School bags around the world

15 Sept 2014

As children in the Northern Hemisphere have almost all gone back to school, the inevitable discussion about school bags and what our children should be carrying on a daily basis on their back is back on the agenda.



I have asked a few fellow bloggers to share their children's school bags with us, focusing on the content and the weight of the bags.


The notable differences you will find below are that school kids in the USA tend to take their lunch with them, making the bag heavier in the morning. But the amount of books they carry is very limited. School kids in Europe do not all have lockers to leave things in (none in France, for example) and so have to carry everything they need for that day (books etc). Also, bare in mind that these pictures were taken in the beginning of the school year. Some items will only get heavier as the year advances as folders fill with loose sheets!





6 years old:

pencil case

glasses case

3 notebooks

1 text book

1 folder


my niece's "cartable"


Weight: about 2800 grams (6lbs)


9 years old:

3 note books,

2 text books

2 pencil cases.

(Often he'll have an A4 folder with loose sheets in too.)


Lou Messugo

Weight: 3000 grams (6.6lbs)


15 years old:

3 A4 folders

3 text books,

a diary,

a school correspondance book,

an elasticated A4 folder with loose papers, a novel,

a book of poems,

a pencil case, ruler and set square


Lou Messugo

Weight: 5700 grams (12lbs)




8 years old:

school notebooks and folders

a lunchbag

The Educator's Spin On It

Weight: 1814 grams (4lbs)

9 years old:


folder with homework,


supply kit (pencils, eraser, glue, scissors, colored pencils)

a book to read

(Often she has a water bottle too)

Kid World Citizen

Weight: 3175 grams (7lbs) incl. backpack

9 years old:

subject notebooks,

academic planner,

a water bottle,

and a plastic container that holds his hot lunch


Raising World Citizens

Weight: up to 4535 grams (10lbs)



8 years old:

A folder for print-outs and music sheets.

Music class: flute and a notebook.

Finnish class: Text book, 2 exercise books (one for grammar, one for handwriting). A note book for writing.

French: A note book with a poem to be learned over the weekend.

A note book to write down what they have for homework in each subject (this is French influence, in Finnish schools you usually write the home work at the back of the note books for each subject)

A pencil case.


Journal of a bilingual family

Weight: 2730 grams (6lbs)

13 years old: A folder for print outs.

English class: Text book, exercise book and a notebook.

French class: A combined text/exercise book, a notebook and a book that they are studying in class (Anne Frank).

Finnish class: Text book, exercise book and a notebook.

Biology class: Textbook and a notebook.

An agenda/diary

A pencil case


Journal of a bilingual family

Weight: 4342 grams (9.5lbs)




7 years old:

2 English books (text and workbook),

2 Math books,

2 Arabic books,

2 Social Studies books,

2 Health and Fitness books,

2 Religion studies books

and 1 French book

his pencil pouch,

his lunch and water bottle

Words n Needles

Weight: 10000 grams (22lbs)

7 years old:

a day's worth of books



Lost in Riyadh

Weight: 2700 grams (5.9lbs)

What about your children? How much do they carry to school everyday?



  1. Wow, kids in Saudi Arabia need to be strong:). This is the coolest post! I loved seeing what other backpacks and their contents look like!

  2. What a great compilation - it was fascinating to see what school bags are like in different countries around the world.


  3. Thank you for this compilation.
    In my country,
    10 year-old
    Weight: 12500 grams


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