Have you ever stopped to think about everything your brain has to do when you pack a suitcase?
Planning ahead . . .
You have to step back and consider the big picture. You think about what is most likely to happen in the near future, anticipate potential problems, and decide what you are most likely to need. Sounds like a long-term school project to me!
Working within limitations . . .
You can’t fit everything you want in one suitcase, so you are forced to be selective and efficient with what you bring. This is a very similar thought process to time-management! Students can’t fit everything they want to do into one afternoon, so they have to be selective and efficient with how they spend their time.
Taking responsibility for your choices . . .
If you forget something important, like a phone charger, you have to waste precious vacation time at the store. If you don’t check the weather, you could really regret the clothes you bring.
When we let our kids pack their own suitcases, they have a chance to experience the natural consequences of their decisions – both wise and foolish. Whether on vacation or in school, intentionality matters!
It’s easy to teach your kids (even toddlers) to pack!
If they’ve never participated before, start small. We began when my kiddos were 3 years old, and I only asked them to make one or two decisions. They chose a favorite stuffed animal and a bedtime book, and I did the rest.
As they’ve grown, I’ve continued to give them a little more responsibility each time we travel. Now, only a few short years later, they are doing almost all of the work!
I just love hearing my kids explain their decisions. “Mommy, I really wanted to bring my giant penguin, but I knew if I did then I wouldn’t have room for my blanket. So, I’m taking Funshine Bear instead.”
Even at 5 and 7 years old, they are learning to plan ahead, work within limitations, and take responsibility for themselves. The responsibility of packing is developing a practical maturity that will serve them very well in both school and life.
To make the training even easier, I am sharing a FREE TEMPLATE!
Here’s what to do …
STEP 1: Scroll to the bottom of this article to DOWNLOAD your free copy of, “Let’s Get Packing!”
This is the perfect tool to help you get started. It works for any age, any trip, and any parenting style!
STEP 2: CLICK HERE to watch the short video on how to use the template.
STEP 3: The next time your family is heading out of town, use the template and take advantage of the teachable moment!
As your children grow in the practical wisdom of packing, you will have an amazing opportunity to help them use those same skills in the way they approach school.