Anything But A Backpack Day Ideas - Desert Chica (2024)

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One of the newest spirit week crazes is ‘Anything but a backpack’ day which means that kids bring their school stuff for the day in literally anything but their backpack. Check out this fun list of Anything But a Backpack ideas for your child to use during spirit week.

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Anything But A Backpack Day During Spirit Week

I love spirit week at school, my kids were pretty into participating in elementary school. Their enthusiasm waned a bit in middle school and are pickier about which days they dress up. But they LOVED ‘anything but a backpack’ day.

Their school just hosted this fun new spirit day idea and it seemed to be the most popular spirit day ever. It definitely generated a lot of crazy excitement during the school day and lots of students participated. I bet this is a popular school spirit week idea for a high school kid too.

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What To Bring On Anything But A Backpack Day

This is a fun spirit day idea that allows for a variety of participating levels. If you want to keep it simple than just using a purse, grocery bag or box would work.

But the extreme craziness of ideas is what adds to the fun of this day. My boys chose to bring a red wagon and a blue bucket in lieu of their normal backpack.

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Anything But A Backpack Day Ideas

Based on my own kids’ experiences, I’d say anything that rolls is better than any thing you have to carry. By the end of the day my youngest was tired of carrying the bucket.

Rolling Anything But A Backpack Day Ideas

  • Wagon – We had an old little tykes wagon that my oldest took but a red metal wagon or a newer style radio flyer wagon that students can borrow from younger siblings would work well. Folding wagons and utility carts that people use for sports, landscaping or even teachers hauling things on campus were also popular.
  • Rolling Mop Bucket – One creative idea is a rolling mop bucket. If your family doesn’t have one, I bet you know someone you can borrow it from. It might need to be cleaned before you use it though.
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  • Stroller – Another smart idea that should be easy to borrow is a baby stroller. There should be plenty of room to hold your school supplies in baby carriages.
  • Skateboard – One of my son’s friends strapped his stuff to the top of his skate board and then using a string to pull it around campus, I thought that was a pretty creative idea.
  • Rolling Trash Can – Personally I think this only works if you have a very new/clean one but kids can be crazy…
  • Utility Cart – I have a couple different craft carts or carts with drawers on wheels that would work.
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  • Rolling Ice Chest or Cooler – My oldest considered using our rolling cooler but he was afraid the handle wasn’t long enough for him (he’s pretty tall already) and he would get annoying dragging it around all day. This could definitely work if your rolling ice chest has a long handle or you are on the shorter side. Coolers were the most popular item he noticed during Nothing But A Backpack Day.
  • Power Wheels – Apparently one student brought a power wheels car to school but I think it broke with too many big kids who wanted to ride on it.
  • Cozi Car or Ride On Car – A fun push style car is another idea you can borrow from younger kids. It should be easy to push around while holding all your school stuff.
  • Rolling Suitcase – A rolling suitcase seems like the obvious thing to take in the place of backpacks. My kids thought it was too easy/obvious and didn’t want to use our luggage.
  • Rolling Hamper – One of these rolling hampers would carry a ton of school things and wouldn’t be too hard to push around campus.
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  • Vacuum – Bungee you school supplies to the top of it and roll it into class.
  • Shopping Carts – Personally I love the idea of shopping carts or buggies as some people call them. I think they are the perfect idea with plenty of space to hold your stuff. Although finding one to use legally (don’t steal one!) unless it’s a toy shopping cart or one like this might be hard to do.
  • Remote Control Toy Truck or Toy Car – If you didn’t carry a lot of stuff to school, you might be able to get away with an extra large remote control car or truck. But to me this seems to really limit what you bring.
  • Dolly – I think a fun idea would be a dolly maybe with a grocery bag attached with a bungee cord or clip.
  • Wheelbarrow – A wheelbarrow is a little over the top but kids always love hilarious ideas.
  • Office Chair – Place your school on the seat and roll that office chair into class.
  • Car Tire – A ridiculous but hilarious idea if you can pull it off. You might want to wear gloves so you hands aren’t covered in dirt after rolling this around all day.
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Carrying Anything But A Backpack Day Ideas

  • Bucket – Blue Lowes or Orange Home Depot buckets were also popular ideas for this fun day.
  • Pet Carrier or Dog Crate – A smaller pet carrier would work well. Something too big like a large dog crate might be too cumbersome to carry.
  • Baby Carrier – I think a baby carrier you wear is a fun alternative to a backpack.
  • Baby Car Seat – Another thing you can easily bring if you have a baby sibling or know a baby.
  • Cooler Bag – One of those giant insulated grocery bags would be easy to carry on your shoulder. And would have lots of room to fit all your school stuff.
  • Guitar Cases – A soft or hard musical instrument case would also work well.
  • Tool Box – Borrowing their dad’s tool box or tool bag was one idea we considered, but they decided they were obviously more fun ideas to choose from.
  • Laundry Baskets – Laundry baskets can hold a lot of stuff and most people have them, so this is an easy idea for the anything but a backpack part of spirit week.
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  • Hamper – A stationary hamper you have to carry around could get annoying. However everyone likely has one they can use.
  • Microwave – One of the more outrageous ideas is old microwaves. While this silly idea might bring lots of laughs, I am guessing your arms will be extra sore at the end of the school day.
  • Air Fryer – Similar to the microwave idea, although likely lighter and easier to carry.
  • Cereal Boxes – Using an empty cereal box is a simple idea that isn’t heavy. And some family size boxes can be quite big, definitely big enough for some basic school supplies.
  • Picnic Basket – Or really any basket would work, like an old easter basket.
  • Christmas Stocking – Speaking of holidays, your Christmas stocking could be an easy idea too.
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  • Traffic Cone – Borrowing a traffic cone might be hard to do (legally) but maybe you know people in construction that would have access to one. I think this is a pretty creative idea if you can pull it off.
  • Soup Pots – An extra large stock pot could carry plenty of things for school.
  • Luggage – Regular luggage you have to carry? I’d say the most boring idea on here is plain luggage. Plus it could get heavy but I guess it technically works since it’s not a backpack.
  • Vase – A plastic vase might work out ok, I’d skip a glass one.
  • Bird Cage – A little ridiculous but maybe you have an old one in storage that you can bring.
  • Fishing Net – Just make sure anything you bring won’t fall through the net.
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Printable Anything But A Backpack Day List

