Miss Lori list the top 10 things she packs in her kids backpacks for school

My Kids headed back to school yesterday. Though I am still do last minute back to school supply shopping even today, there are some staples that I had ready for their backpacks right away. Here I will count down the 10 things that I send with my children everyday to aid them in their journey through school and life.



10. First Aid Kit

Kids are active, especially mine. When they are at school or playing on the playground sometimes they can get a scratch or scrape. As long as it’s nothing too major that would necessitate a trip to the school nurse, I think my kids are old enough to manage their own minor care. As long as they have the right tools that is. That’s why I was so thankful to receive mini first aid kits from CVS Minute Clinic booth at this years Blogher convention in San Diego. Perfect size for my on the go, rough and tumble kids.

9. V8 Fusion Cans

My kids have gone crazy over V8 Fusion. We used to drink it many years ago when it was offered in bottles, but the serving sizes were so large so my kids often wasted a great deal of the drink. It got a bit cost prohibitive with the waste so I let it go. Recently while shopping in Aldi I cam a across a special deal on large multi-serving bottles. I brought the V8 Fusion home and my kids gobbled it up the first day. Then when I was shopping at Dominicks  I struck serious gold. I fond a 6 pack of V8 Fusion in 8 ounce servings. My kids went crazy. They want them in their lunches, as a part of their afteschool snacks, in the car. It’s a life saver, especially where my youngest is concerned. Ever since her surgery in March I have had trouble getting her to eat enough vegetables. V8 Fusion has a full serving of fruits and vegetables in every serving. While I still work to get my daughter to eat her vegetables, particularly green ones, the V8 Fusion is a great parenting partner assuring me that she is getting some of the nutrients that she needs when she is away from home.

8. Snack Bars

If you go through my purse you will always find some sort of protein bar…unless I already ate it that day. I think it is very important to always carry a snack with you just in case. That is especially true with growing children. Frankly my son is a bottomless pit of hunger. I can’t keep enough food in him…ever. That’s why I pack several bars in his bag. But no matter the child there will always be at least one bar per bag ready to be consumed. I rotate the brands for variety sake. My goto bars are a range of well known names like Lifeway-Kefir. Their probiotic bars are delicious and a great choice for my youngest. She also loves Mother’s Cupboard All Natural Apple Fruit Cereal Bars. I love that they are gluten free. I’m still watching her intake as a precaution. (I also love them because they sponsored some of my concert tours this Summer, as did Aldi!). Her newest choice is a Millville Fiber Now Chewy Bar, oats and caramel flavor, that I picked up at Aldi. She needs more fiber anyway. Kellogs Strawberry K Bars and Quaker Cinnamon and Raisin Chewy Bars are a fan favorite of my eldest daughter. And for that giant boy of mine, I rotate Powerbars, Cliff Bars and his personal favorite Nature Valley Sweet n Salty Granola Bars.

7. Water Bottle

When I was in school I remember making frequent trips to the water fountain every day. My children do not enjoy the same freedom. Since children in general tend to get dehydrated more easily than adults, it is incredibly important for kids to carry reusable water bottles. I tend to fill my kids’ bottles up with mostly ice so that it will melt and stay cold throughout the day. I wish I could say that hey are always bringing home the bottles empty, but they aren’t It’s one thing to have the water it’s another thing to be allowed to drink it freely. Not every teacher encourages such hydration. My suggestion? Let’s build classroom desks with built in cup holders like a car. Just a thought. (I’m also not adverse to having children wear those crazy hats with water bottles strapped to the sides and a straw-but perhaps we can solve the dehydration problem before going to that extreme. Perhaps.

6. A Book

Readers are Leaders. that’s not just the name of one of my concert tours for WTTW PBS Kids, it’s what I truly believe. That’s why I make sure that my kids always have a book on them. Well, I used to have to make sure, but now they do it on their own. All three of my kids are voracious readers. They stoke the fires of their imaginations with every page. It makes them happy, it keeps them peaceful, and it inspires them to learn more about people, places and things.

