Backpacks: Diaper Bag Trend and Back to School 2015 Preview from the ABC Kids Expo 2014

We just recently published our 2014 back to school backpack picks, but I’ve already found some front runners for next year’s backpack roundup.

First I’m excited about SoYoung‘s new designs.

SoYoung booth

One of my #1 things I look for in a kids backpack is where to put the lunchbox, and I love that some of SoYoung’s toddler bag lunchboxes can clip to the outside of the backpack if it’s too full inside.

SoYoung Backpack and lunchbox

They have several lunchbox styles like the regular lunch box (I love the sea designs),

SoYoung lunchboxes

cooler bags and the upright toddler lunchboxes.

SoYoung lunchboxes

This year they’ve also added their own sweat proof ice packs. I’m going to need some of these for our SoYoung lunchbox!  You can never have too many ice packs.

SoYoung ice packs

Milkdot is bound to get a slot or two on our back-to-school roundup next year. I especially like the bags on the right, and the Kawaii Pac mini backpacks are adorable.

milkdot booth

I’m really excited about us being able to get our hands on these lovely kids bags from Lassig. I hope to see these around the US before next school year begins. My favorites are on the top left.

Lassig Kids Bags

Finally, JJ Cole has really created a great toddler backpack. So many of them are too small to carry a folder for schoolwork but these are designed to be just large enough without being too big to carry independently.

JJ Cole toddler backpacks and lunchboxes

Some of the designs are a little too cartoony, but I really like the rocket and your child might have a favorite as well.

JJ Cole Toddler Backpacks

I also noticed that the backpack diaper bag is one of the hottest trends across almost all diaper bag brands. They’re so practical and now there are tons of attractive choices. Why have we resisted for so long?

Diaper Bag Backpacks

Clockwise from the top left: Companion Backpack from TWELVElittle, Madison from Perry Mackin, Be Right Back Platinum Petals from Ju Ju Be, and a backpack from babymoov.

Coming Soon: What’s New from Skip Hop at ABC Kids Expo 2014

My visit with Skip Hop is always a highlight of my trip to the ABC Kids Expo.

This year, the most exciting new debut from Skip Hop is their Zoo Pals Rain Gear.  With matching umbrellas ($15) and raincoats ($30), your toddlers can take their favorite zoo pal even further. Monkey, Ladybug and Owl lovers are in luck this time around.

Skip Hop Rain Gear

Skip Hop’s Playspot playmat is reaching a new level of style and sophistication with this Triangle Tiles set. With the same cushy comfort for playtime, the zig zag design blends into your home’s decor.

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A few fun new toys are being added to Skip Hop’s line like the Roll-Around Rattles, Click Clack Hedgehog and Bandana Buddies.

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The Zoo Line is also expanding its mealtime accessories with a 4-piece Zoo Lunch Kit, Insulated Food Jar, and Zoo Snack Cup. They are all ridiculously cute.

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These Zoo Packs and Lunchies will be limited editions for the holidays, so if you love them, please snatch them up asap. I’m really digging the Polar Bear.

Skip Hop Limited Edition Holiday Zoo Packs

The Moby bath range now has a tub stopper. It’s a very comprehensive set now!

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The owl nightlight and projecting mobile are on their way. These are actually really stylish little electronic accessories and I think they’ll be big hits.

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Finally, for it’s 10 year anniversary, Skip Hop’s Duo Signature diaper bag is relaunching with new and improved features like tote handles and a smart phone pocket. Just think, we didn’t have smart phones 10 years ago!

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The Special Edition Duos are also really cute bags.

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Great job, Skip Hop (and thanks for the cupcake)!

Back to School 2014: Backpack Picks

Having just spent the past 2 days finding the right backpack for my almost Kindergartener, I already miss the days of the toddler backpack. The kids aren’t as picky, they don’t have to carry too much, and the options are so fun!

When you’re shopping for a toddler or preschool backpack, please pay close attention to the dimensions of the bag. Keep in mind that many are too small to hold a lunchbox. For example, I purchased a Mini Kanken when my youngest was two. It was just the right size for him but just barely fit a lunchbox. After one year I upgraded to the regular size. He still uses the Mini one for trips to the park etc… where he only needs to carry snacks and water. The same will be true for most of the toddler sized backpacks. Just FYI.

