If your child is just starting daycare or school this year or if last year's lunch bag is worse for wear, you may be in the market for a kid-sized, kid-friendly lunch bag. We recommend letting your child pick it out - it's fun and maybe they'll have a stronger attachment to it and not leave it on as many park benches. (Maybe.) Here are ten sources for some of the cutest lunch bags for young kids out there:
• Built NY: Most of their designs are colorful and kid-friendly but, come on, how cute are their animal bag designs? Four animals to choose from (a monkey was added this year), but points off for dividing them into "boys" and "girls". ($20)
• Dabbawalla: More than a dozen designs made from "eco sponge." ($30)
• So Young Modern Family: Slightly more sophisticated designs but still sweet enough to appeal to kids; lunch boxes ($32) and cooler bags ($30-37), all with optional straps.
• SugarBooger: Huge selection of more structured totes ($20) or brown bag shaped sacks ($16) with designs to please very young kids as well as slightly less childish designs for middle schoolers.
• Skip Hop: The keep adding new animals to their Zoo Lunchies line (now a menagerie of 15) and they just keep bringing on the cute. ($14)
• Wildkins: Shaped like traditional lunch boxes, but softer to fit in a backpack. Over 30 designs. ($17-19)
• Beatrix New York: 11 mostly animal-themed insulated lunch boxes many of which coordinate with backpacks, wheelie bags and water bottles. ($34)
• Goodbyn: A new offering from this company is insulated lunch bags. I like that they aren't too babyish and are more appealing to grade school kids. ($15.73)
• DwellStudio: Three of their popular motifs available in insulated lunch bags. Unfortunately, they won't be available until November. ($38)
• Munchlers: These insulated bags by Built have been discontinued but are still available several places online. My son has the tiger and I like how easy it is to clean. ($17)
[Editor's note: This post has been updated and added to for 2012. The original post ran 8.18.2012.]