5. Cell Phone

People have asked for years how old do I think kids need to be before they get their own cellphone. My answer is always, “It’s not so much about the age of the child as it is about the lifestyle of the family.” I could have used a cellphone early on as a child because my mother worked full time and I had a full roster of activities. I spent many an evening waiting for her to pick me up, unaware of her intended delay because there was no way for us to communicate with each other. My kids are 8, 10 and 13. My eldest daughter got her first cellphone at age 8 because she was on a gymnastics team which meant late practices and far away meets. I wanted  her to be able to stay in contact with me at all times should she need anything, or should I need to let her know of any change in plans. My youngest daughter got her first phone this Summer at age 8, but she didn’t need it. She got it because I am working with Cricket Wireless this Summer to help profile their products and services. Most of the summer my daughter played with the Cricket Txtm8 phone at home or in the car, but forgot to take it with her when she arrived at events. No real need for her to have it though since she was always with me. She didn’t need a phone last year in school either because she had her brother and his phone. This year though, my son is in 8th grade and has a long list of after school responsibilities. Since Jaedyn is in 3rd grade now she can be more responsible for herself as well. Armed with a phone makes that much easier. She doesn’t have to rely on her brother for communication. She can contact me herself. It not only bolsters her confidence but it increases her flexibility. If she wants to plan a last minute playdate. If she forgets it’s gym day and needs me to bring her some gym shoes. If has to stay after school to do some extra credit work with her teacher. She is empowered to set her own schedule by having the ability to communicate directly with me. She’s growing up, but I’m still there right beside her, talking in her ear.

4. Igo Cellphone Charger

A phone is no good if it isn’t charged up and my children are notorious for burn down their batteries listening to music or texting. Kinda defeats the purpose of having a phone to satay in touch with your Mom if it’s dead. That’s why I pack Igo phone chargers in all of my kids’ backpacks. This way I can be sure that my kids can remain connected to me. There are other phone chargers out there, but I really like Igo because they have proven to me that they have my back. This Summer I tweeted out to the Igo company that I was having trouble with one of my chargers. Without missing a beat they asked for my address and sent me a new one. That kind of service inspires loyalty. And I am nothing if not loyal.

3. Identification /Transit Card

The other companion to my children’s increased responsibility and freedom is their brand new state IDs. As I wrote in a recent post, I initially intended to get the ID just for my son because at 6’2″ no one believes he is only 13. But I ended up getting IDs for all three kids. I feel better knowing that they have identification. I think it makes them safer, or at least legit. Plus it helps when they goto use mass transit, which they need to do on their own more often. Well my son is the only one allowed to go on his own, but he has had to bring his sister home on the train a time or two recently when I have gotten stuck om the suburbs at an event. That’s why the kids now carry their IDs and a CTA transit card. The youth fare cards for the girls are easy to purchase at and currency exchange. They come in a convenient two pack. But for y 13year old, I had to fill out a form and mail it into the CTA for a special student pass. It’s worth the trouble thought as it saves us both a lot of money in train and bus fares.

2. Money and Coupons

No matter how well I pack my children’s bags they invariably want to get some additional food at a store or restaurant. Sometimes it’s just the social experience and sometimes it’s pure hunger. either way it requires money. MY MONEY. Now I don’t indulge their eating out habits everyday. This is the year for my son in particular where he need s to learn to temper his spending and plan his outings. But they are still just kids wanting to have fun so I do slip them some bills here and there. But to keep my wallet from going too dry I also give them coupons. I love it when the big sheet of coupons comes in the mail from Subway. That’s always a great set to have on hand. I also have some single serving Tropicana Pure Premium Orange Juice coupons that I got for being a Tropimomma. Those are perfect for those 7-Eleven trips my kids are so fond of. When ever I get any kind of little food giftcard or coupon at an event I always add it to my stash for my kids. They love to be in charge, at least slightly, of their own food destiny, and I love the break that the coupons and gift cards give my wallet.

And the number 1 thing I pack with my child every single day is… LOVE. Because without it, everything else is just stuff.



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* Level 1 post: Some or all of the products or services mentioned were provided to Miss Lori free of charge.

* Level 8: Although not specifically compensated for this post, Miss Lori has an ongoing relationship with a company connected with a product, service or location mentioned in this post that Miss Lori feels may have influenced her decision to post about it.

Miss Lori can be found Musing from her Minivan at MissLori.TV , Wearetherealdeal.com , YoungChicagonista , ChicagoMomsBlog , and ChicagoMoms.com. You can also see her Activating to Be Great at Miss Lori’s CAMPUS on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.



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