Lisa Thornbury: Party Mummy


Win A Back-To-School Prize Pack

Baby Got Backpack pain?

My son is going into grade four. Grade four! How did this happen? This year BOTH of my children will be in school all day...every day. Cue tap dancing, followed by guilt, overridden by joy, shadowed by panic. It’s whirlwindy over here.

As a teacher turned work-at-home mom, I know this anxiety will soon pass, schedules will resume and life will go on {though dotted with intermittent freak outs and the occasional mama bear mauling}. In the meantime, parents everywhere are calming themselves with the task of stocking their children’s school backpacks.

I adore a well-appointed backpack; pockets and pouches with purpose, organized and uncluttered. My children’s backpacks start out this way, but by the third day of school I find rocks, leaves, and stowaway sticks stuffed in there! As the year progresses there's crumpled paper, more leaves {now dry and crunchy}, sandwich crusts, fermenting grapes, stinky gym socks, toys and a pile of other disgusting things in there.

It’s unsavoury, not to mention heavy. Did you know 35% of children less than nine years old complain of backaches? Hauling around a backpack filled with rocks and heavy books will do that. It’s a fact that 50% of children carry packs that are too heavy for their developing spines and that over time, improper backpacks and heavy loads put unnecessary strain on the body causing adverse effects on growing back. Source

So, here are a few “Baby Got Back-Pack” tips to consider this year:

• Choose the right backpack i.e., appropriate size, weight, straps, padding

• Get a backpack with a waist strap to distribute weight evenly

• Inspect contents weekly and remove unnecessary items {this absolutely includes rocks!}

• Bring home only the books needed for homework

• Choose light notebooks and accessories

• To reduce weight, replace regular three-ring binders with the light weight, flexible Wilson Jones Backpack Binder (65% lighter than a standard one-inch binder...available exclusively at Costco locations across Canada)

• Use all of the backpack's compartments, putting heavier items, such as textbooks, closest to the centre of the back

• Follow the 15% rule: for example, if a child weighs 52 kg (115 lbs.), the backpack should not weigh more than 7.8 kg (17 lbs.)

• Never sling the backpack over one shoulder {even though it looks cool...says my nine-year-old}

I really miss the fall set-up of my classroom so to distract myself from the heady pleasures of bulletin board paper and sticky tack, I’m giving away a Back-to-School Prize Pack to one lucky reader!

The winner receives:

- 2 packages of Wilson Jones Backpack Binders (2 sets of colours)

- 1 Swingline Anywhere stapler

- 1 Quartet Locker Combination Board

- 1 MotherWord calendar (for mom to organize the kids)

TO ENTER leave a comment about the strangest, grossest, or most annoying thing you’ve found in your child’s backpack.

Yummy Rules and Regs: You must be a Yummy Mummy Club member to win. Click to sign up! It's free and filled with perks. One comment per member. Entries accepted until Saturday, September 1, 2012. Contest open to Canadian residents. Winners will be picked using


Head over to our Back To School Page for plenty of great back to school articles, tips, gear and fashions!