One of the best ways to get kids excited about school is to ensure they feel prepared with great school supplies. Unfortunately, most schools across the country have to work within pretty significant budget constraints. This means parents often must foot the bill, or rely on generous donations, to get kids what they need to succeed.
In a recent KPMG survey of over 1,000 adults, “the average parent’s spending per student is expected to be as much as $270, compared with roughly $250 in 2020.” It’s important to try to cut costs where you can. For many parents, this means opting for generic school supplies.
While most kids may not care about some of the specifications like the size of their binder or the number of sheets in their notebooks, they do care about the colors and designs on their supplies. The more affordable products are generally those that are more generic looking like plain notebooks, pencil cases, and backpacks.
Inevitably, there is a good chance that whatever supplies they choose, someone else in their class or school, will likely have the same thing. Writing their names on their supplies is a good way to prevent them from getting misplaced. But there are some school items you can improve with a little creativity and a few supplies – like backpacks.
Stickers and original drawings are great for binder covers and folders. But when it comes to backpacks, you’ll want to go the extra step to make them totally unique. Help your kids turn an ordinary backpack into the envy of their peers with a DIY upgrade.
DIY projects will help your kids take pride in their work, and they are also great for improving things like organization, time management, and creativity. Tara Dennis, a creative connoisseur, and TV host says, “Creative projects help develop your child’s sensory stimulation, imagination and fine and gross motor skills.” A beginning of school DIY project may be just what your kids need to bridge the gap between lazy summer days and structured school days.
DollarDays has everything you need to help your kids with a new school year project to help them feel confident and enthusiastic about heading back into the classroom. We love these Forward backpacks that come in a variety of sizes and colors. Along with some of the supplies below, they are the perfect base to create a one-of-a-kind backpack.
Simple Add-Ons They’ll Love
Adding on to a backpack is one of the easiest ways to personalize them. There are tons of affordable craft materials that can be attached with glue . Hot glue guns are ideal for materials like felt or other fabric but super glue — and even Elmer’s glue — will work for other add-ons like foam cut outs or even stickers.
You can also try adding charms and plush toys. These hot ticket items generally come with string or wrist straps you can easily tie to zippers and secure to backpack straps. Kids love collecting, trading, and showing off these cute toys.
If your child is older, they can experiment with sewing different materials on their backpacks. We love sequins and gemstones, patches and pom poms, and any other cute embellishments you can find. You don’t really need a sewing machine just a bit of patience and a steady hand.
Mark it Up
Another easy way to embellish an ordinary backpack is with markers. Markers are one of the most affordable art supplies around and they come in a variety of vibrant colors. For best results, opt for permanent markers that won’t smudge or wash away after getting wet.
If your child is artistic and likes to draw free hand, give them a box of fresh markers and let them create. If they are a bit more tentative or like some help getting started, you can try stencils or even use strips of tape to give the appearance of lines or shapes.
You could also try fabric paint. Working with a paintbrush might be a bit more frustrating for younger kids, but older kids might prefer the more polished look the paint will give.
Tie-dye is one of those trends that never seems to go out of style. Maybe it’s the colors, maybe it’s the inherently cool designs it makes, or maybe because it’s relatively easy (even if it doesn’t always look that way).
If you’ve never tie-dyed before, you can get started with a convenient buckets, squirt bottles, and gloves.
There are tons of sites and video tutorials that can help with the tie dying process. We like these instructions and this video.
You don’t have to spend crazy amounts of money on a tricked-out backpack. Chances are, even if you do, someone else will have something similar. Instead, help your kids explore their creative side by decorating their own backpacks. All they need are a few, basic materials, crafting supplies, and a positive attitude. They’ll take pride in making their own bag and feel great about expressing their individuality.
If you need a few ideas to get you started, check out these fun DIY backpacks.
DollarDays makes it easy to find everything you need to help a student, teacher, or school in your area with quality school supplies and classroom accessories at reasonable wholesale prices. In seeking donations, some schools have even registered with us as a school in need. Your donation matters!