For the last few years I’ve given my top picks for “Back to School – Boys & Girls Backpacks”. This year I’ve decided to change things up a bit thanks to the wisdom of my outspoken 8-year-old son. With the simple statement of “Mommy, there’s really no such thing as “boys & girls” backpacks. Can’t we just like whatever we like?” I was sold. So parents on that note, give your child the freedom to choose their backpack based on whatever makes them happy; whatever encourages their individuality; whatever builds their confidence.
From cool camos, sticky sweet treats, fun quotes to googly eyes so you can always see who’s sneaking up behind you, there’s a perfect backpack to fit every child. – Jill Topol
Top Backpacks – Eye See You
- Les Petits Joueurs – Mick Eyes Leather & Shearling Backpack $1051.00 luisaviaroma.com
- Gap – Print Junior Backpack in “Purple Power” $39.95 gap.com
- Fendi – Backpack (Black Calfskin with Yellow Fur Appliques) $2900.00 fendi.com
- Crewcuts – Kids’ Max the Monster Backpack $59.50 jcrew.com
- Fendi – Blue Sheepskin (Bla Bla Bla Motif) $5150.00 fendi.com
- Two Red Dogs UK – Kids Monster Face Rucksack (in green, black, orange, red or pink) $24.66 etsy.com
TOP BACKPACKS – SAY IT LOUD, SAY IT PROUD
- Mojo – Straight Outta Backpack $48.00 mojobackpacks.com
- Fashion Angels – Peace Love Selfie Pink Metallic Backpack $24.99 fashionangels.com
- Vans – Nintendo Game Over Backpack $40.00 vans.com
- Animal – Teal Sidekick Truck Backpack $27.00 alexandalexa.com
- Mojo – Baron Von Fancy x Mojo “Nothing But Trouble” $60.00 mojobackpacks.com
- Hot Topic – Cats Are Everything Backpack $23.92 hottopic.com
TOP BACKPACKS – SWEET TREATS
- Sprayground – Ice Cream Shark DLX Backpack $60.00 sprayground.com
- Accessory Innovation – Snack Attack Cupcake Backpack $19.99 target.com
- Sprayground – Popsicle Grillz DLX Backpack $60.00 sprayground.com
- Top Trenz – Jelly Bean Backpack $40.00 toptrenz.com
- Urban Junk – Mini Schweety Backpack $25.22 bluebanana.com
- Terez – Donut Backpack $75.00 shop.nordstrom.com
TOP BACKPACKS – COOL IN CAMO
- Herschel – Retreat Backpack (Woodland Camo Red/Navy/Red Rubber) $79.99 herschelsupply.com
- Valentino – Camouflage Multicolored Leather Backpack $2,295.00 farfetch.com
- Sprayground – Camo Gold Drips $70.00 sprayground.com
- Burton – Youth Tinder Backpack (Duck Hunter Camo) $25.90 rockynountaintrail.com
- French Bulldog – Camouflage Kids Backpack $19.99 target.com
- Adidas Originals – Backpack in Camo $43.00 asos.com
On your mark, get set, go! The mad dash to purchase that laundry list of “Back to School” supplies is here. While certain items like pencils, notebooks and paper are a no brainer, a backpack is something that should never be bought on a whim.
Unlike clothing and shoes, your child will not outgrow their backpack during the school year, or need to swap it out when the weather changes. It’s the one constant they will proudly wear everyday to school. So why not make it something special?
Always remember a backpack is way more than just a vessel to carry your kid’s books to school. It’s an extension of their personality. A representation of who your child is to their peers. Maybe your kid loves kittens? Maybe it’s a certain cartoon character? Maybe they’re obsessed with pink? Whatever floats their boat. In the end, it’s all about making them feel good about themselves by building their confidence and self-esteem…all while getting their homework home in one piece. – Jill Topol
TOP BOYS BACKPACKS
- Crewcuts – Max the Monster Backpack $59.50 jcrew.com
- Fred Perry – Plaid Signature Backpack $95.00 asos.com
- Nintendo – Large Controller Backpack $29.99 target.com
- Sprayground – Eyenstein Backpack $60.00 sprayground.com
- MadPax – Heavy Metal Full Pack in Moonwalk Silver $65.00 madpax.com
- Vans – Eley Kishimoto Old Skool II Backpack $42.00 vans.com
- Herschel – Classic Backpack in Navy Portal $39.99 herschelsupply.com
- Mojo – Burger Deluxe Backpack $48.00 mojobackpacks.com
- Jansport – Superbreak Backpack in Multi Mixtapes $36.00 jansport.com
- Star Wars – Grey Millennium Falcon 3D Backpack $31.99 target.com
- Zara – Giraffe Detail Backpack $29.90 zara.com
- Paul Smith Junior – Dinosaur Backpack $262.00 www.luisaviaroma.com
TOP GIRLS BACKPACKS
- 2D Bags – Pink 2D Backpack $29.99 2dbags.co
- Tokidoki for LeSportsac – Palette Backpack $138.00 lesportsac.com
- Mojo – Studio Disco Backpack $48.00 mojobackpacks.com
- Jansport – Big Student Backpack in Hairball $45.99 kohls.com
- Gap Kids – Owl Backpack $39.95 gap.com
- Sprayground – Kitten Grillz X Cupcake Mafia $65.00 sprayground.com
- State – Kane Backpack in turquoise/peach $55.00 statebags.com
- Mojo – Doughnuts Backpack $48.00 mojobackpacks.com
- Moschino – Quilted Bear Printed Backpack $725.00 luisaviaroma.com
- Gap – Printed Senior Backpack in Mint Puppies $44.95 gap.com
- Hello Kitty – Mint Sunglasses Backpack $40.00 loungefly.com
- Dickies – Patchwork Backpack in Soft Turquoise $19.99 www.target.com
