Today's school supplies are packed with personality, and kids have an imaginative array of gear to choose from as they prep for the start of a new year. Backpacks come in a variety of sizes to fit different toting needs and capabilities.
There are lace and damask designs, camouflage and brick-wall patterns, animal prints, sequins or pastels. Superhero, video game, and music and TV star images hit the pop culture button.
At Pottery Barn Kids, www.pbkids.com, the backpacks range in size from mini to rolling, so you don't have to worry about your preschooler heading off with a refrigerator-size tote on his back, and the fifth-graders with giant science texts can roll their volumes comfortably back and forth.
Patterns include butterflies, horses, and owls in hip hues like plum and chocolate, along with dinosaur-skeleton and snakeskin prints in browns, grays and blues.
Kohl's, www.kohls.com, has backpacks for kids from elementary through high school.
"Backpacks are a fashionable and functional way for students to express their personality and show off their style," said Sofia Wacksman, Kohl's vice president for trend. "Bright colors and bold prints are a big trend this back-to-school season."
Girls might like the colored leopard print, boho floral, and fun graphic heart patterns. Plaids, moustaches, leaf prints and skulls round out the range.
A collection of rolling backpacks in fun animal designs such as pandas, frogs and pigs are at eBags, www.ebags.com.
The retailer's also got a line of appropriately sized, colorful preschooler packs from 03 USA that have handy integrated lunch coolers. Designs include soccer balls, motorcycles and space shuttles.
The Bookworm backpack, also small, has a reflective panel for low-light conditions, and a waterproof layer along the bottom.
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