It simply doesn’t seem possible that school is going to be starting back in fewer than three weeks! But like it or not, here it comes!!
I really couldn’t tell you if I’m so excited for all things fall and to be back on an actual school schedule, or if I just want to hide under the covers and squeeze my little ones so tightly that they stop growing so that we can just bask in all things summer forever! I’m seriously on the fence. Maybe it is this sweltering heat we’ve been dealing with that makes me crave a crisp morning seeing the kids off to school!
One of the things that comes along with the beginning of the school year is all the gear that you need! Maybe you are like me and have a little guy who has been in preschool for a couple years now and you are looking to make some purchases that will last him a few years with kindergarten around the corner, or maybe you are also like me in having a little one that is going to be starting preschool for the very first time and you are a little overwhelmed with all the billions of choices out there for lunch boxes, lunch containers, backpacks, water bottles, the list goes on!!! I feel like so often I see people asking on social media and message boards what are the best of the best when it comes to these things so I have done the research for you!
While this is primarily geared towards preschool, most of these things can be used for kids of all ages! You might just need to look at other size options to fit your child’s ever growing body!
Let’s start with Backpacks.
I’m going to be honest with you: I love taking my son to Target and letting him pick out whatever backpack he wants for school that year. To see his excitement and pride in his choice kind of makes my heart sing. It’s normally something hideous with superheroes, or worse, SPONGEBOB, all over it, but hey, you are only a kid once, so knock yourself out! BUT, this year I am debating on purchasing a quality backpack that will last a few years. Here are some I have come up with:
Pottery Barn is so great because they have a TON of patterns to choose from and lots of different styles and sizes. Here is a break down of a couple of their styles size-wise:
MacKenzie Pre-K: 10.75″ high by 8.5″ wide. This is a very small bag; it looks cute on a toddler, but honestly, you can’t fit much in it.
Small: 15″ high by 12″ wide. This is a great size bag for someone like my son who is finishing his last year of preschool heading into kindergarten. It could last for years to come!
Fairfax Pre-K 8.5″ wide by 10″ high
Small 10.5″ wide by 13.5″ high
L.L. Bean also has a lot of different colors and patterns your kids will love! The junior doesn’t have quite as many colors to choose from but seems like it could be the PERFECT size for preschool!
Original Book Pack 16″ high by 11″ wide
Junior Original Book Pack 14.5″ high by 11″wide
Lands’ End backpacks are QUALITY bags. The only downside is that they don’t have a ton of colors or patterns to choose from, but their size and quality is great for toddlers who can be hard on their things!
Classmat X-Small Backpack 13.5″ high by 11″ wide
Classmat Small Backpack 16.5″ high by 12.5″ wide
Next up are lunch boxes/lunch containers.
My son’s preschool requires everything to be all in one container and again, there are obviously a million to choose from but here are some of the better options:
This is the Cadillac of lunch containers. They have a few different options to choose from and I will say, they are pricey. I don’t have one personally but I know people who do. They are stainless steel and incredible quality.
This is probably the best bang for your buck! For less than $14 you get FOUR compartmentalized BPA-free plastic food containers. These are not leak proof but such a great deal!
These are my personal favorite. They aren’t super cheap, but we use ours almost every single day. If my son isn’t at school we take them to the park, to the zoo, to the pool, anywhere to which we need to bring snacks. You can pack dips and yogurts in them too because they are leak proof! We have had ours for three years and it still looks brand new.
This is probably my kids’ favorite water bottle. They don’t leak; they are easy to drink from; and they aren’t heavy and are easy to clean. They also have a stainless steel option that is insulated and I think that will be my next purchase for them. They like their water COLD. (So do I!)
I like this bottle because my kids love a sports spout and it is insulated! Minimal parts so super easy to clean!
This is a great bottle for younger children. It is totally leak proof, very well insulated, and the straw is great kids 18 months and older.