agree with your principles. But I also understand the other side too.
I was so excited at buying school things that I let my son pick out his own back pack in pre-school, it was a cute "Little Bear" one from the cartoon he loved.
The next one I picked out and it was in camoflauge color which I new he would like and he has used it for two years and will use it again this year. It has worn well and he still likes it.
Good luck with it.
M.

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T.B.

answers from Lansing on

D., he's only five. I really don't think that be will understand the want vs need lesson you're trying to instill. It's his first year in elementary school, he's gotta have Spiderman. It may help his confidence. It may be a conversation starter that helps him make friends. Having that Spiderman backpack may make a world of difference for his first day of school.

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C.B.

answers from Detroit on

Compromise. Get the back pack that will last a few years, and let your son pick out the Spiderman stickers to stick on it. for one thing, kids change from year to year what their #1 cool thing is. One year it's Spiderman, the next year it's something else. And with stickers, he can help put them on and decorate his backpack, and when he grows tired of Spidey, can take them off and decorate with something else.

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J.D.

answers from Detroit on

I would say let him choose at this point. It is such an important item to them, and its a big deal in Kindergarten.
My daughter is now in 5th grade and has used the same backpacks for the last 2 years. There is time later to instill money saving skills.
Actually, though my son who is in 2nd grade, I did him to agree to a cool backpack in the color he liked for 1st grade, so he can re-use it. The character ones are only good as long as they continue to like the characters. But, in Kindergarten the character ones were much more important.

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A.H.

answers from Detroit on

Why not satisfy everyone and let him pick with the understanding that this is a very important decision since he'll be using it until ________.
:o) Happy Schooling!!!

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K.A.

answers from Saginaw on

Let him have it...My son had to have the spiderman back pack his first yr. of pre school-he is now going into second grade and we finally threw it away the last day of school! He had 2 yrs. of pre school and k and first grades! All with the same spiderman back pack! Spiderman will rule for the boys for years! My other son has had the same back pack now for 2 years also. (only 1 yr. of pre school so far) and his is still going strong! He also plays with it and puts his favorite toys in it here at home! Some last and last...others dont...My daughter is a senior this year and she usually keeps them for a good 2 yrs. too! So-as long as he picks it out this year-he will most likely have it next year too!

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C.C.

answers from Detroit on

D.,

My daughter is going into 1st grade this year. Last year we purchased her a character backpack on wheels for kindergarten and had to replace it about half way through the year. The second backpack we purchased is still in good shape so she will start this school year with it - without any qualms.

Let him pick out his backpack this year. It's just another way to get him excited about this new year of school.

When our children get older and actually have to put heavy books in their backpack my older sister (boys 10 & 16 years old) has recommended Landsend as the best source to get a good, lasting backpack.

Good luck! Enjoy the first year of school.

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J.M.

answers from Lansing on

When they are young K-2, I let them pick out the character backpacks. One thing is that they are sometimes smaller and they can't carry 20 pounds. The other things is when they are in middle school you would wish Spiderman BP is your only dilemma. Sometimes things break on backpacks and need to be replaced mid year. Other times they last for two or three. Once they are in the upper elemenatary grades we got them back packs on a replacement/need basis. The other BP's are used as back ups and for other activities like dance, sports, etc.

C.T.

answers from Detroit on

Go ahead and get him the back SM BP it won't hurt him and then when he gets just a little bit older start to teach him the differnce. Remember in just a few years you won't be able to pay him to wear a SP BPthen you'll look back and laugh. He's just a baby let him be a kid for a long as possible.

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D.B.

answers from Detroit on

i agree and disagree. my younges is going in 3rd grade. she has received a backback every year. and believe or not has needed it. you do not want your child to be the only child without a "cool" new back pack. they do come home with more homework than we did. my daughter has come home with home work and projects since the first week in kindergarten. it is unbelievable. now that my daughter is a little older and understands a good explanation and especially if its about saving money and taking care of the good things we have. she's old enough. were your child is hitting a new environment, has to cope without you and has to make friends and fit in. all i'm saying is this could be a fun thing for him. wow. a new bag to only keep my school things in. they'll have a weekly folder or planner their responible for. when my daughter came home everyday her job was to check her backpack for work or notes for mom and dad. because most of the kindergarten teachers put things in your childs pack while their on recess or other wise occupied. just thought you should know. now we've decided to purchase a new rolling backpack this year that is not themed. because this back pack should last her until the end of 5th grade. that is how she is learning to take care of things and when its time for new, she'll get a better product of her choice because we know she can take care of it. if not, she will have to go into junior high in 6th grade with her elementary bag. good luck. D. b

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L.F.

answers from Detroit on

Personally, I like to get a new one every year. They get so DIRTY and disgusting looking, I would rather just buy a new one every year! Good luck!

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