Little girls yearn to be like their older siblings and as they develop independence they look to the time when they can transport their treasured toys, snacks, and artwork in a way that is “cool”. Enter the backpack!
Their first backpack is more than just a piece of luggage. It is a first step towards independence for your little girl and the first way she can take her possessions away from home. From the child’s perspective, the most important feature is that the backpack is cute. A dull, dreary pack will not be treasured in its own right but something bright with nifty characters will make all the difference.
However, as a parent, there is a bunch of criteria you need to assess to make sure the first backpack you choose is the right one.
Here at Five Enchanted Mermaids HQ, we thought a small backpack would be a great way to further our goals of helping parents in the development of their toddlers. When we were designing the product, we researched the safety features as well as other elements that would be valuable. We learned a lot and wanted to share our findings.
Safety: The size of the backpack is key. A little girl cannot support too much weight without strain and a large backpack allows her to load up too many things – not good. Also, if it is too big, the shoulder straps will not be in the right position, putting strain on the shoulders and back. A rule of thumb is to have a backpack that does not sit above her shoulders and does not extend below her waist. Our Five Enchanted Mermaids “first” backpack is 10 inches wide by 12 inches high and 4 inches deep – good average dimensions for girls in this age group.
The backpack should have two wide padded shoulder straps – not just one, which will not distribute the weight evenly across her back.
It should also have a carry loop. I can guarantee that parents will spend a lot of time carrying the pack when their little one gets tired!
Washable: The backpack is going to get dirty, so it should be made of a material that is easy to clean.
Water bottle: A pocket for a small water bottle is needed.
Name Tag: A name tag is important for identification, but it should be inside the pack so that personal information is not on display to strangers.
No wheels: Some backpacks have retractable handles and wheels and, while these seem like a good idea, it’s advisable to avoid this until your daughter is older. With this, your toddler needs to be able to extend and retract the handle and to walk and roll the pack at the same time – not so easy at this age.
Use of the Backpack:
These are largely commonsense tips:
Do not allow you child to overload the backpack. This will put a strain on her back and/or cause her to fall if on an uneven surface or on stairs.
Enforce that she uses both straps. Older kids like to look cool with just one, but this will add strain to her back and shoulder.
Adjust the straps so the backpack is held close to the body. This is a parent’s job.
Now that all our research and design is completed, we’re very proud to present our new Five Enchanted Mermaids “first” backpack. Check it out!
Her eyes will light up and yours will tear up when you see her proudly sporting this new treasure on her way into her first day of school!