Does your class need a great idea for a backpack alternative? I have the best ideas to use in lieu of a traditional backpack for this silly Spirit Day theme. It’s easy to print and share your students. (Click the image below to download the file)

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Anything But A Backpack Day Ideas - Desert Chica (2024)


What should you bring on anything but a backpack day? ›

Try a fanny pack: Fanny packs, also known as a belt bag or bum bag among other names, are making a comeback. They're perfect for holding essentials without weighing you down. Utilize a messenger bag: This type of bag is worn across the body and can hold everything you need for the day while still looking fashionable.

How do you make a cute boring backpack? ›

Draw on the fabric.

Colored permanent markers or fabric markers. Make sure the marker is dark enough that you can see it on a backpack. If you can find stencils at your local craft store, then you can apply a cool design with the fabric paint, or even glitter glue! Make your own stencil for a unique design.

What can I wear instead of a backpack? ›

Tote Bags: Large tote bags can be a stylish and practical alternative for carrying books and supplies. Messenger Bags: Messenger bags are designed to be worn across the body and are a popular choice for students who want a different look.

What is the no backpack day? ›

No BackPack Day is a day that kids in the US go to school without their backpacks, carrying all their books and school supplies in their hands or in plastic bags so as to raise awareness for the millions of kids around the world who have to walk miles to school carrying their books and school supplies in their hands or ...

What to bring to school on no backpack day? ›

22 Things You Can Grab on the Morning Of
  • Trash bag.
  • Laundry hamper.
  • Briefcase.
  • Sewing box.
  • Tackle box.
  • Trash can.
  • Garden pot.
  • Cardboard box.
Sep 18, 2023

What should I pack for one day? ›

Daytrip Essentials: What to Pack in Your Backpack
  • A bottle of water.
  • Snacks.
  • An item of warm clothing.
  • A hat and sunglasses.
  • Sunscreen.
  • A rain jacket or umbrella.
  • Your passport.
  • Spare cash.

How do you spice up a boring backpack? ›

GET COLORFUL. Another way to decorate a backpack is with color. You can use fabric markers to add more personality and designs to your backpack. If you're not confident about drawing freehand, try sketching your design in pencil first or using stencils.

How to make a homeless backpack? ›

  1. Water bottles.
  2. Socks.
  3. Soft granola Bar or cereal bar.
  4. Fruit snack or applesauce cup.
  5. Crackers with peanut butter or cheese.
  6. Gift certificate to fast food.
  7. Hand wipes.
  8. Pack of Kleenex.

How can I make my school bag look cuter? ›

The easiest way to customize a schoolbag is by using fabric pens or sharpies to draw anything from abstract designs to people, animals, or landscapes. Lay your bag on a hard surface and place a piece of cardboard under the fabric to provide a flat surface to draw-on, and prevent colors from soaking through.

What makes a backpack a woman's backpack? ›

However, designers typically create women's backpacks with narrower shoulder bases and straps. The overall sizes of ladies' backpacks tend to be smaller as well. This allows the backpack to contour the back better, and accommodate ladies with smaller frames.

Is it better to wear a bag or a backpack? ›

Comfort: Backpacks distribute weight evenly across the shoulders and back, which can be more comfortable for extended periods of wear. Handbags, on the other hand, can be heavier on one side and cause discomfort or pain with prolonged use. Capacity: Backpacks generally have more storage capacity and are better suited.

What is anything but a bag to school day? ›

Anything But a Backpack Day is a fun theme day that occurs at many high schools where students bring something other than a backpack to carry their school supplies.

Why are backpacks being banned? ›

At least 27 school districts in the past 18 months have started restricting backpacks, according to news reports. Though security experts are skeptical the measures make schools safer, they've become a common response to school shootings and to fears sparked by students showing up to school with guns.

Why did they ban backpacks? ›

As most administrators know, schools have been barring backpacks for years to prevent students from concealing weapons and other potentially problematic objects.

What is anything but a backpack day for kids? ›

The rules are that students must come to class carrying everything they need in anything but a normal backpack. It has to be able to carry their textbooks and laptops. Teenagers are often the most clever and they've proven themselves once again.

What should I carry in my backpack for school? ›

What to Keep in Your Backpack
  • WATER BOTTLE. Dehydration is a risk even when it's cold outside. ...
  • TECH PACK. On a long, busy day, the last thing you want is for your phone to die on you or to have forgotten your thumb drive or laptop power cord. ...
  • SUNSCREEN. ...
  • TISSUES. ...
  • LIP BALM. ...

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