Schoolbag suggestions for small 5 yr old - not a book bag?

(24 Posts)
Notrightnowww Wed 24-Jul-13 16:05:13

My dc starts Primary 1 soon and needs a rucksack type bag. It needs to hold an A4 (unfolded) book, pencil case, water bottle, lunch box, and, twice a week, gym kit.

Any suggestions for a small and light backpack that will still fit A4 and a few other things? Lots of threads seem to suggest a book bag, but then we'd just need multiple bags to carry the other stuff that school asks us to provide.

Thanks!

redskyatnight Wed 24-Jul-13 16:12:37

You won't get all that in a small rucksack. I got my DS the smallest rucksack that would do when he started in Y3 (as he was cycling). It still looked huge on him and would dwarf a small 5 year old. I know it's not what you want, but you might have to go down the route of multiple bags e.g. taking the games kit out will help.

TeenAndTween Wed 24-Jul-13 16:13:08

I would suggest you go to your local ASDA or similar with the relevant stuff and see what they have. They will have a range of 'child friendly' character ones or similar.

TBH I think it will be quite big to carry all that, especially gym kit (especially if it includes trainers). And quite possibly too heavy for your little one.

The killer is the A4 book. you will need quite a wide rucksac to take that without damaging the edges. You may find that supermarket child-oriented ones can't do that. So otherwise go to a bag/rucksac shop.

Can't emphasise enough, just take the stuff with you and try fitting it in some bags.

Please also, try to get one with a side pocket or separate pocket for the waterbottle. They tend to leak as the children don't do them up tight enough / don't push the nozzle down etc.

haggisaggis Wed 24-Jul-13 16:21:20

Does the school not provide a book bag? My dc have always been given one - and it is best to carry it separately otherwise everything gets crushed.
Gym bag - again my dc have always taken PE kit at beginning of term and left it on their peg until end of term (or 1/2 term). That has been school policy of both primary schools they have attended.
Water bottle needs to go in an outside pocket or it will leak over everything! And if your ds is anything like my dcs, pencil case will be left in tray at school on day one and never return home.
So small backpack would suffice (it's you that'll end up carrying it anyway!)
Make sure you have a supply of pencils, rubbers etc for home use only

hazeyjane Wed 24-Jul-13 16:27:00

dcs here in both primaries get given a book bag for home book, reading books etc. dds then have a cath kidston rucksack, for lunchbox and other bits. Dd2 usually manages to cram her bookbag into it, along with her winter coat, several stuffed toys, biscuits she has squirreled away, half eaten apples and various crumpled 'you are my bff' notes from friends.

Notrightnowww Wed 24-Jul-13 16:58:06

No, school doesn't provide a book bag. Talking to friends using other local schools are the same - no book bags (provided or expected to be used) and lots of stuff to be carted around!

Ok, so a small bag might not work. Any suggestions for bags that are lightweight?

scrappydappydoo Wed 24-Jul-13 17:15:51

We've always had book bags which are a pain because they don't hold anything except books and they are not allowed backpacks so have had to do the multiple bag approach. I have ones of those orly kielly tesco bags - everything gets thrown in except one bag which they must carry and then we unload when we get to school. I instituted the one bag rule so I don't get treated like a pack horse.
DD1 starts juniors in Sept which means she can have a backpack - I got reasonable sized one from lands end.

hothereinnit Wed 24-Jul-13 17:21:44

Jak-O (German children's clothes/kit company) have some that look quite good. I have just ordered one for my dd. the quality of other things I have ordered from them has been brilliant. Delivery from Europe not too bad either (about 7euro)

souperb Wed 24-Jul-13 20:11:18

Marks do small child-sized rucksacks. We have a spiderman one which just about fits an A4 exercise book if there is not too much else in there. No side pouch for a water bottle, but I dislike them anyway so don't send one in. In extreme heat I send a normal screw cap bottle of water in which doesn't leak and is far more hygenic.
We gave up with the book bag as the seams kept splitting and it was hard to fit anything other than papers/light books in it. Most children had moved to rucksacks by the end of reception.
Easier to chose the bag in person so you can try out the exercise book in the bag IMO.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 24-Jul-13 20:53:03

DD has a 10L proper walking rucksack from Millets advantages are it has properly padded shoulder straps and a waist strap so fits properly on her back and does not dig in. It is very hard wearing a whilst yes it cost £10 it will last a good long time.

AbbyR1973 Wed 24-Jul-13 21:10:55

I don't know how things work in Scotland and so Primary 1 may be different but in reception, year 1 and year 2 at our school they don't take their own pencil case. PE kit lives in a PE bag and stays at school, sent home by teachers every half term. So DS1 just takes his lunch bag and book bag each day. Having the book bag probably gives a bit of protection to books etc and ours go in a tough zip lock bag too.

