Back to School Essentials & Contest

Comments 85 by Jennifer Miles

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.

4. Supplies

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:

  1. Drop off new school supplies and backpacks at Starbucks locations in Vancouver proper, and at Fitness Town locations throughout the lower mainland.
  1. Make a financial donation at participating Staples locations in Greater Vancouver.

5. Clothing

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 has a prize pack to give away courtesy of London Drugs.

Back to School Prize Pack

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:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Leave a comment on this post to confirm you’ve shared on Facebook (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
  • RT to enter to win a back to school prize pack from @LondonDrugs & @Miss604

    One will will be drawn from all entries August 26th at 9:00am.

    Update The prize pack winner is Bonnie Y. — congratulations!

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    85 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

    1. kelseyThursday, August 19th, 2010 — 5:27pm PDT

      great prize!

    2. bekkiThursday, August 19th, 2010 — 6:56pm PDT

      might be good for teachers too!

    3. Helena HillThursday, August 19th, 2010 — 7:02pm PDT

      My 12 year old daughter would love it if I won this for her!

    4. AshleyThursday, August 19th, 2010 — 7:29pm PDT

      I am heading back to school myself this year, I would totally use this! What a great priza!

    5. HeidiThursday, August 19th, 2010 — 7:56pm PDT

      Useful and practical – great contest!

    6. KenThursday, August 19th, 2010 — 7:57pm PDT

      I’ve never heard of a thermal cloth lunch bag. I’d like to have that.

    7. TracyThursday, August 19th, 2010 — 8:07pm PDT

      Great prize! Would love to win!

    8. NicoleThursday, August 19th, 2010 — 8:14pm PDT

      love those pencil crayons!

    9. KrisThursday, August 19th, 2010 — 8:50pm PDT

      This is a great prize – my friends daughter could sure use some new stuff for school this year!

    10. arcThursday, August 19th, 2010 — 11:07pm PDT

      This this prize would help me financially. It would give me a few extra dollars to put towards back to school clothes.

    11. HollyFriday, August 20th, 2010 — 8:03am PDT

      Awesome Contest!! What a great way to start September.

    12. LorraineFriday, August 20th, 2010 — 8:07am PDT

      Fabulous prize! My kids would love to have such quality gear for back to school!

    13. AdelaideFriday, August 20th, 2010 — 8:18am PDT

      Great post!

    14. LisaFriday, August 20th, 2010 — 9:47am PDT

      wow this is like a dream pack 😀

    15. Jenny NFriday, August 20th, 2010 — 9:52am PDT

      Nice contest, this pack is great for back to school.

    16. Curtis PennerFriday, August 20th, 2010 — 11:28am PDT

      Awesome contest

    17. Curtis PennerFriday, August 20th, 2010 — 11:28am PDT

      Shared on Facebook

    18. GwenFriday, August 20th, 2010 — 12:01pm PDT

      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. 🙂

    19. TracyFriday, August 20th, 2010 — 12:26pm PDT

      Awesome prize!

    20. RobFriday, August 20th, 2010 — 12:53pm PDT

      Back to school time already? augh!!!

    21. DonnaFriday, August 20th, 2010 — 1:19pm PDT

      What a great contest!!
      I definitely shared it on Facebook!! Who can’t use a little help for Back-To-School/

    22. Chantal TracyFriday, August 20th, 2010 — 2:32pm PDT

      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.

      Chantal Tracy

    23. MichelleFriday, August 20th, 2010 — 3:18pm PDT

      Great prize!!!!! Would definitely come in handy right now!!!

    24. Teresa KFriday, August 20th, 2010 — 3:22pm PDT


    25. cindy quachFriday, August 20th, 2010 — 3:26pm PDT

      great ideas! if i win, we will donate the prize to a needy family.

    26. lizFriday, August 20th, 2010 — 7:51pm PDT

      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.

    27. DesyFriday, August 20th, 2010 — 8:30pm PDT

      Timely topic … which reminds me I have to start checking my daughter’s stuff and going to the stores before school really starts.

    28. LeeFriday, August 20th, 2010 — 9:00pm PDT

      Would love this!

    29. MargaretFriday, August 20th, 2010 — 9:02pm PDT

      This is great!

    30. JohnFriday, August 20th, 2010 — 9:40pm PDT

      oh I love back to school products !!

    31. RichardSaturday, August 21st, 2010 — 12:11am PDT

      A great back to school prize. I’m loving it.

    32. BrendaSaturday, August 21st, 2010 — 1:46am PDT

      I’m interested to see what the thermal lunch bag is!

    33. Bonnie (@BCBerrie)Saturday, August 21st, 2010 — 11:12am PDT

      Wow!! Awesome contest, great prize!!

    34. Sierra GemmaSaturday, August 21st, 2010 — 11:15am PDT

      Thanks, I could use this for sure!

    35. aliciaSaturday, August 21st, 2010 — 11:50am PDT

      wow, i hope i win, sounds great!

    36. mariaSaturday, August 21st, 2010 — 12:28pm PDT

      This would come in very handy!

    37. nancySaturday, August 21st, 2010 — 1:05pm PDT

      to die for pack, my son would love it!

    38. Janet HasenknopfSaturday, August 21st, 2010 — 1:29pm PDT

      my 11 year old son would absolutely love this backpack!!

    39. JeremySaturday, August 21st, 2010 — 1:57pm PDT

      I could use an upgrade to my school supplies!

