Dear Gabrielle, My eldest daughter is about to join the ranks of kindergarteners and I am looking for a cool schoolbox for her to take when her classes begin. The problem I’m having is that she’s on a ‘year round’ school schedule and there aren’t too many choices out there from which to pick right now — especially when her first day of school is in mid-July! I can’t wait for a traditional September ‘back to school’ post and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this problem. Any ideas? I want to send her off in style. :) Thanks so much. I LOVE the blog. — Heidi

Design Mom Answer:
Oh man. It was 4 years ago when I was doing my own lunch box shopping for my first kindergartener. And I found it so much more fun than school clothes shopping. It was almost as if when picking out his lunchbox, I was picking out the kind of friends he was going to have that year. (I remember being in fourth grade and totally being BFF with a girl named Kristy, because we had matching pencil boxes. . .)

Anyway. Lunchboxes in the summer can be tricky. But don’t despair. First of all, if you can stand to wait until the second week of July (I know that’s cutting it close), all the stores will have removed their Independence Day products and moved straight to back-to-school products and you’ll probably have tons of choices.

If you must have a lunchbox this minute, I have a couple of suggestions. For old school boxes, you can’t beat ebay.

Check out this Lassie box. Rad.

Or this New With Tags Return of the Jedi box.

This one is too grown-up for Kindergarten, but I want it for myself.

A quick note on vintage lunchboxes: if you find one sans thermos, don’t stress, just send your child with a little Nalgene bottle/water bottle/juice box/milk money instead.

For more current, insulated, soft-pack lunch boxes, Target has a section dedicated to these year-round in their sporting goods/outdoor gear department.

Like this one.

Or this neoprene one that comes in red, black, green, orange. . .

Target also has a more extensive online lunchbox collection than in stores. I like this orange crush lunch box.

For my son, Ralph, I remember finding a reproduction metal lunchbox featuring vintage BattleStar Gallactica at some discount store, I think it was OddJobs. It totally rocked.

Good luck in your hunt! I’m sure clever Design Mom Readers will chime in with their own ideas and sources.