Back to School Essentials & Contestby
The following was contributed by Jennifer Miles who will be seeing four children off to school this fall.
It’s mid-August and the last thing on most kids’ minds is that oft dreaded 6 letter word —school. While most kids aren’t keen to leave the carefree days of playgrounds, water parks and beaches behind them, there is always a certain excitement when it comes to getting ready to go ”back”. In our household the kids are always excited to catch up with friends they may not have seen in 2 months, meet their new teachers and of course to go shopping for new gear.
While the flyers may have started piling up in July, most of us will likely only be thinking about supplies in the week or two leading up to Labour day. Seeing as we are a family of 7 we tend to stick to a pretty tight budget and like to teach our kids that not everything need be brand new each year. A lesson my Dad tried so hard to teach us when he insisted that last year’s protractor would work just as good the following year and that the unused paint set need not be replaced.
That being said I’ve enlisted the help of our four elementary school aged children to compile a list of some must-have items for kids this year.
1. A sturdy backpack
Kids are lugging around more and more gear these days and all too often their backs are overloaded and way too heavy for their small frames. The British Columbia Chiropractic Association offers tips for parents and kids to “Pack it light. Wear it right.” to avoid possible health risks.
Look for a pack made of light weight material with straps at least 2 inches thick and a waist strap. Keep in mind that living in BC, your kids are likely to get wet on their way to and from school quiet often so water resistance is also important. Of course style is always a factor and with everything from Dora the Explorer to Roots to Burton available, no matter the age, your kids will find something that suits their own taste.
2. Stainless Steal Water Bottle
As our Dentist likes to remind me each time we see him, kids should really not be loading up on sugary fruit juices throughout the day. At our kids’ school teachers encourage kids to bring re-usable water bottles that they allow them to keep on their desks throughout the day.
3. Good Quality Shoes
When it comes to kids shoes the old adage ”buy cheap, buy twice” is all too true. We learned our lesson quickly when we were having to replace inexpensive shoes nearly every month. With 3 active boys tearing up the playground every lunch hour and recess, we have found that the best value is to purchase a better quality shoe at a higher price as they easily last 6 times longer. Make sure shoes offer good arch support, they have non-marking soles for gym floors and they are properly fitted.
At the end of each year schools in our area send home a list of required supplies for the following year. Duo-tangs, packs of paper, pens, paint sets and more. The lists can be daunting for parents who can’t afford the basics so the Salvation Army is looking to help out over 2,000 kids in need this school year.
There are 2 ways you can help:
- Drop off new school supplies and backpacks at Starbucks locations in Vancouver proper, and at Fitness Town locations throughout the lower mainland.
- Make a financial donation at participating Staples locations in Greater Vancouver.
Even though local shops have been loading their racks with long sleeved shirts and corduroy pants for the past month, summer is long from over. September is typically warm and dry in Metro Vancouver so don’t stress about spending a ton of money on ”fall fashions” before school starts. The kids are normally still wearing shorts and Ts for the first few weeks of school so your budget can take a break before shopping for warmer clothing. When buying clothing for school here a few tips: Think age-appropriate (your 6 year old doesn’t need to look like Miley), think comfort (sitting on the floor at music class or playing dodge ball in the gym), think weather (fall in Metro Vancouver means lite-weight, water proof jackets, hoodies, jeans and of course rubber boots).
To give parents a boost for back to school Miss604.com has a prize pack to give away courtesy of London Drugs.
This includes a $100 gift card, a Roots backpack, Roots thermal cloth lunch bag, thermos, pencil crayons, lined paper, folder, pencil case, pens, and a laptop case. The winner can keep the prize, spilt it up, or even give it to a friend or family in need.
Here are a few ways to enter to win this prize pack:
One will will be drawn from all entries August 26th at 9:00am.
Update The prize pack winner is Bonnie Y. — congratulations!
85 Comments — Comments Are Closed
might be good for teachers too!
