Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Kids Packing Checklist

So, my kids have fall break this week and we're planning a small trip to D-Land. It's only two hours away and we're only going overnight, but you would think we were packing to stay for a year.  The Little 4 year old kept asking me if she could bring all her toys. "Why do you need to bring toys...we're going to Disneyland, " I said. "Oh yeah," she said. "I remember...I can buy toys there!" I think I actually lost that argument. Score: Kids - 1, Mommy - 0

Fashionable 8 year old is bringing a huge purse which in my mind I know I'm going to end up carrying. "You don't need that big purse. Please put that away," I demand. "But mom, how can I sneak in good snacks like you do? You always say the food is so expensive." Score: Kids - 2, Mommy - 0

Knee-concious 9 year old tells me he's only packing jeans. "Why," I ask, thinking about how it was 112 degrees last week. "Because I checked and it's supposed to be chilly with a chance of showers." "Oh," I respond as I pack a sweatshirt. Score: Kids - 3, Mommy - 0

I'm usually more organized when it comes to packing for trips. Actually a few years ago I developed a packing list for my kids (and for my husband). I'm a list person and I make lists for everything. So this was a natural step in trying to get my family to be list people.

When the kids got old enough to pack themselves, I created this list.

With each trip, I just change the number of items they need. I also make sure they list any toys or books they bring. Then I slip the list into a plastic sheet protector and pack it in their bag. That way when we are getting ready to pack their things to come home, we can make sure we bring everything home that we packed. It works really well because it's just going down a checklist.

It works so well that my 8 year old packs for my 4 year old because it's so easy. I think it goes without saying that this little self-pack method does not work for you mom's who like their kids to be all color coordinated and matchy but it works for me.

My sister-in-law is probably reading this saying, if this works so well, then why do you always leave stuff at my house?

Why? I'll tell you why. Because the items were NOT on the list. And for the most part, it's my son leaving things. This is the child who is ready to go to school, packs his lunch and heads out the door....and 5 minutes later I see his lunch...left right where he packed it.

Anyway, I better get packing. We have a date with a mouse. On a side note: Raise your hand if you bring a stroller to Disneyland (even though your youngest child really doesn't need it) just to pack all your stuff into hand is raised...water bottles, snacks and sweatshirts get really heavy!


  1. My hand is raised...I like the idea of taking the list with you. I also have a list of things to do before I leave the house for any length of time...water plants..etc...

  2. Raise your hand if you bring two strollers! I've told Scott that I have my big invention, and I'll share it with the world since I have no time or money to make it work. Someone needs to come up with a cool/smaller shopping cart thing for the mall. Right now I have my stroller, but someday... I'm not used to carrying my purse and that thing is heavy!

    I need to take the list with me too. My mom is always mailing us stuff.