You’re the editor: Preview the 2017 backpack collection!

Tell us what you think.

2017 Kids' Backpacks: Garnet Hill Kids' Backpack Survey
Take the Garnet Hill Kids' Backpack Survey
Although it’s not quite the end of the school year, we’re already busy preparing for next fall. The brand-new 2017 backpack collection has just been photographed and we couldn’t wait to share a sneak peek with you!

New for 2017:

Every backpack and lunch pack in the collection is now made with recycled PET fabric, created from plastic bottles and reclaimed polyester.

And, as always, each bag is ergonomically designed to give your child the best possible fit.

We’re thrilled with how they turned out and would really love to know which ones you’ll like the most. Would you share your thoughts with us? Fill out our quick backpack survey.

Thanks for your feedback, and be sure to mark your calendar for June 15 to be among the first to shop the collection when it premieres online.

Creative tips for traveling with kids

Low-tech entertainment for your next family vacation

As the season of family road trips and airplane travel approaches, it’s a good idea to have some fresh strategies ready to keep kids happy and occupied. Tablets and phones can be great in a pinch, but we love creative and interactive activities. Here are a few favorites:

Ask the kids to document the trip with an instant-print camera

Ocean Photos
You know, the old-fashioned kind. Introduce your kids to the joy of snapping a photo and waving it around in the air as you eagerly wait to see what develops.

Pro tip: You’ll want to ration the film – maybe even hide some extra in your bag – so you don’t run out before you’ve even left the driveway.

Create a collection with free (or nearly free) found items

Travel Bag
Anything from rocks, to sea glass, to coins, to flowers for pressing. Next, decide on some creative ways to catalog where you found each item and what it reminds you of.

Pack a journal/scrapbook with supplies

Butterflies on a Book
Give your child a journal for doodling, writing, and pasting in their photos. A blank book plus a glue stick, stickers, crayons and colored pencils for the younger set, and markers for older kids are all a good start.

Bring along a family mascot

Golddish in a Bowl
Pack something meaningful, but not priceless, like a photo of a pet who couldn’t make the trip or silly knickknack from home. Tote them along for funny photo ops and share their journey with family and friends.

Play some travel-friendly family games

Remember I-Spy? License-plate bingo? 20 questions? All of those car-trip classics are just as fun for kids now as they were back then, and they have the added benefit of engaging little imaginations.

Refresh your memory on how to play, and discover more games you may not know.

If you have the space, pack UNO, Go Fish, and Travel Yahtzee for more options.

Make a big deal out of little thrills

Kids are experts at this. The hotel elevator, the frog in the grass by the parking lot, the tiny swing set at the playground (rather than the over-the-top rides at the amusement park).

As every parent knows, the things you expect to make an impression are often not what kids are still talking about months and years later. And really, that’s part of the magic.

Step back whenever possible and let the kids take the lead. You may find it’s the key to your best vacation memories.

What are your suggestions for keeping everyone happy on a family trip?

How to naturally dye easter eggs

If you have kids at home, at some point this week you’ll most likely be coloring Easter Eggs with your little ones. You’ve seen the easy dye-kits at the supermarket containing vials of artificial food coloring, but this year we’re on a quest to find a more natural, sustainable method for coloring eggs.

Turns out one of our favorite bloggers, Kaley Ann, has mastered naturally-dyed Easter eggs and suggested a few options to try.

1. Use ingredients in your fridge and pantry.

Kaley may have stumbled upon this idea by accident but we think it’s brilliant – and not to mention safe and fun for the kids.

Select ingredients from the list below and boil in a small pot for 10 minutes with salt. Then pour the boiled liquid into mason jars, and add vinegar and hard-boiled eggs. Let the eggs sit in your homemade dye for a few hours, or leave over night for a more vibrant color.

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

2 cups of chopped purple cabbage
2 cups of water
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon vinegar

2-3 cups of blueberries
2 cups of water
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon vinegar

1 beet, chopped
2 cups of water
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon vinegar

1-2 tablespoons of paprika
2 cups of water
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon vinegar

1-2 tablespoons of turmeric
2 cups of water
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon vinegar

3 cups of chopped spinach
2 cups of water
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon vinegar

2. Create ombre eggs.

Using the same method above, but remove an egg from the dye every hour or so. When you’re finished, your eggs can be arranged to create a beautiful gradient of color.