My 12 year old daughter would love it if I won this for her!
I am heading back to school myself this year, I would totally use this! What a great priza!
Useful and practical – great contest!
I’ve never heard of a thermal cloth lunch bag. I’d like to have that.
Great prize! Would love to win!
love those pencil crayons!
This is a great prize – my friends daughter could sure use some new stuff for school this year!
This this prize would help me financially. It would give me a few extra dollars to put towards back to school clothes.
Awesome Contest!! What a great way to start September.
Fabulous prize! My kids would love to have such quality gear for back to school!
wow this is like a dream pack 😀
Nice contest, this pack is great for back to school.
Shared on Facebook
This is the first year in a while I have had to worry about back to school. Now instead of for me it is for my son. 🙂
Back to school time already? augh!!!
What a great contest!!
I definitely shared it on Facebook!! Who can’t use a little help for Back-To-School/
My daughter Rachel is going into grade 4 and I have started purchasing back to school supplies. Recently got laid off so we could definately use the help. Thank you.
Great prize!!!!! Would definitely come in handy right now!!!
great ideas! if i win, we will donate the prize to a needy family.
I have 3 kids going back to school in September & none of the backpacks was salvageable,it’s always a scramble at this time of year.
Timely topic … which reminds me I have to start checking my daughter’s stuff and going to the stores before school really starts.
Would love this!
This is great!
oh I love back to school products !!
A great back to school prize. I’m loving it.
I’m interested to see what the thermal lunch bag is!
Wow!! Awesome contest, great prize!!
Thanks, I could use this for sure!
wow, i hope i win, sounds great!
This would come in very handy!
to die for pack, my son would love it!
my 11 year old son would absolutely love this backpack!!
I could use an upgrade to my school supplies!
What a great prize 🙂
Great contest, thanks! This year we made use of our school’s pre-buy program…we returned the form with our money in May and now only need to pick up a few small things. Makes for a lot less stress!
Shared on facebook! (Jenn Ng)
Tweeted here: http://twitter.com/Jullysay/statuses/21782134072
” September is typically warm and dry in Metro Vancouver so donâ€™t stress about spending a ton of money on â€fall fashionsâ€ before school starts.” ;a good suggestion, as there is time to keep a look out for sale priced/promotions on the new (and/or used) required items
i’d love to win for my 2 kids! thanks!
September – parents’ favourite time of year, better than Christmas!
Another cool contest. Thanks, Miss 604.
Have shared this contest on Facebook too.
Back to school shopping is the best part of back to school 🙂
This would be very handy right about now!
wow! my kids would love this gift pack. THanks Miss 604!
we would love to win this prize
This is a perfect prize to come up with!! Thank you!!
Shared on Facebook!
This would be sweet to give to my nephew thanks
I love school supplies!
Great Prize, if I win, please donate it to the Salvation Army
Would be a great birthday gift to my cousin:)
Time to hit the books!
tweeted and facebook’d. my lil’ sister would loveee some school swag 🙂
my sister would love the free swag…..hope i win!!!
wow lots of goodies for sure 🙂 the joy of back to school
It would be great prize for my son at first year is school!
I know just the family I could give this to. Great idea for a contest
great reminders (and a little bit of ‘are we really almost there already?!?!’) 🙂
shared on Facebook
My son would love this pack.
It’d be great to have this for university!
I love back to school season!
My little guy’s still too young for school – I’d donate the prize to a family that really needed it.
Love back to school shopping!!
At least one of my 4 kids would love this!
Wow , winning this would sure help my with my back to school budget, everything is sooooo expensive.
Would love to win this
This would be a great prize for my step-daughter!!
Would love to win this!
i shared this link on fb 😀
Would definitely share this with my niece who is starting elementary school this September! I used to love new stationary as a kid and I’m sure she would love it too 🙂
back to school ready
This would be great for one of my kids.
Thank you for a great blog and all the great contests, Rebecca.
Have a wonderful weekend. 🙂