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What does a 12-year-old look for in a school bag?

As school reopens, like us you must be getting your kid ready for the new term, shopping for school supplies and that all-important backpack or school bag. We’re here to help with 5 tips on how to select schoolbags for girls or boys, or more specifically for a 12-year-old child. Why? Because we believe that this is a crucial transitional age, where children are leaving behind childhood and entering adolescence.


It’s when they’re carving out strong opinions of their own but are still willing to take in your feedback. However, most of these school bag tips apply to other ages too, so read on and use what works for you!


Hello Kitty and Batman backpacks for boys and girls


Chances are, a 12-year old child is looking for something that comes with a cool look and features and will win them major cred with their friends, while you’re more concerned with the bag’s quality and durability. Fear not – it’s possible to achieve both goals at one go!


Ready? Let’s get right down to selecting the perfect school bag:


1. Let them pick the look they like

You may think that a pastel school bag is pretty hard to maintain or that a particular print is too busy, but restrain yourself from openly showing your disapproval. Instead, show your young child multiple options to understand what they’re leaning towards – whether it is a cool print, a character style like Hello Kitty or just a plain pop colour. Do they have a passion for football or superheroes? Check out our backpacks for girls or boys, shortlist 2 or 3 styles together, and take each bag’s features into account before making your final choice.


Army and superhero style school backpacks for boys


2. Make sure the school bag doesn’t hurt your child’s back

Trolley bags are the best bet as they literally take the weight off your child’s back. The only difficulty will be when the bag has to be taken up flights of stairs, but that can be solved by using the ramps and lifts that are thoughtfully provided everywhere.


Back friendly trolley bags for teens


However, did you know that even backpacks can be back-friendly? Pick one with broad straps that curve away from the body. Padded straps are even better, as they don’t dig into the shoulders. Multiple compartments also help, as lighter things can be packed in outer sections, so that the bulk of the weight is carried close to the body.


According to contemporary research, children 12 years and under must only carry 10% of their body weight. Instruct your child not to over-pack their bags. In fact, you may have to check for a couple of days initially to make sure they’re packing only the books and supplies needed for that day. It may feel a little strange to check an older child’s bag, but you’ll be surprised by the number of unnecessary things they leave lying around at the bottom of their bags.


3. Should you get a bag that grows with your child? 

As parents, we tend to look for schoolbags that your child can use for a while. However, if you buy an overly large or small bag, it will affect weight distribution and thus your child’s posture. The trick is finding the right balance. Besides, tastes and needs change with time. Do make sure that you pick durable material that can take daily wear and tear, such as Polyester, Nylon or Polyurethane. Adjustable straps are a must so that the bag can be altered to suit your 12-year-old.


Back-friendly backpacks with broad straps for school


4. Does the school bag have plenty of space? 

This seems to be a no-brainer but quite often we pick up a bag only to find that it doesn’t really work for certain specific needs. To avoid this happening, list some of the things your child will need to carry. Obviously, they’ll need a separate compartment for the lunchbox and a water bottle holder (or they could opt for a separate lunch bag altogether). Does your child need to take a device to school? If yes, will they carry an iPad or a laptop? Do they need to carry messy craft supplies? Discuss with your child and shop accordingly.  


Girls' floral backpack in burgundy with compartments


5. Get them cool tech stuff they’ll appreciate 

Now that the serious stuff is done, may we suggest something that will help your child score major points with their crew? This smart bag has its own USB charging point, so if your child (like all 12 year-olds or even older folk like us) hasn’t charged their device before taking it to school for an important presentation on say, rocks or reptiles, they can rest assured. This bag is also designed to keep their belongings safe, thanks to the hidden zippers that are inaccessible to anyone else but your child.


Tech backpack with charging port and laptop storage


That's it! We hope these cool styles and handy hints help you in your quest for the perfect schoolbag.