Elementary packing tips
While you don’t want to weigh them down any more than necessary, there are a few things you should consider adding to the pencils, paper and homework that are staples in your child’s backpack.
- A pencil box or soft pencil case. This will keep all those stray bits and pieces (erasers, pencils, markers and pens) from messing up the bottom of the bag—and everything in it!
- A small “emergency” kit. Put a couple of bandages, a wet wipe packet and a small package of tissues in a little plastic baggy—just in case.
- A healthy snack. A piece of fruit or a nut-free granola bar make good tide-me-over-until-lunch recess treats.
- Contact information. In the event of accident or illness, it’s good to have a little card with your contact information on it tucked into a secure pocket inside the backpack. If your child has life-threatening allergies or medical concerns, it’s a good idea to list them on the card too, as well as a doctor’s name and contact number.
- A little cash. Include just enough change for your child to be able to make a telephone call, if necessary, or to buy a little treat if he or she is allowed.
- Extra clothes. Accidents happen, so an extra pair of socks (especially on wet or snowy days), mittens, hat, pants, or even underpants (depending upon the age of the child) may make sense.
- Sun hat and sunscreen. A little protection for those warmer days.
- Slippers or extra shoes. For days when your child is wearing boots to school.
- A library book. Having a library book on hand at all times is a good way to encourage a love of reading and help your child learn how to be responsible for something that doesn’t belong to them.
- A little surprise! Maybe it’s a sweet note from you or a favorite homemade recess treat. A little TLC will make your child feel special and loved even when you’re not with him or her.
Remember to have a peek inside the backpack fairly often to make sure that nothing has gone missing and that any fruit or snacks you’ve packed have been eaten and are not languishing (or rotting!) in the bottom of the bag.
For more tips on what to pack in a child’s backpack, including advice on choosing the right backpack, visit She Knows Parenting .
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