While Mother’s Day is still over 2 weeks away, today we celebrate the “mom of all moms”, Mother Earth. To pay homage to this beautiful planet we call home, it’s time to show your mama some love. Instead of buying her a bouquet of flowers, plant some in her honor. Instead of driving the kids to school, enjoy a bike ride together. Instead of tossing that water bottle in the trash, recycle it. If we all started doing something small each day to help our environment, think of the big changes we could accomplish. Your mother would be so proud of you. – Jill Topol
1. Gnome Enterprises – Tree Hugger T-Shirt (size 2-12yrs) $24.00 www.gnomeenterprises.com
2. Peek – “Protect Our Forests” Baby Tee (size 3-24m) $24.00 www.peekkids.com
3. Peek – “Respect Your Mother” T-Shirt (size 2T – 14yrs) $34.00 www.nordstrom.com
4. Stella McCartney Kids – Lolly Rainbow T-Shirt (size 2-14yrs) $55.00 www.stellamccartney.com
5. Crewcuts – Girls’ Foil Earth Tee (size 2-14yrs) $34.50 www.jcrew.com
6. Peek – Woodsy Owl T-Shirt (size 3-24m) $24.00 www.peekkids.com
My kid still has days where he can’t remember his left from his right. To help him out in the past, I’ve labeled the inside of his sneakers and even resorted to drawing a big L and R on his hands with magic markers. A perfect solution until bath time.
It’s time to take advantage of this frigid winter and finally put to rest the age old question “Mommy, which hand does this go on?”.
Let’s make some left & right gloves! Not only is this a super easy craft, but the end results are “right on”. – Jill Topol
1. A pair of acrylic gloves or mittens
2. Iron-on letters (.75 – 1 inch size) I used glitter, but flocked letters would work well too.
3. An iron
Cut out your letters spelling out “left & right”. Lay out your letters on the gloves. Apply heat with an iron until set. Make sure to check the instructions for iron-on application. This can vary depending on brand and material.
Hey New Yorkers! Time to finish up your holiday shopping with a bang. RUUM Kid’s Wear is having their annual holiday sample sale tomorrow and Friday 12/18 & 12/19 10-4pm.
High fashion meets low prices at this mack daddy of a kids sale. Trust me, your mouth will drop when you see what deals are to be had. Yeah, it’s that good. xo, Jill
Rapunzel, your dreams of becoming fashion’s next “it girl” have just been crushed. Little Red Riding Hood takes her “on my way to Grandma’s house” style to the runway as capes and ponchos become a top trend for fall. In warm earth tones and plaids, this sleeveless coverall classic is the perfect must-have for a fairytale happy ending. – Jill Topol1. Tommy Hilfiger – Tommy Mini Wool Cape (size 1-7yrs) £125.00 uk.tommy.com
2. Dolce & Gabbana – Girls Animal & Flower Print Cape (size 4-6yrs) $1615.00 www.saksfifthavenue.com
3. H&M – All For the Children, Jacquard-knit Poncho (size 2-10yrs) $34.95 www.hm.com
4. Aquascutum – Reversible Cape Red (size 4-12yrs) $473.44 www.designerchildrenswear.com
5. Stella McCartney Kids – Florence Cape (size 4-10yrs) $280.00 www.stellamccartney.com
6. Old Navy – Girls Hooded Performance Fleece Cape (size xs-xxl) $40.00 www.oldnavy.com
This past weekend I took Max to see the Blondie 40th Anniversary exhibit at the Chelsea Hotel Gallery in NYC. With walls covered in visual delights and glass displays housing rare and unusual memorabilia, it was an overload of pure enjoyment for fans of the iconic band.
Photographers and artistic legends including Andy Warhol, Mick Rock, Annie Leibovitz, Robert Mapplethorpe, Bobby Grossman, David Godlis and bandmate Chris Stein adorned the gallery walls with their personal perspectives on one of the most highly regarded bands in both music and fashion history.
I decided to take my 7 year old son Max (who was reluctant at first) to the exhibit with hopes that exposing him to the music mommy grew up on would somehow give him an appreciation for Blondie and broaden his musical horizons beyond the soundtrack of “Frozen”. I’m happy to say my efforts paid off. Max marveled at the Blondie videos playing on the large screen to the point of being in a trance. After viewing a block of videos in his hypnotic state, he asked if we could watch “Heart of Glass” on YouTube when we got home. I was elated. He also told me that Debbie Harry was one of the most gorgeous women he’d ever seen, and resembled one of his Monster High dolls. The biggest compliment the boy could possibly give.
While I would never force my son to like the same music I do (said by the girl who’s dad only let her listen to show tunes in elementary school and still resents him for it), it’s nice to know that Max is open-minded to try new things, and not just what Nickelodeon says is cool.
“Call Me” or “Call Me Maybe”, it’s all good!
1. Rowdy Sprout – Blondie Tank Dress (size 3m-8yrs) $46.00 www.rowdysprout.com
2. Rowdy Sprout – Petunia Blondie Sweatshirt (size 12m-12yrs) $41.00 www.rowdysprout.com
3. Goody Two Sleeves – Blondie Poster Tee (size 2-4yrs) $22.00 www.babesta.com