Shopping for School Backpacks - What Your Kid Really Wants

Your kid's school backpack is one of the largest purchases you will make for school supplies. You will want to find one that has all the features your student needs, but you also want to buy one that your student likes. Over the years, their school backpacks will become a part of who they are amongst their fellow students and one that isn't cool is just, well, not cool and can have a very negative impact.

Backpacks for kids can be separated into categories based on the age of the child. Obviously, a middle school student won't want to carry backpacks with a childish theme like a princess or Thomas the Tank Engine or one that's too small. A backpack that doesn't fit won't get used without a fight.

For preschoolers and young elementary school students, look for backpacks with these qualities:

• Characters or Critters - Now is the time for that cute ladybug or dinosaur backpack. Alternatively, movie and television characters are also popular with this age group.

• Small Size - While you want to make sure it is large enough for your child's needs, if it's too big it won't be comfortable. No one wants to wear a backpack that comes down to his knees.

Upper elementary school students have outgrown the craze for characters. They will want to seem more mature, so backpacks with themes like these are more popular:

• Colors and Patterns - This age group wants to be cool. Solid colors are a good choice, with darks for boys and pinks and purples for girls. Patterns such as camo, hearts, and stars are also popular on backpacks for kids this age.

• Easy to Use - Kids don't want to have to fight to put all the books they will have to have into the backpack. Make sure the main opening is wide enough to accommodate a large textbook or folder.

• Water Bottle Pocket - Having a backpack with a water bottle pocket is a great way to keep kids hydrated.

Middle school and high school students need to carry a lot of stuff with them from class to class. This means backpacks that help them stay organized while looking cool will be their favorites:

• Multiple Pockets - These kids need a space to keep pens, pencils, erasers, and other small stuff where it's easy to grab quickly.

• Music Player Pocket - The backpacks that give kids all kinds of pockets for their electronic gear such as cell phones and MP3 players are the ones they will prefer.

While school backpacks can be expensive, you probably should expect to purchase more than one as your child grows through his years at school.


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