Posted: Aug 06, 2013 10:00 AM
Back to school means so much to carry! Take your school kid shopping for their must-have bag. We have tips for finding cute backpacks for all ages that are as functional as they are adorable. You're both sure to love these cute school backpacks!

Early mornings, sharpened pencils and new backpacks, these are the things that back to school is made of. Start your school kid's year off right by helping her find the perfect backpack. We've gathered the sweetest and coolest looks for your little — and big — back to school kids!

Because backpacks fill up quickly and small shoulders get sore easily, it's also important to keep backpack safety in mind. Melissa Arca, M.D., board certified pediatrician, mom of two, writer, speaker and child advocate, says, "Aim to keep backpack weight no more than 10 to 20 percent of the child's total body weight. That includes the weight of the backpack, so for a 40 pound preschooler, we're looking at extremely light — four to eight pounds max!"

Fashionable and functional backpack picks for...

^ Preschool

Hanna Andersson

PRICE: $26
Hanna Anderson backpack

Dabba Walla

PRICE: $40
Dabba Walla backpack

The Preschool Backpack is small, durable and stain and water resistant. We love its small size and that it's PVC free.

The Fast Track backpack is sturdy, machine washable and 100 percent toxin free. We love the cushioned flexible straps and the variety of inside and outside pockets.

^ Kindergarten


PRICE: $23
Wildkin Olive Kids Under Construction Sidekick Backpack

Garnet Hill

PRICE: $35
Garnett Hill Kids' Backpack Jr backpack

The Wildkin Olive Kids Under Construction Sidekick Backpack is durable, water resistant and wipes clean with a damp cloth. We love that it's roomy and light at the same time.

The Kids' Backpack Jr is bright, colorful, durable and pocket filled. We love the adjustable padded straps and padded back panel!

^ Elementary school

Pottery Barn Kids

PRICE: $30-70
Pottery barn kids' backpacks

L.L. Bean

PRICE: $40
LL Bean Deluxe Book Pack

The personalized backpacks at Pottery Barn are rugged, water resistant and hold exactly what a school-age child needs to take to and from school — no more and no less. We love the adjustable padded straps and the padded back panel.

The Deluxe Book Pack is rugged, weatherproof and pocket filled for easy and convenient organization. We love the padded back panel, curved straps and that it's extremely lightweight.

^ Junior high

Pottery Barn Teen

PRICE: $45
Pottery Barn Teens messenger bag


PRICE: $50
Wildkin Serious Backpack

The Messenger Bag at Pottery Barn Teen is rugged, water resistant and holds only the basics. We love the sleek look and smart design.

The Wildkin Serious Backpack is tear and water resistant, can be spot cleaned and is pocket filled for maximum organization. We love the media features.

^ High school


PRICE: $46
Nike Brasilia Backpack

Lands' End

PRICE: $54
Land's End Solid FeatherLight Large Backpack

The Nike Brasilia Backpack is durable, washable and sleek. We love the adjustable shoulder straps, the variety of pockets and that it's extremely lightweight.

The Solid FeatherLight Large Backpack is water repellent, boasts a no-tip design and has foam padding in the shoulder straps and back panels for extra comfort and support. We love the tech features and side straps that help lighten the load.

Bonus backpack

Super cute superhero

PRICE: $40

Is your daughter an aspiring superhero? The Zebra Cape backpack from SuperMe looks like a regular backpack, but with one quick move, it transforms into a superhero's most necessary accessory: a superhero cape. (The cape is stored in a pocket at the top of the backpack.) Check out the website for other options, including adorable superhero backpacks for boys. Recommended ages: preschool through kindergarten.

 Zebra Cape backpack from SuperMe

Last Thoughts^ Dr. Arca encourages kids to always use both shoulder straps to evenly distribute weight, to make sure that the straps are tight enough so the backpack lies close to the body and to keep backpacks as light as possible by avoiding packing unnecessary items!

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