10 Tips for Starting Kindergarten: #9 Backpacks

As an adult would you pack your suitcase for a trip just before you leave the house? For kids starting preschool or kindergarten, backpacks are a suitcase and the trip is going to school. What does a backpack need?

  • backpackdoorA backpack needs a name label somewhere inside. Some families are concerned about the safety of having too much information but even first names or initials help, especially for wandering backpacks.
  • A very small “touchy-feely” like a stuffie or other object can help to reassure kids.
  • A snack or lunch container that is very washable is important. Some backpacks like to fly around through the air or disguise themselves as pillows which seems to result in yogurt or applesauce exploding. Going thru the car wash may sound drastic but it’s practically the only way to get some of them clean.
  • Extra clothes can be rolled and squished into a ziplock bag for emergency use. (Many programs also ask for an extra pair of shoes to stay at school and a paint shirt.)
  • Find a place for the backpack to live when your child gets home. It’s amazing how some of them like to hide under beds, behind the toybox, in the car, etc. Having the same place for the backpack will make it easier to keep track of it.

Backpacks will get daily use. They are a main carrier of information from school to home, bringing library books, art work, craft projects and notices. Murphy’s Law for backpacks states that the more important a notice, the greater the chance that the paper will vanish on the way home. Just like pirates store their treasures in chests, kids store their treasures in backpacks. Did you know that kindergarten readiness includes helping both kids get ready and their backpacks?

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