...is the process by which we create, discover, learn and grow with those we cherish most.


kids backpacks... from sentimental to sweet finds

Earlier in the year, Dad found a purple backpack along curbside that looked new. He picked it up, dusted it off, and filled it with a ruler, calculator, glue, and even chapstick and presented it to Ava {without telling my Mom, who has been wanting to buy Ava's first backpack for years}. Ava was absolutely elated... and gave him a giant hug. It was a very sweet moment for Dad and Ava.

Mom still wanted to buy her something new. So over the course of the months she'd ask, "Ava, what kind of backpack would you like Grandma to buy you?" ... and Ava's why-didn't-you-know? kind of reply was always the same: "I already have a backpack. The one Grandpa gave me." {smiling}.


When Mom was little, she remembers carrying a leather satchel to school... and when I was a kid, I received a vinyl backpack satchel as a gift... it was white with colorful animals on it, and it was my most favorite piece I owned {more than toys}. In high school, my older sister traveled to Greece and brought back a leather brown messenger bag. Its 15 years old, and I still carry it into the office with me. Satchels just bring back fond memories... but that's not to say that the bag Ava carries at the start of her academic career - will actually be with her for always {although wouldn't that be sweet?}

So let's think outside that box for a moment...  and see what's out there.  Here are my favorite picks:

1} Resembling almost exactly what I have, this leather backpack from the Cambridge Satchel Company in the UK, is just timeless - and is at the top of my wish list for Ava. It comes in several sizes, vibrant colors like yellow and orange, and is priced at around $151USD.

2} This red leather Japanese pack, or Randoseru, a term borrowed from the Dutch meaning backpack, is such a, well, Japanese version of #1. Japanese style is as hip and trendy as they come. I read how its common for Japanese grandparents to purchase these as gifts for their grandchildren starting school, {how appropriate} and accommodates kids for 6 years. It's so beautifully simple - and I love the red. It's size is a deterant though - approximately 9x11" - and so is the price. Even on ebay, new ones are going anywhere from $99 to $850 USD. I know... I know....

3} The messenger bag from Apple & Bee... such a cute design isn't it? The wooden buttons, little birdie... I feel like Ava should be riding a bike with this slung over her side. If it had backpack straps - it would have even been better. The pluses? It's made out of 100% organic material, and is also reversible - so 2 designs for 1, for $30 USD.

4} I'm a huge fan of quilted bags. A few years ago, my friends helped me make my own quilted tote - granted it took me a year to finish - but still, I carry that thing everywhere. There's just something so vintage, comfortable, and everlasting about quilts. This one is Vera Bradley - and if you're a fan of hers, you can choose a handful of designs that come in both preschooler and big kid sizes. The Viva la Vera pattern (shown above) is currently on sale for $75 USD.

5} The Solar System bag by Crocodile Creek is just one example of how the designs are unique to its brand. The quality is on par with others in the market {if not better} - but how cute is this solar system bag? my favorite...  Pluto is actually crying in this scene... and there are matching lunch boxes and drink bottles too. This is a bit sentimental for me, since Ava loves astronomy and learning about the planets. A huge contender for us, priced at $28 USD!

6} Last but not least, this one caught my eye too. "Papar" is the name of this owl, and she comes from Dante Beatrix - a popular line carried in stores around us and online. I can just picture Ava walking to school feeling, "I didn't get my donuts and milk this morning. Grrrr...." LOL! More fun designs to choose from for both boys/girls and run about $52USD.

So what do you think? Which one is your favorite? And what will your little one be carrying to school this year?


  1. I vote for papa's backpack it's sentimental to her and she will value it as she grows but for fun of it my favorite is #3

    Love Khola wag

  2. You have some amazing choices there! Good luck choosing! I'm thinking of what I'd pick for Mari, or rather what she would pick for herself. She would probably pick 3 or 6. If we picked 3, then undoubtedly I'd have to figure out a way to sew on my own backpack sleeves (which wouldn't be too difficult).

    Mari will be carrying different bags each day to her preschool. She's lucky that her mama has sewn her a few. :)

  3. I'm going to go with number 5. I think given those choices, that is what she would pick.

    I asked her last night in the pool if she could pick any backpack in the world, what would she want. Then she told me she didn't need a new backpack - she already had 3 of them.

    3 of them? I asked her what they looked like.

    She told me she had a princess one (not sure where that is), a purple one that grandpa gave her (mentioned in blog) and a pink one (that we got for her when she attended a mother's day out program a few years back). So out of all of those, she said she wanted the pink one. (surprise)

    If #5 had completely left off Pluto, i would have vetoed it - I am kind of partial to it still.

  4. Mrs. Bianca - Mari is indeed very luck that her mama can sew bags! I saw her first day of preschool pic - did you make that bag? Soo cute! And no surprise that you'd pick #3 too :)

    I purchased the Vera Bradley quilted bag for Ava... and after getting it home, I pondered on its durability. For starters - its not machine washable... and its not weatherproof either. So with that in mind, we'd still have to get her a more "plastic-y" type of a bag to withstand rain and such come winter.

    So if we were going to go with two backpacks, I'd rather have #1 as my first choice. Except - that one comes all the way from Cambridge, UK. And is made to order. So I'm hoping we can get that for 1st grade :} In the meantime, Ava loves her #5 solar system bag... which came with a matching lunch box and water bottle. Whew... those were some tough choices!

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