When my daughters started preschool we had a fun time picking out backpacks. By sheer luck, I found bags that were smaller than a traditional backpack, which worked great since my girls weren't quite 3-years-old. I let them pick whatever character they wanted and none of them ended up picking the same thing.
By their third and final year of preschool, it was clear their backpacks had seen better days. The straps were either broken or on the verge of breaking. Plus, the once size-appropriate backpacks now seemed too small. My daughters kept asking when they could get new backpacks. My answer: when you start kindergarten.
We are now in the process of getting ready for kindergarten and my girls are excited to buy new backpacks. However, they are not excited by my rule: no characters. Cakes had her heart set on a Rapunzel backpack. I thought long and hard before I made my decision. I'm not buying new backpacks every year, although I will buy them on an as-needed basis (loss, damage, etc). My concern is that while Rapunzel (or Sleeping Beauty or Tinkerbell or Minnie Mouse) is the coveted character this year, next year she may be so "last year." Considering how much backpacks cost, I'm not going to buy a character backpack this year, only to be informed it's babyish in first grade.
I've made a deal of sorts with my girls. If they choose a "plain" backpack that will last for several years, I'll let them pick a character lunch box. They seem OK with this arrangement, but so far we haven't found a Rapunzel lunch box. (This may not matter as Cakes is now leaning toward a Hello Kitty lunch box).
On a side note, as Purex Insider, I submitted an article to Purex and it was selected for the company's website. You can read it here.
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