Starting School Soon? How to Choose the Right School Bag

The backpack will be the most heavily used item of the back-to-school shopping list. A school backpack will carry everything to and from school, stored in the school locker room and at home, and subjected to daily rough treatment children can sometimes have with their belongings. You may also plan to use the school bag for after school sports and activities, sleepovers, day trips and family getaways during the school holidays.

As the bag is going to need to withstand so much use, we have compiled a list of what you need to look for in a suitable backpack for school aged children:  

Ideal Size of a School Bag

Ideally the bag should be big enough to carry everything they need for a day at school without being too big or too heavy. Encourage children to be organised and carry only what they require for the day. Ideally children should not carry backpacks which weigh more than 10 - 15% of their weight and a backpack should not fit lower than the base of their spine.

Adjustable and Padded Straps

A backpack with broad padded straps which are ergonomically shaped will provide the most comfort and protect the shoulders from excessive pressure. Adjustable straps will ensure proper positioning and always ensure the best fit. Adjustable straps will also enable the bag to grow with them. It is important children get into the habit of using both straps when carrying their bags. Using both straps will evenly distribute the weight of the bag. Using just one strap will just put unnecessary pressure on one of their shoulders.

Pockets and Storage Options

A backpack with multiple pockets and storage options will enable children to organise their belongings and evenly distribute the weight throughout the bag. Store heavier items closer to their back and lighter items further away from their back. Side pockets store water bottles outside the bag for quick and easy access, and to prevent any accidents resulting in the inside contents getting wet. Side pockets also provide great storage options for umbrella and rolled artwork.

Patterns and Prints

Quality and design are important, however do not forget to make sure your children like the style of the backpack as they are going to be using the bag every day. Children of all ages love to share their own personality and personal interests through their chosen backpack and school accessories, especially if they must wear a school uniform.

What will they need to carry in their school bag?

This is a typical list of things children will need to carry in their school bag:

  1. Lunchbox and insulated lunch bag to protect the lunchbox and keep the contents cooler/fresher.
  2. Snack box if your school likes fruit break to be in a separate container
  3. Water bottle
  4. Sports clothes and/or swimming togs
  5. Sports shoes
  6. Library books
  7. Book bag
  8. Sunhat
  9. Jumper in the cooler season
  10. Waterproof jacket in the wet season
  11. Spare school clothes in case accidents and spills happen
  12. A wet bag for carrying dirty and wet clothes home.