    40. JenSaturday, August 21st, 2010 — 1:57pm PDT

      What a great prize 🙂

    41. JenSaturday, August 21st, 2010 — 2:20pm PDT

      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!

    42. William StewartSaturday, August 21st, 2010 — 3:21pm PDT

      Awesome Contest!!!

    43. Jenny NSaturday, August 21st, 2010 — 3:31pm PDT

      Shared on facebook! (Jenn Ng)

    44. Jenny NSaturday, August 21st, 2010 — 3:33pm PDT

      Tweeted here:

    45. PaulSaturday, August 21st, 2010 — 7:10pm PDT

      ” 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.” ;a good suggestion, as there is time to keep a look out for sale priced/promotions on the new (and/or used) required items

    46. AlisaSaturday, August 21st, 2010 — 7:16pm PDT

      i’d love to win for my 2 kids! thanks!

    47. Marco FanzoneSaturday, August 21st, 2010 — 11:34pm PDT

      September – parents’ favourite time of year, better than Christmas!

    48. Bonnie Y.Sunday, August 22nd, 2010 — 12:21am PDT

      Another cool contest. Thanks, Miss 604.

    49. Bonnie Y.Sunday, August 22nd, 2010 — 12:23am PDT

      Have shared this contest on Facebook too.

    50. MaggieSunday, August 22nd, 2010 — 12:35am PDT

      Back to school shopping is the best part of back to school 🙂

    51. angelaSunday, August 22nd, 2010 — 1:32am PDT

      This would be very handy right about now!

    52. Charles A.Sunday, August 22nd, 2010 — 12:54pm PDT

      wow! my kids would love this gift pack. THanks Miss 604!

    53. jamieSunday, August 22nd, 2010 — 3:19pm PDT

      we would love to win this prize

    54. DaniellaSunday, August 22nd, 2010 — 5:50pm PDT

      This is a perfect prize to come up with!! Thank you!!

    55. DaniellaSunday, August 22nd, 2010 — 5:51pm PDT

      Shared on Facebook!


    56. MikeSunday, August 22nd, 2010 — 5:54pm PDT

      This would be sweet to give to my nephew thanks

    57. GraemeMonday, August 23rd, 2010 — 11:13am PDT

      Great prize!

    58. RoshenaMonday, August 23rd, 2010 — 11:14am PDT

      I love school supplies!

    59. TaigiMonday, August 23rd, 2010 — 11:30am PDT

      Great Prize, if I win, please donate it to the Salvation Army

    60. SanazMonday, August 23rd, 2010 — 2:36pm PDT

      Would be a great birthday gift to my cousin:)

    61. FionaMonday, August 23rd, 2010 — 3:37pm PDT

      Time to hit the books!

    62. KeiishaMonday, August 23rd, 2010 — 3:41pm PDT

      tweeted and facebook’d. my lil’ sister would loveee some school swag 🙂

    63. TinaMonday, August 23rd, 2010 — 3:56pm PDT

      my sister would love the free swag…..hope i win!!!

    64. lisaMonday, August 23rd, 2010 — 4:21pm PDT

      wow lots of goodies for sure 🙂 the joy of back to school

    65. NooshinTuesday, August 24th, 2010 — 8:48am PDT

      It would be great prize for my son at first year is school!

    66. ceeceeTuesday, August 24th, 2010 — 9:53am PDT

      Great prize.

    67. LindaTuesday, August 24th, 2010 — 4:00pm PDT

      I know just the family I could give this to. Great idea for a contest

    68. DebbieTuesday, August 24th, 2010 — 10:10pm PDT

      great reminders (and a little bit of ‘are we really almost there already?!?!’) 🙂

    69. DebbieTuesday, August 24th, 2010 — 10:12pm PDT

      shared on Facebook

    70. AnnWednesday, August 25th, 2010 — 6:31am PDT

      My son would love this pack.

    71. KennyWednesday, August 25th, 2010 — 11:03am PDT

      It’d be great to have this for university!

    72. EmmaWednesday, August 25th, 2010 — 12:08pm PDT

      I love back to school season!

    73. AlexisWednesday, August 25th, 2010 — 12:11pm PDT

      My little guy’s still too young for school – I’d donate the prize to a family that really needed it.

    74. AvaWednesday, August 25th, 2010 — 12:21pm PDT

      Love back to school shopping!!

    75. WillWednesday, August 25th, 2010 — 12:32pm PDT

      At least one of my 4 kids would love this!

    76. DianneWednesday, August 25th, 2010 — 2:30pm PDT

      Wow , winning this would sure help my with my back to school budget, everything is sooooo expensive.

    77. KatieWednesday, August 25th, 2010 — 3:22pm PDT

      Would love to win this

    78. KristinaThursday, August 26th, 2010 — 11:10am PDT

      This would be a great prize for my step-daughter!!

    79. EmilyThursday, August 26th, 2010 — 12:11pm PDT

      great prize!

    80. Vincent YanThursday, August 26th, 2010 — 12:32pm PDT

      Would love to win this!

    81. shellyThursday, August 26th, 2010 — 1:10pm PDT

      i shared this link on fb 😀

    82. Kar WingThursday, August 26th, 2010 — 10:51pm PDT

      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 🙂

    83. MaryFriday, August 27th, 2010 — 9:45am PDT

      back to school ready

    84. MYLFriday, August 27th, 2010 — 9:54am PDT

      This would be great for one of my kids.

    85. BonnieFriday, August 27th, 2010 — 5:40pm PDT

      Thank you for a great blog and all the great contests, Rebecca.

      Have a wonderful weekend. 🙂

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