When my kids were small I put together a packing list for them so that they could pack without much assistance from me. It turned out to be a great way to build independence at an early age, and encourage participation in preparing for a family trip. It turns out mom and dad really don't need to do it all. Who knew?
The post below (from 2010) and includes a downloadable packing list for you to use with your own kids during this summer's travels. Enjoy!
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Sage is nearly eight years old. Until recently I still packed for him whenever we traveled. While I rarely take the do-it-myself-because-it's-easier-that-way approach to parenting, when a trip is involved I do. Travel freaks me out. I tend to start a last minute sewing project (that abstractly pertains to the trip) when I should be packing food and underwear, based on some perception of an unfulfilled need. Really.
For our last trip I created a kid-friendly packing list so that the kids can help with their own packing. It is simply a checklist with drawings of all necessary items and a line for quantities that you can update for each trip. It contains all the basic clothing needs (for summer and winter), books, toys, and snuggle-buddies. I did not include items like toothbrushes and winter or rain gear because I still pack these myself.
You can print a copy of mine (there is a link to the PDF below) or create your own personalized version with clip art, stickers, catalog pictures, or your own drawings. Then tuck into a protective plastic sleeve, find a crayon or wipe-off marker for checking items off, and get packing! With this list even non-readers can participate if given a little assistance.
(Worth noting is that on Sage's copy of the packing list he wrote the quantity 0 in the blank beneath undies and added the editorial comment "Dumb." We all have our biases.)
Here is the link to the PDF. Just scale to fit page for your printer and you'll be set. Happy summer vacationing!
Originally published in 2010.