Cool Toddler Kids Preschool Backpacks

Clockwise from top left:

From Ore’ Originals Sugarbooger line, the Zippee! Back Packs are simple, small and durable. The Pencil Zippee! is the coolest design, but I also like the Ruler. There are a number of other Zippee! designs and matching lunch totes are available.  $28

Herschel Bags are the coolest choice of the year and the Settlement Kids model is the one for your preschoolers. $40 I also really love the versions they made for J. Crews crewcuts.  $55

The Kane bag from State Bags is the perfect option for do-gooding preschoolers.  For each Kane sold, State Bags hand-delivers one of their backpack to an American child in need.  The Garfield is another good preschool option. $55

Milkdot’s Top Kat backpacks are simply super. Available in 4 colors, buy one when you find one because they are in limited supply. Solid lunch totes can be purchased to match. $40

Cute Toddler Kids Preschool Backpacks

Clockwise from top left:

Designed by Michelle Romo, the Teacher’s Pet Backpacks are as cute as it gets.  The designs include the Panda, Lion, Elephant, Fox and Bunny. These are available exclusively at The Land of Nod. $29

Skip Hop Zoo Packs are the classic little kid backpack. With a huge selection of animals in the “zoo”, everyone in your class could have a different Zoo Pack. My nephew has the Hippo and my niece has the Penguin! $20

MIBO backpacks are a little harder to find, but if you’re interested in having something more unique, they’re well worth the effort.  Animal designs include penguin, tiger, cat, dog, rabbit, gorilla, polar bears, rhino, squirrel, fox, lion and giraffe.  $49

From Beatrix New York, both the little kid backpacks ($42) and the big kid backpacks (shown $52) are small enough for preschoolers. The lunchboxes and cozy-cans are cute add-ons.

Classic Toddler Kids Preschool Backpacks

Clockwise from top left:

You can’t think of backpacks without thinking of L.L. Bean, and their smallest school pack is the Junior Original. You can find this bag in solid colors or patterned like the shark print shown.  $25

I already mentioned the Fjallraven Kanken Mini Daypack. $55 This boxy little bag is sturdy (unless your child is dragging it along the pavement!) and is a neutral enough style that adults can carry it around as well. If the mini is too small, get the regular size.

If you want their backpack to last a long time, the Jansport Superbreak is a great option. This bag will be a large for the smallest toddlers but by pre-K it will work. They’ll be able to use the bag until it falls apart or they just want something different.  $35

Kelty is another classic name in backpacks and the Kelty Minnow is the one for the tots. Pick orange, green or blue.  $40

Crazy Toddler Kids Preschool Backpacks

Clockwise from top left:

The Crocband™ Backpack 2.0 is made of the famous crocs material.  It’s durable, can be personalized with Jibbitz and you can even get shoes to match.  $30

MadPax come in all sizes and lots of funky forms, but the halfpack is the smaller size for kids. $48 Nibblers (shown) are insulated and best for carrying lunch.  $32

I’ve been tempted to get at JumpFromPaper bag but I’m not a fan of the type of attention a bold accessory like that would attract. Not specifically designed for kids, the Spaceman is a fun and funky bag. $140 Imitations abound.

The Lego Brick Backpack is harder to find (unless you’re at the gift shop at Legoland).  $60

Some affiliate links included.

New to the Zoo: Hedgehog and Butterfly from Skip Hop with Giveaway

Two new zoo pals join the crew at Skip Hop.  Meet the Hedgehog and the Butterfly!  These cute characters join the menagerie as Zoo Packs and Zoo Lunchies.

Skip Hop Zoo Packs Butterfly Hedgehog

These should just be mandatory for all preschoolers.

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To celebrate the launch of these two new styles, Skip Hop is giving away your choice of a Hedgehog or Butterfly Zoo Pack and Zoo Lunchie.

Hedgehog and Butterfly

Enter to win via the rafflecopter widget below.  You must leave a comment telling us which pack and lunchie you’d choose.  There are a few additional entry methods you can take advantage of to increase your odds of winning.

This sweepstakes is open to US resident over the age of 18.  It starts right now and ends May 14th, 2014 at midnight.

