As my kids are growing older, one of the most important things I feel they need to learn is Responsibility. I want my boys to be responsible and independent young men one day. I don’t want my kids to depend on me to serve them and do everything for them forever! The only way to accomplish this is to start teaching them how to be responsible for everyday things.
Over the next weeks, I am going to share with you tasks that you can teach your kids to do independently. The first thing I want to talk about is how your kids can pack their own bags for a vacation. They will learn about being responsible for what they need to bring with them, and it will probably even save you a little time!
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Teaching your kids to Pack for a vacation
Planning for even a small trip with kids can be very stressful! It seems like the list of things you need to bring is overwhelming. I have 3 little boys and every time we travel I often end up overwhelmed with a huge packing list right before we leave! Recently, I have started teaching my older kids to pack for themselves. At first, this stressed me out a little more! I was worried that they would forget something or not “do it right”. (I can be a little bit of a perfectionist sometimes and like things done right! Who isn’t, right?) I kept checking their bags and I probably ended up taking twice as much time letting them pack themselves.
Now, I think I’ve learned my lessons finally figured out how to relax and hand them over this responsibility. Here’s how I make it work.
1. Make a list
I created a travel packing list for my kids. I print out one for each of my boys. Then I don’t have to spend time writing out a list for each of them! (I’ve made this printable available to you at the bottom of the post! Be sure to download it for your family and save yourself some time also!)
2. Talk and plan with your kids.
With the list in hand, I have a little meeting with each of them. We fill in how many of each item of clothing that they will need on the list. If they don’t need something at all that is on the list I mark it out completely so they won’t get confused. I also ask them what they might want to bring, and we add a few of those things to the list. (a special stuffed animal, toy, some things to do on the road, a blanket)
3. Give them their bag
For most of our trips, I give my kids 1 bag that they are to pack in. I tell them everything they take has to fit in this bag. This really helps when loading and unloading the car. My husband and I have realized that we want to have as little “stuff” to keep up with as possible when we travel!
4. Send them off!
Then I give them their list and a pencil and send them off to go pack! I make a point to tell my kids to check off everything on this list. (the first time you may have to do this with them) I teach them to get the right number of an item, put it in their bag, and then check it off. Then, look at the next item on their list. (Often I get my kids thinking of more things that they want to bring. I tell them, everything on their list has to fit in their bag first! Then if they have some more room they can add something.)
5. Gather the bags
I always assign a certain spot in our house that everything that is going on our trip needs to be put. I tell my boys, as soon as their bag is packed it needs to be put in this spot! If it’s not there, it might get left!
6. Do a quick check
Have your kids bring their lists back to you. Ask them to double check and make sure that they checked everything off and if there is anything they forgot. Before it’s time to leave, I do a quick check through my kids’ bags. (I don’t want to be going to the store for socks and underwear on our vacations!) I quickly look to make sure they have enough of everything and that their clothes will match!
Now you’re ready to travel!!
Now that my kids and I have gotten used to this routine, getting ready for trips has gotten so much easier!! And, my kids get to learn to be responsible for what they bring on our trips! They get to learn that if they forget to put it in their bags they will likely have to do without. There have been times when my son wanted a certain game with him but forgot to put it in his bag. He got to learn a lesson that it was his responsibility to bring it since he forgot it he had to do without it.
I hope this encourages you today! Everything can be a learning opportunity for our kids! Let them learn independence, and have some responsibility. They may not like some of their responsibilities right away, but one day when they are older they will be thankful you taught them how to be responsible!
Are you getting ready to go on a trip?
If you are getting ready to go on a trip with your kids, go ahead and subscribe below to have my free printable packing list for kids sent directly to your inbox! It will save you the time of writing out lists for yourself! All you have to do is write in how many of each of the items your kids need and then send them off to pack themselves!
Remember every little thing that we let our kids do for themselves goes a long way towards them learning responsibility and one day growing up to be a responsible adult! I look forward to sharing more ways that I give my kids opportunities to learn through everyday things. Make sure you subscribe above so that you won’t miss any of my future posts!
Make sure you subscribe above so that you won’t miss any of my future posts!