Backpacks are popular and practical ways for children and teenagers to carry schoolbooks and supplies. They distribute the weight of the load over some of the body’s strongest muscles, so they can be accommodating for students who need to transport a lot of books and materials. However, if worn incorrectly, backpacks can cause pain and injury. They may also contribute to back, neck, and shoulder problems, including scoliosis, which is a sideways curvature of the spine that often develops in children and teenagers.
A backpack can be made in various ways, but the most common are an essential daypack, rucksack, or drawstring backpack for everyday use. Other types include an anti-theft backpack, a laptop backpack, or a duffel backpack (or tote bag). These bags are designed for specific purposes and can be either frameless or external-frame.
Crayons are sticks of colored wax that have been a favorite drawing tool for children since kindergarten started popping up around the country in the late 19th century. These crayons, made of a combination of pigment and paraffin wax, are easy to use and less messy than painting or using ink.
A box of crayons can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from standard color twistable crayons to jumbo crayons that are larger and harder to break. They can also be scented or designed to work on specific surfaces, like construction paper or sandpaper.
Kids love them, and adults have continued to use them in creative endeavors. But, according to the crayons themselves, they’re tired of being taken for granted. Red and Purple are tired of being scribbled over, roasted turkeys and shafts of wheat overdraw Gray, Black feels typecast as an outline, Pink is tired of its gender stereotype, and Yellow wants to be left alone.
A pencil is the first tool creatives reach for when they start a new drawing, design, or technical sketch. Traditionally, pencils have been made with a wood casing and a graphite core, but now they come in different types that vary in softness and hardness.
The most typical pencil is made of poplar, a lightweight, soft, and affordable wood. Other popular pencil woods include basswood, incense cedar, pine, and spruce.
Pencil lead is a mix of graphite powder and a clay binder. Depending on the ratio of graphite to clay, pencils can range in darkness from light grey to black.
When making modern pencils, workers cut a groove in a piece of cedar and then place a rod of graphite-clay mixture into it. They then glue a second slat of cedar over the rod, encasing it. The modern pencil is also made with a rubber eraser on the end and a metal ferrule that holds the pencil’s point.
Whether the sharpener is handheld or one of those archaic wall-mounted types, it’s essential to keep your pencil’s writing point as fresh as possible. Typically, these sharpeners work by using two cylindrical blades (also called burr cylinders) that cut against each other at opposing 23-degree angles to create the pencil’s conical shape. Most of these sharpeners are designed with a single hole that will accommodate standard pencils, but some have a double spot that can handle jumbo or uniquely shaped pencils. There are also specialized sharpeners that operate on wax crayons, usually with plastic cutting blades suitable for the soft, waxy material. These sharpeners are sometimes included in boxes of crayons. The simplest of all sharpeners is a handheld manual sharpener. Stick your pencil into the sharpener and crank!