How to Choose a Backpack

It happens every year: back to school shopping. Tons of stores, tons of choices, lots of money spent. One of the most important purchases you'll make for your child is a backpack, assuming you pick a new one every few years. With rows and rows of options at several different stores, how should you go about picking a good one?

Consider the Age and Opinion of Your Child

How old is your child? Some kids want a say in what their backpack looks like, because it can be a fun or exciting thing (especially for the younger ones). Always ask to see if your kid even cares, and if they do, involve them in shopping. For younger children (say, third grade and younger), select several that meet your criteria below and then allow them a handful to choose from. For older children, allow them to help you in your research and to present you with backpacks that they like that meet your budget and other requirements.

How to Choose a Backpack

Consider the Contents

Depending on how old your child is, this backpack will either be filled with a couple of worksheets and maybe a few markers, or it'll be jam-packed with books and binders. What will your kid be carrying to and from school on a daily basis? Are there enough pockets and space to accommodate the contents?

Consider the Support

Once kids get old enough to cart text books back and forth, you'll want to start considering some back support in the way of adjustable straps and engineered materials. Kids will end up carrying 10-20 pounds on their backs every day when they get into middle and high school, so neglecting to think about how this bag wil support their backs could be a huge medical mistake.

Consider its Durability

Backpacks can be expensive, so looking at the durability should be a requirement. Trendy backpacks may not be built well, but may cost more money because of the trend. Try to set milestones for the backpacks: the first one should last from pre-school to first grade. The second one should last from second grade to fourth grade. The third one should last from fifth grade to eighth grade, and so on and so forth. Avoid backpacks that will have you buying a new one every single year.

Consider the Deal

Given that this purchase isn't like buying a new binder, it's ok to splurge a little if it's in your budget. Your budget should correlate to exactly how many years you'd like to get out of your purchase, understanding that the more you spend, the better the brand, the more use you'll get out of it.

Before you blindly purchase a bag from Target, do your research. Consider the deal, the durability, the contents, the back support and your child's opinion, and you'll be happy with your purchase.

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Back to School Tees…on the Cheap

cheap-tees...back to school tees - on the cheap. 😉 Check out what we made today using fabric pens and these really fun "doodle-pop" embellishments at Michaels.

http://www.michaels.com/art/online/displayArticle?articleNum=as0293

So simple - yet so cute.

The bright colored embelishments were actually iron-on embroidered art doodles.  I just used one white, and one black fabric pen and added some of the backfround designs.  (Swirls, stars, hearts, little buildings...honestly - anyone can do it!)

They also have some "flocked" matching iron ons that you can use to add detail (see the octopus photo).

Everything, including the transfers, tees, and pens cost me less than $20!

Click the link above for more information...and don't forget to grab your online Michaels coupon!

Not a Fan: Old Navy Little Girls’ Jeans

jeansToday was back to school shopping day.  Let me start by saying that I was *thrilled with the deals!  $10.00 Jeans at Old Navy...$10-$12.00 Jeans at Kohls.   I felt like I hit a gold mine.

I bought 4 pairs of girls Jeans at Kohls - and three more pairs at Old Navy for a total of $$65.00  I felt like I'd hit the jackpot.

...and then - fitting time.

I unloaded my bags and had my six year old daughter try on her jeans.  The first pair (from Kohls) was from the "Jumping Beans" line.  One of my all time favorites.

Cute, stylish...yet still "childish" - elastic waistband...cute detailing including little "heart" pockets.  Perfect.  I spent $7.00 - cha-ching!

Next, we tried the "SO" Kohls brand jeans 2 for $22.00.  Again, cute...simple - adjustable waistband...again - perfect.

Finally, the Old Navy brand jeans.  I bought one "boot cut" pair, and another "flare leg" in size 6.

....Not a fan.  My six year old daughter literally had to "jump" up and down to get the jeans to her waist.  If that wasn't horrifying enough...they were skin tight on the thighs and extremely low-waisted.

...I am not a prude (by any stretch of the imagination)  - but why in the world would a little girl need to "hop" into her jeans?  ....and why so tight?  My daughter is average-sized (a little slim) and these jeans were tighter than tight around the thighs and bottom...and "low-rise" enough that if she bent over to pick up a crayon...her bottom would be showing.

Do we really need to "show-off" the figures of little girls? Do they even have a figure yet?

Mind you, I am a huge fan of Old Navy for myself - but I will no longer be shopping there for anything but graphic tees for my little girl.

I just don't get it...

Loving This! Safety Tats – Adorable Identification Tattoos for your Child

I literally found this website a few hours after scraping a Fourth of July flag tattoo off of my daughter's arm.  The darn thing stayed on for three days!

Now, I am having one of those...slap the forehead - why didn't I think of that?  - moments.  (I think I have a permanent forehead bruised from all of the brilliant things *other* moms have thought of).

Anyway - this one is one of the brilliant-ist by far.   =)

I used to be a social worker and spent much of my summer retrieving young children who wandered from home or who got lost at a park or carnival.

It never failed...even the children who probably rehearsed their name and phone numbers with a parent over...and over...got cases of stage fright.

What's your name?  "um - I don't know".

What's your mommy's name?  "um - mommy".

Where do you live?  "In a blue house".

We always found the rightful owners to the wayward children...however, it is nice not to spare a moment (or a trip to the police station) while looking for a parent.

I am buying a few "tats" as we speak.  They are stinkin' cute, plus - they last over a week.  (If they are anything like the flag tattoo - they'd probably last until the child hits jr. high).

Check it out!