We are T minus 2 weeks til back to school here in NYC, so I wanted to take a moment to share with you a couple of our favorite school items we got last year - they survived to live another year - SCORE!!!
Stuck On You is an Australian brand that sells personalized, well, everything for kids and families! We're talking book bags, bento boxes, lunch bags, clothing labels, clothing stamps, pencil cases, hats, planners, you name it! Last year, we worked with them as part of our 2017 Back to School Giveaway, and were provided a personalized Book Bag, Bento Box and Cooler Bag for my son who was off to Kindergarten. (Stay tuned for our 2018 Back To School / Family Fall Favorites Giveaway going live in September!!!)
What's great is that each Stuck On You item you choose can be personalized - you choose the color, the image, text, and font! (Please see my Safety PSA at the bottom of this post!!!). It's fun for kids, and the parents!
His backpack has gotten TONS of mileage over the past year, carrying his gear to school in Brooklyn every day and even journeying to Japan and Maine with us! I love the gender neutral light mint he chose, though it did get pretty dirty thanks to a water bottle that quite often leaked. But, with a quick scrub in the bath tub it was looking good as new each time (see photos - these are after 1 year of use), so no worries there!! We got the "large" size ($44.95 on sale currently for $35.96) which fits full sized folders and holds his lunch box and everything, but they do have a mini sized too ($24.95 on sale now for $19.96) for the preschool/day care set.
We also got Bento Value Pack ($59.95) including the leak-proof bento box and bento box cooler. The cooler comes with an attached bag that zips closed to hold the included reusable ice pack, and this bag fits the bento box perfectly! The bento box has a removable partitioned insert, and SEALS SHUT when closed, meaning you could put a dip in one of the compartments and it won't leak into another compartment or into your bag when shut!! How amazing is that!!!
So, if back to school shopping, or just looking to replace some old items, definitely check out Stuck On You! And now on to an important message...
***CHILD SAFETY PSA***
Many warn not to put your child's name on any items that will be viewable out in the public, which usually means their backpack and jacket. The concern is the risk of a stranger seeing it and calling your child by name, making them think that it is a safe person. This is obviously a HUGE safety concern, however simply keeping their name off of their backpack won't cut it. I urge you to talk to your children regularly about the dangers of not just strangers, but "Tricky People" (read more here). In this day and age of social media and oversharenting (guilty!!), it's quite possible for your child's name and/or face to be quite well known. Not just that, but a stranger could be lurking and overhear you calling your child's name. Just because someone knows their name, or their parent's name, doesn't mean they're safe. Just because they're a stranger, doesn't mean they're dangerous. Unfortunately, even a teacher, a friend's parent, an uncle, a friend, anyone could have bad intentions. Without scaring them too much, we have to teach them to always be cautious, know to tell their caregiver immediately if ANYONE says or does ANYTHING that makes them uncomfortable. Know how to react in an emergency (scream, kick / scratch / gauge out eyes) etc. So, keep your child's name off of his or backpack if it makes you feel better (you could still personalize it perhaps with a nickname or initials or simply a logo or character they identify with), but know you need to be more proactive than that.
My kids don't take a bus or have after school care yet, so I'm not too concerned with their names on backpacks that simply go from home to under the stroller to school cubbies, and they're always with me anyway. But once they're traveling too and from school/camp/activities on their own, I certainly plan to leave names and identifying objects off of their backpacks. However, my kids are quite familiar with "strangers" knowing them and their names on a regular basis (because of our presence on social media), so we have the talk regularly about why people know them, what a "tricky person" is, why it's dangerous to run off or linger behind me on the sidewalk, etc. At 2 and 5 years old, I'm not sure how much they really "get it", but it's a conversation that must happen, often, and it evolves as they get older.
So, what do you think!? Do you personalize your kids' stuff? How do educate your kids about "stranger danger" and "tricky people"? Leave a comment below, and be sure to follow us across social on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and YOUTUBE, and stay tuned for our HUGE Fall Faves Group Giveaway!!!!!!
Check out Kenzo sporting his Stuck on Me backpack at the airport in Japan:
About Me ^_^
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1). This blog is chock full of product reviews, family travel guides, and giveaways galore! It's also home to Bay Ridge Families, and several guides focused on kid-friendly activities and guides to South Brooklyn, Hudson Valley, and New Jersey, as well as family-friendly destinations beyond the NYC area (check the menu bar!)