Big Kid Skill #3 – The ins and outs of backpacks and lunchboxes

This post is the last post for our Top 3 “Big Kid Skills” to learn before Kindergarten series. Check out the first two posts:

Big Kid Skill #1: Getting dressed

Big kid skill #2: Going to the washroom at school

So we’ve got everything set for starting Kindergarten: backpack, lunch box, food containers for litterless lunches, water bottle, extra change of clothes. And then I remember Pumpkin is going to have to manage all this by herself:

  • Opening the big zipper on her backpack and taking things out. (The first time she opens that zipper shouldn’t be the first day of school!)
  • Opening the containers of food. (The image of my little girl hungry, but unable to open her food is just too sad.)
  • Remembering to close her water bottle and containers full of half-eaten goodies before putting them back in the bag.
  • Knowing how to put everything back into the bag.

I remember once when I was 4 years old, I drank half a juice box at school and decided I would finish my drink later. I ever-so-carefully stood it up in my lunch box so it wouldn’t spill, but was shocked to later discover there was a path of juice following me out of my school bag. It just never occurred to me that the juice box could tip over once the lunch box was closed and shoved back in my bag. These little things are obvious to us grown-ups but not so much to little kids.

Choose a backpack and food container your child is able to open and close. Let them practise opening and closing ones you already have at home and if you need to buy new ones for school, take them with you so they can test them out. Pumpkin is so proud of her backpack and lunch containers because she chose them.

I’m sure I’m not the first to come up with this idea but I’m getting Pumpkin to practise using her food containers and lunchbox by going on picnics! We’re also bringing the backpack to the library and getting Pumpkin to put books in and and then take them out at home. Word on the street is that our kids will have a communication book going back and forth and they will need to know how to take it out when they get to school and then put it back inside their bag at the end of the day.

Pumpkin’s bag might not be quite so shiny new on the first day of school but at least she will (hopefully) be a pro at unpacking and packing her stuff. Also, the thought of her remembering picnics and library outings with her family when she opens everything up that first week just seems right. 🙂

It may seem overwhelming just how many skills our little ones need to learn as they transition to Kindergarten. Remember school staff genuinely want to see your child succeed. I’ll bet that by Thanksgiving we’ll be feeling pretty thankful for all the new independence skills our “Big Kids” have learned!

If you have questions or concerns about getting your child ready for Kindergarten, there are many ways to connect with us:

For parenting information or to speak with a Public Health Nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) simply dial 311 or 905-825-6000.

About Andrea Scott RN

I’m a public health nurse with the HaltonParents team – you'll find me on Facebook, Twitter and on this blog, writing about all things parenting. I’ve been working for the Halton Region Health Department since 2006 and my focus has been on supporting parents with babies and little kids. I have two little ones myself, “Pumpkin” and “Monkey” who give me plenty to write about! :)
This entry was posted in Healthy Eating for Toddlers & Preschoolers, Parenting, Parenting Your Toddler & Preschooler, Play, Growth & Development, Preparing for Kindergarten, Toddlers & Preschoolers and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Big Kid Skill #3 – The ins and outs of backpacks and lunchboxes

  1. Pingback: Big Kid Skill #2: Going to the washroom at school | HaltonParents

  2. Pingback: Top 3 “Big Kid Skills” to learn before Kindergarten | HaltonParents

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