My DD carrys her lunch box and book bag to school. No problem (buy a lunch box which has a carry handle of some description.

Her PE kit gets left at school. Only bought home at holidays.

Pencil case and water bottle would fit in the book bag no problems, but pencil cases not required at all at primary here.

idiot55 Wed 24-Jul-13 21:19:51

My daughter has short stature and is starting p1 in August, I found one online , where they did small rucksacks, can even get them personalised. I will try to find it and pm you a link, but try googling small school bag uk, I think that's what I did!

Periwinkle007 Wed 24-Jul-13 21:25:10

is it a private school? only ask because ours aren't allowed to take pencil cases etc.

we had a book bag this year which was fine but poor quality. drink goes in lunchbox and she just takes it out once in the classroom. PE kit is left at school.

next year she will have a school backpack - has a bottle bit on the side of it assuming her large bottle will fit in it. would presumably hold A4 but not tried.

PE kit in a drawstring bag that either stays in school or goes in only on PE days.

Books in a book bag to keep them flat and away from wet, leaky things.

Lunch in an insulated lunch bag that incorporates a pocket on the side for the water bottle.

It's far easier for little ones to manage that than for them to struggle with a bigger bag and the water bottle ends up upside down and the half-eaten yoghurt gets squished and the reading book gets wet and crumpled...

noramum Thu 25-Jul-13 16:56:27

We have a Vaude Puck, it may be a bit small but the quality is great. They do a Family Vaude Puck, a size bigger.

I would stay away from cheap character ones, it you need to carry it on a daily basis ai would go for decent straps and a chest strap as well.

Deuter also does decent children backpacks.

sparrowfart23 Fri 26-Jul-13 11:45:32

I spent a long time looking online for a backpack that would hold an A4 folder, suitable for my DD who starts reception in September. The best I found were the German ones - they put a lot of emphasis on quality of materials, ergonomics and safety.

In the end I went for a Herlitz Midi. It is fairly large (though smaller than many of the German rucksacks I looked at) but wanted to get something that would hold all her afterschool activity kit and last her through primary. They are not cheap, but you can find hefty discounts on older styles - I bought mine off ebay.de and got a bargain. It is going to look huge on DD, but I can adjust it as she grows.

Hope that helps!

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Fri 26-Jul-13 15:34:22

Is there a reason why he needs to be able to carry all his stuff? My DD has a PE bag which just stays on the peg all term. Each day we take books and papers in book bag and then lunch box with carry handle which I also put her water bottle in. Our school ask you not to put drinks into the same bags with books in case it spills. DD doesn't take a pencil case as school provides everything like that but a small one flattish one would probably just about fit in the book bag. So basically it's only 2 light bags to carry each day which is fine. I also take a large shopping bag with me so that I can just stick all the bags and any jumpers / coats / hats etc in there.

NoComet Fri 26-Jul-13 15:45:55

Yes, get a proper outdoor shop rucksack. My DD used a book bag for about 6 months before leaking drink bottles and games kit left in the hall/car drove us nuts.

DD1 still uses a proper day sack for senior school, DD2 insists on a stupid floppy messenger bag.

NoComet Fri 26-Jul-13 15:49:53

Yes DD took her games stuff and packed lunch out when she got to school, it was getting three separate items out the house, into the car, out of the car and home again at the end of school that caused the nightmare.

FannyMcNally Sat 27-Jul-13 20:31:54

We are an infant school and encourage the use of book bags which can then lie flat in the children's drawers. Our coat pegs are too close together for rucksacks to be easily getable and reading books get damaged a lot because everything just gets crammed in! Book bags mean that everything lies flat and also means that drinks have to be carried separately so less chance of ruining the rest of the contents! As children get older it's less of a problem.

Notrightnowww Sun 28-Jul-13 20:19:39

Thanks for all the suggestions, will check out the small backpack options.

I really don't want a book bag as none of the kids here use them, and we really do need to cart around (according to yhe school) a pencil case, lunchbox, water bottle etc., not sure whether gym kit will stay at school or not. I think a backpack will be easier for dc as we're using after school club and I don't think I can expect a 5 year old to round up three separate bags themselves at the end of the school day!

lljkk Sun 28-Jul-13 20:31:04

I carried all that stuff for DC up to school and they just carried it in their arms (in whatever bags) from lining up position into the classroom.

We got dd a yuu bag and its the best thing we ever bought her. They are designed to protect the back when carried and the space inside and the design is fabulous. She goes everywhere with it. They are pricey but in my. Opinion really worth it.

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