Kaley’s favorite ingredient to use for this is purple cabbage to create eggs in blue hues.
Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs in Blue

3. Keep them au naturel.

If you have access to a local farmers market that sells farm fresh eggs, you can try the ultimate natural Easter egg solution.
Natural Eggs
Just go pick out an array of beautiful farm fresh eggs in soft hues. From subtle blush tones to sea-foam greens to misty aquas, nature has already done the work for you!

Do you have any natural dye secrets to share? We’d love to hear them. Comment below.

A familiar face: Yara Shahidi — Actress, social activist, and former Garnet Hill Kids model

One of the exciting things about having a children’s clothing collection is working with young models as they’re just starting out and seeing what they do next.

For some, like former Garnet Hill Kids model Yara Shahidi, these early experiences are followed by opportunities in entertainment and beyond.

A rising star for both her acting and social activism, Yara is now 17 years old and featured in the ABC comedy Black-ish. She previously appeared in over a dozen TV shows and films including Imagine That with Eddie Murphy and Salt with Angelina Jolie.

When not acting, Yara speaks on issues of social justice; volunteers at medical clinics; and spearheads YARA’S CLUB, an online mentorship program for young girls. She even teamed up with former First Lady Michelle Obama and Glamour in 2016 to lead an interactive discussion on issues disrupting education for girls around the world.

It’s inspiring to see what Yara has accomplished in the eight short years since she was a model for the Garnet Hill Kids catalog.

We can’t wait to see what she does next!

Kids’ spring parties: 5 tips for versatile outfits

Spring holidays, parties, and concerts are just around the corner. And with them, a question looms:

What will she wear?

For many parents, that question is quickly followed by yet another question:
What will she wear – that she can actually wear again?”
Girls' Cotton Waterfall Dress
Whether it has to do with budget, their child’s preference for more casual clothing, or simply a desire to avoid the wastefulness of wear-it-once fashions, dressing kids for special occasions can be a challenge.

Our tip? Take a slightly more relaxed approach. It’s possible to do this without sacrificing any of the panache that makes them look and feel extra-special on the big day.

Less formal, more comfortable clothing lets kids play, run, jump, and generally have fun — and when the festivities are said and done it becomes another outfit in their weekly wardrobe rotation.

Here are a few things to look for:

1. Simple silhouettes in standout colors

Girls' Linen and Cotton Tulip-Hem Dress

2. Delightful details like intricate embroidery or metallic trim

Girls' Jolie Embroidered Cotton Dress

3. Vintage-inspired designs that give a nod to tradition

Boys' Woven Shirt by Tailor Vintage

4. Dance-ready pieces like a voluminous, layered-tulle skirt

Girls' Everyday Tulle Skirt

5. Leather-trimmed sneakers, metallic slip-ons, and sandals with unexpected embellishments

Girls' Embellished Leather Thong Sandals

Once you’ve created the foundation for your child’s outfit, accessorize away with fun details like jewelry, a headband, or a hat to give the look a little extra festive flair.

To see more versatile styles like these, check out the Dressing Up collection.

Where have I seen that Twilight Saga actress before?

Mackenzie Foy
Before winning the Best Young Performer Critic’s Choice Award
for her role as Matthew McConaughey’s daughter in Interstellar…

Before acting in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn…

Before voicing a little girl in The Little Prince…

Before many more television, film, and commercial roles, Mackenzie Foy was a Garnet Hill Kids’ model. She appeared in the Garnet Hill Kids catalog at around the age of five.

Mackenzie Foy - Garnet Hill Kids Photo Shoot Circa 2005

Mackenzie Foy on a Garnet Hill Kids photo shoot, circa 2005

Mackenzie Foy - Garnet Hill Kids Catalog Cover Back-to-School 2010
And on the cover when she was 10.
Mackenzie Foy - Garnet Hill Kids
The LA native is now 16. We understand she practices Taekwondo, and plans to attend film school.

Will she mention us in an Oscars speech some day?

Either way, we wish her the best.