After testing backpacks and lunch boxes for Babble.com over the last couple of months, I'm left with some of the best Back-to-School products that I know could really boost a kid's self esteem and save a family's budget.
So I'll be giving away four backpacks with four lunch boxes, filled with back-to-school supplies ranging from toddlers to middle school. Click on to see the four different options and how to enter:
Option #1 for Toddlers/Preschool: Pottery Barn Kids Mackenzie
This itty bitty preschool backpack is the perfect size for anything your toddler would need. And because it's from Pottery Barn Kids, you know it will last longer than the typical Target special. (Although I do love me some Target, don't get me wrong.) The lunch box won't be able to fit in the backpack (which holds true for many toddler-size backpacks), but can be clipped onto the backpack with its handy outside buckles. (You're lucky Noah already has a backpack and lunch box, because I had to pry these "DINOSAWS" out of his hands.)
Option #2 for Preschool/Young Elementary: Dabawalla
These. Are. Fantastic. Yes there are so many different animal-shaped toddler backpacks out there, but these Dabawalla backpacks and lunch boxes are unique in their flexible neoprene fabric which naturally insulates both hot and cold food in the lunch box. PLUS you can throw them in the washing machine when they start to look a little funky -- which is very rare (and very needed) for lunch boxes. You'll love them just as much as your kid.
Option #3 for Elementary/Middle School: Serena + Lily and DwellStudio
I adore this combo. The green Serena + Lily Puffer backpack ($90), named our "Best Splurge," is the hottest backpack of the year. And paired with the much-desired DwellStudio Paper Dolls lunch box ($36), it's the perfect designer Back-to-School combo. Although you might be tempted to steal the lunch box for yourself. (I was!)
Note: The colors are a little off in the photos. The backpack is more of a gender-neutral matte green (much prettier than the shiny picture!) and the lunch box is more pink than the picture shows. They're both stunning in person.
Option #4 for Older Elementary/Middle School: Pottery Barn Kids Mackenzie
The Pottery Barn Kids Mackenzie keeps getting better -- all the way up to this Large Rolling Backpack, which has tons of organizational pockets (including a spot for a laptop, MP3 player and ear buds to pull through). And if you're concerned with your kid's heavy load, this one can be used as a rolling backpack. And of course we love the Mackenzie lunch box, which has a molded interior that's easier to clean than fabric.
To enter: Follow me on Twitter and reply to @earlymama with which option you'd like! (Extra entry for those who RT the contest.) I'll then find four different winners (one for each category) and announce the winner on Twitter this Wednesday morning (August 10)! Note: You have to follow @earlymama to win!
*Amendment: If you don't use Twitter (which you totally should), then leave a comment on our Facebook page and share it with your friends! I'll include both Twitter and Facebook responses in the total number of entries.
Check out the entire Babble.com Best Backpacks feature and stay tuned for the Best Lunch Boxes round-up, which should be published soon. (For the record: Dabawalla earned our top spot for the little ones.)