Thanks to our friends and advertisers at Skip Hop for this fun giveaway and good luck to you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Some affiliate links included.

 

Cat Kidston Maclaren Quest

In case you want your stroller to look like your great-grandmother’s favorite armchair, Maclaren’s Cath Kidston Spray Flower Quest Buggy is back.  $335

Cath Kidston Maclaren Quest

Nothing against Cath Kidston, I just prefer her modern vintage English style in smaller doses…

Cath Kidston kids

Clockwise from top left:

Garage Kids Mini Backpack- $26
Penguin Double Duvet Set- $90
Puppies and Kittens Nursery Set- $20
Kew Sprig Kids Backpack- $42

Cath Kidston Changing Bags Diaper Bags

Posy Zip Changing Bag- $120
Spot Changing Bag- $105
Spot Zig Changing Bag
- $120
Cowboy Changing Bag- $100

And now please excuse me as I redecorate my son’s bedroom to suit that penguin bedding!

Perfect Pairing for Back to School- DwellStudio + Thermos

We’re in the middle of Back-to-School season and in case you haven’t found the perfect backpack / lunchbox combo, you’re in luck, because I have!  I love this partnership between DwellStudio and Thermos.  Not only do you get a cute DwellStudio pattern backpack and matching insulated lunch box, but the Thermos straw bottles, food jars and sippy cups round out the set perfectly.  One of my little one’s favorite lunch options at preschool is macaroni and cheese in his food jar, but ours isn’t nearly as cute as these.

DwellStudio and Thermos

In case you’re not quite ready for back to school yet, the diaper bags are super and stylish as well.  The messenger diaper bags are $110, the Madison bags are $70 and the Hudson bag (teal) is $180.

DwellStudio Thermos Diaper Bags
Some affiliate links included.

My Modern Guest from Coos & Ahhs

Amanda, my stylin’ friend from coos & ahhs, is kicking off my week of vacation guest posts with these backpack picks.  I’m glad my little guys already have backpacks to haul through the airport because I’d have a hard time deciding which of these nine to get!  Thanks Amanda!

Send Them Packing!

School’s out and the summer holidays are among us! The warm weather and no school means we all need a little space. So no matter if your little one is off to camp, a visit to grandma’s house or a full-on family vacation, send him packing–and schlepping his own stuff for once!–with any of these adorable bags. He’ll be begging to carry his ten pounds of action figures.

1- Fjallraven, Classic
2- Franck & Fischer, Penguin
3- Herschel Suppl,y Settlement
4- Medium Control, Watson the Cat
5- Blabla Kids, Bubbles
6- Esthex, Morris the Fox
7- MIBO, Lion
8- Esthex, Monkey
9- American Apparel Kids, Color Block

New to the Zoo Crew: Shark and Panda from Skip Hop

Two adorable new animals have just been added to Skip Hop’s menagerie.  With the Shark and Panda, the total animal count is up to 16– enough to set up most preschool classes with a different Zoo Pack for each kid!  How cute would that be?!

In addition to the Shark and Panda backpacks and lunchboxes, the Shark and Panda can be found on Zootensils, bibs, tableware and flip-straw sports bottles.

Oh Skip Hop, you’re just killing me with the cuteness!

Skip Hop Lion Backpack and Lunch Bag (Cat and Giraffe coming soon!)

If you haven’t fallen in love with any of the dozen animals in Skip Hop’s Zoo yet, I’m happy to present the Lion Zoo Pack Backpack and Lunchie Insulated Lunch Bag.

Get ready for back to school with this amazon exclusive! $20 for the backpack and $14 for the lunch bag.

You can also pre-order the Cat and Giraffe.  They just keep making it harder to decide (and less likely the other kids in the class will have the exact same one)!

These should be release on August 3rd, in plenty of time to make it for the first day of school.

Some affiliate links included.

New to the Zoo: Skip Hop Dinosaur and Hippo!

I’m happy to introduce you to Skip Hop‘s newest zoo creatures.  The Hippo and Dinosaur Zoo Packs are now available for $20.  They are also available as Zoo Lunchies for $14.  They join the bee, dog, elephant, fox, frog, ladybug, monkey, mouse, owl, penguin and zebra.

This collection just keeps getting cuter and cuter.  Keep these in mind for camp or back to school.

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