What Belongs in a Backpack?
Nothing's handier than a well-packed knapsack-or more of a pain in the neck (literally!) for your child than an overstuffed one. Go with these guidelines.
Tuck it in
- A small, laminated photo of your family
- A pack of tissues
- A change of clothes, including socks (your child can probably leave these in his cubby)
- A travel-size antibacterial hand sanitizer
- A sturdy plastic folder for notes sent home from school
- A piece of material lightly sprayed with Mom or Dad's cologne
- An inexpensive pair of UV sunglasses and a baseball cap
- Lip balm
- Sunscreen (if your child's classroom doesn't have it)
Chuck it out
- Bottled water (that's why schools have water fountains!)
- Stuffed animals and other toys (the other kids may get jealous)
- Medications (give these directly to the school nurse)
- Anything else you or your child can't afford, financially or emotionally, to lose
Sources: Claudia Weger, executive director, Ossining Children's Center, Ossining, New York; Carmella Van Vleet, author of Yikes! It's Due Tomorrow?: How to Handle School Snafus.
Originally published in the September 2010 issue of Parents magazine.
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