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Old 04-16-2010, 07:58 AM   #1
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Heavy Backpacks and School Age Kid Advice?

I'm not really sure what to do about this My 10yo backpack is soooo heavy! but she absolutely insists that nothing can go. She doesn't usually have more than one textbook, but she does often have library books. Usually one or two - sometimes as many as three - books she has borrowed from friends and wants to give back, books she has promised to lend. I *love* that she is a reader, so I hate to discourage book carrying, but then again... In any case, she gets *furious* with me if I suggest anything could stay home (can we all say TWEEN?). She also has her lunch, a bottle of water, and 2x/week, like today, carries her trumpet to school.

Now it's only 2 blocks to school, and I think it's important to walk to school - a big part of being a big kid, etc. Not to mention that I don't really want to be her chauffeur and have littler kids that are harder to get out of the house. But I don't know what to do about the fact that her backpack looks bigger than she does and seems awfully heavy for a 60lb kid.

What do you do? I thought of a wheelie backpack, but then read somewhere that those are not much better bc they end up twisting around and anyways I've never found wheelies very good on sidewalks.

Thoughts? Experiences?


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Old 04-16-2010, 08:44 AM   #2
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Re: Heavy Backpacks and School Age Kid Advice?

My 3rd grader is the same way! He loves books and can't seem to leave home without at least 2 of his own(and he likes encyclopedia hardback heavy books!) plus books from school and a few library or borrowed books.
We bought him a really nice backpack that is meant for hiking. It has a hip/waist padded stabilizer at the bottom of the pack and really
great padded shoulder straps that curve naturally in by his chest to distribute the weight more evenly over his body core, not just his back.
My son walks 10 blocks home from school so wheelies would never work going that far.
Sometimes I think that this is what buying a Kindle or Nook would be good for, but my son loves the whole book, not just the printed words. And no, you certainly don't want to discourage that book love they have.
So we just do it as safe as possible for his little body(69lbs).
This is the backpack we have:
Bye bye.
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Old 04-16-2010, 08:49 AM   #3
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Re: Heavy Backpacks and School Age Kid Advice?

Does she realize what carrying around all the extra weight can do to her developing back? Sometimes it's good to show kids why you think it's too heavy (or whatever) and make them part of the decision:

Also, for what it's worth I was (and still am) an avid reader. Maybe you could suggest say two days a week that she can designate as book swap days (for the books she's borrowing or loaning friends, not typical library books) and that way she's not always carrying those books around hoping to remember to swap them. If every Tuesday and Thursday she swaps books with friends then they all know when to expect to trade and only have to carry those books those days. With the library books I totally understand carrying at least two constantly. I was always reading books in class (ignoring my teachers but I was always bored and still got straight As) and would be very frustrated if I finished a book and didn't have another one to start.
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Old 04-16-2010, 08:50 AM   #4
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Re: Heavy Backpacks and School Age Kid Advice?

I've noticed my chiropractor's office has a couple backpacks hanging on the doors that are supposed to be better on the back. Since I don't have school-aged children, I haven't paid much attention to them. It might be worth looking into.

I don't remember having a heavy backpack that early, but I know I did in junior high through college when I usually had almost every text book with me, so it's not likely to get better any time soon.
Mommy to DS 8-23-08, DD 9-19-10, and DD 11-25-12. I'm probably
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Old 04-16-2010, 09:21 AM   #5
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Re: Heavy Backpacks and School Age Kid Advice?

Instead of a backpack on wheels, why not a small suitcase on wheels. I find that they don't tip as easily. I see a lot of kids around here wheeling those things on the sidewalk. You can find cute ones at Target. I bought one for a trip we took with the kids, and used it for books and a few small toys.
Angie homeschooling mom to Kai and Gidget Homeschooling; it's like always being on a field trip but you don't have to walk in a single file line.
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