Early school years can be exciting or traumatic…friends they haven’t seen all summer, new school=new people who might, just might be friends. It gets less wrenching, though more competitive as they grow up. Meantime, anything you can do to smooth the way or make the experience fun will help. This includes, even at their age, zippy accessories to show off and individualize.
For really little ones who need to pack snacks, lunch, a sweater, extra Kleenex, a favorite toy-you know. Good for starting out with a sense of high spirited identity. Pack David and Aurora’s favorite things on a trip to grandma and grandpa’s in these too. BPH free, phthalate free, PVC free. Roomy main compartment and padded, adjustable straps. Insulated pouch for snacks and adjustable mesh bottle pocket. Write on name tag inside (in case.) Easy to clean lining. 10” x 4” x 11.5”. $34.99 each set.
I looked at lots of sandwich cutters to cheer kid’s lunches away from home. The first time a shape is discovered you wish you could be there to see her/his face. Zippy napkins can be added to the packet as well. Buy 6 different packs and alternate. These are the best I could find: Verrrrumm, Puzzles, & Animals. Phthalate, lead- and BPA-free. FDA certified food-grade plastic. 3.75″Wx4″Dx1.25″H. Dishwasher safe. $14.95 each. Cuts’m in a lot of bite sized pieces.
Or opt for giant cookie cutters, leaving the shape where it is in the sandwich. Sizes require bigger bread. Tin-plated steel. Hand wash. Teddy Bear is 5” $0.99 Heart is 5” $0.99 Star is 5” $0.99 Stegosaurus is $1.50
Maximum 10 characters. With color, shape, and identification Brooke and William will be able to FIND theirs! You might even have a nickname embroidered. Insulated 9” x 6” x 6” nylon/polypropylene. Spot clean. Outside zippered pocket for utensils or notes. Personalization takes 2 weeks. Navy with red lettering or lime with pink lettering. $24.00
My mom used to scratch backwards on a banana with a message that appeared to be written from the inside. These very cute notes challenge no fruit. Stickers which might be used on foil or plastic sandwich bags say such as “your favorite”, “munchy time”, “eat me first”; there are mustaches and shades, eyes and mouths. 105 small notecards-3 designs repeating 35 times each, feature charming animated animals on one side “don’t forget,” “feed me!” and “Hey there!” with space on the backs to leave your own notes. Write something to boost confidence, mention an upcoming outing, offer a joke-remember other kids will read these too. Nothing admonishing or embarrassing. An absolutely great idea. $10.00
Left: My School Years Book- Hard cover, spiral bound 8 1/2 “ x 9” books, one for each year from 6th to 12th grade. The earlier ones are colored for girls. A great way for Chloe or Dan to find out what they’re thinking or feeling is to put a pen in her/his hand. The books become something to look back on, a place to record private thoughts, meaningful moments and changes.“This is the story of_______who is in the ______grade at _______(school)…” they begin. The 6th has a space to write: My hopes for this year…and a few questions about what’s ahead; favorite things to wear, favorite things to eat, I dream about…new friends, oldest friend, funniest friend…, newsworthy (the world-a very smart inclusion), the year’s highlights… You get the idea. There are pockets for photographs as well as blank pages on which to paste mementoes or do more writing. 24 pages. $18.00 each.
Right: School Years Box: A Keepsake for School Memories- This is as much for you as for the kids. Collect things together. Make it a project. The journal, of course, must be private. You might assure them of this. A good way to start youngsters noticing and reflecting on achievements, changes, observations. Box holds 80 page guided journal and 6 folders in which to save things from 6 years of school like “awards,” “report cards” “sports, and “artwork.” 9.7” x 12” x 2.2” $17.96
Extremely Unique Backpacks
Left: Lalloopsy Backpack- Cute, uncomplicated, easy to find on a rack or in a pile with others. Jessica doesn’t want to be carrying around Disney Princess like everyone else and despite being girly, thinks the flowered ones are dull, dull, dull. She can’t express what she DOES want, but this might be it. At least for a year. Giant, shimmering button has storage pocket inside. 12” diameter, 3” thick. Light. Handle at the top and adjustable backpack straps. $10.00
Right: Who’sThat Pack? Shark and Green Monster Backpacks- Brian and Fred are best friends, always have been, always will be. They absolutely must have coordinating backpacks-you’ll arrange this with Fred’s mother. Forty years from now, they’ll remember these packs in a downtown bar. Smaller sized backpack 11 ½” x 10 ½” x 4” out of heavy duty 600 denier polyester with double zipper pulls, and handy outside pockets big enough for water bottles. Stain and water resistant. On sale $20.00
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