Special Guest Writer: First Grader Declan Alwine
Backpacks and highlighters and pencils galore.
Notebooks and lunchboxes and markers and more.
Rulers, paper, dictionary, calculator.
Perhaps an apple for the educator.
To Target we go, to Walmart we drive.
With the crowds out shopping, I hope we survive.
Who better to know what kids want and “need” for school than a kid? As I looked over the list of what the school was asking for, I knew that most of those things would still be fun purchases if Declan could chose colors or designs. We purchased a few binders and a pencil box as well as sheet protectors and Clorox wipes.
Mom – So we have the list from your school about what you need and what the teacher would like to have for her classroom. We’ll also do new shoes and a new shirt for the first day of school. What else do you think you need?
Declan- Backpack, lunch box, water bottle. I think they have books and paper there. It is first grade now.
Backpack: Last year, when Declan started Kindergarten, I searched and searched for a quality backpack that would last us at least three years. I ended up purchasing this one from Land’s End. (link to: https://www.landsend.com/shop/kids) The small size is made for children within the 3’6″ to 4′ range. It was still a little big on him that first day. But I knew that as he grew and as the supplies he toted back and forth from school would increase, he’d grow into it. Because it is such good quality, I was prepared to pay extra to ensure it lasts. My friend’s daughter had the small size and only upgraded to a medium in third grade because the backpack wasn’t big enough to fit everything. I splurged and had his name embroidered on it. Total cost $34.00 + $6.00 for the name.
Declan’s opinion: It’s big enough for every day, but the first day is full because of all the extra stuff I have to bring. I like that it has my name on it. I like the color as well.
Lunch box: Again, we are using the same one from last year. (link to: https://www.landsend.com/products/solid-classmate-soft-side-lunch-box/id_269650) And I also purchased it from Land’s End with this intention. Insulated, easy to clean, soft case, and clip handle to attach to the outside of the backpack. It fits more than enough food, even in Tupperware to fill up a young child. The inside stay cool up to five hours with an ice pack. Total cost $19.00.
Declan’s opinion: I like my lunchbox because I can fit lots of stuff in it. I also like to attach it to the outside of my backpack when it’s empty. And the handle makes it easy to hang up in the kitchen. Its easy to clean out, which is good because sometimes Mom makes me clean it.
Water Bottle: I don’t remember taking a water bottle to school every day as a kid, but it seems to be the theme now. We are a Camelbak family. (link to: https://shop.camelbak.com/bottles/l/200) Last year Declan had the CamelBak Eddy Water Bottle, it held 0.4 liter of water. It had cool dinosaurs on it and was easy to carry or fit in a side pocket. This year, Declan picked out his own. He picked a standard CamelBak in black (like Batman from The Lego Movie), that olds 0.75 liter of water and is slimmer. Again, it fits in the side of his backpack easily. Total cost $14.00.
Declan’s opinion: I love that it’s so big, I don’t have to refill it all the time. And that I don’t have to tilt it. I like that it doesn’t leak. It comes in all kinds of colors and patterns. I picked black because it matches my soccer stuff. And Mom has lots of extra colors for the top part where I drink from. That’s cool.
Mom – I think we have everything you need, can you think of anything else?
Declan – I like what I have, my binders because they are colorful and my pencil box because it has Spiderman on it. How about some more books, or an iPad, or, I know, a new iron for my golf bag?
Mom – And we’re done here.