Tips on Packing for Your Kids for Summer Trips
You know what you need for your trip to the lake, but you've got little ones to pack for, too. It can be a big ordeal to get everything for everyone in order, but with a few tips, the packing can be as easy as your vacation. Here's what you need to know about packing for kids for summer trips.
Share the Load
Your kids may not know what to pack, but it doesn't mean they can't pack; they just need guidance. Start by making a list. Include your children in this step by explaining the itinerary and asking them what they think they need for each activity. Be very specific. If there will be extensive time spent at the pool, ask what they need for the pool but also ask them what they need for play time, bath time and bed time.
Divide the Load
Separate the list by day and make sure they have everything they need for each day and/or each activity. For instance, they might need one pair of pants and one shirt for each day and one bathing suit for swimming. It may take a moment for them to comprehend the idea of limited space and supplies, but if it's laid out very precisely, they may catch on.
Pare the Load
Remember they are children and they want to bring everything but the country kitchen sink. Be firm about packing only what they need. This is a tricky concept to convey, but remind them they will not have their own rooms with space for all of their toys. Put a limit on the toys they can bring and remind them they will be too busy having fun at the beach/amusement park/pool to play with stuffed animals.
Arrange the Load
Now that you've made the list and selected the clothes, you are free to have your children pack their bags. Only hope will keep their clothes neatly folded and stacked as they travel from drawer to suitcase, so consider having them roll their clothes to pack them. A flight attendant told The New York Times rolling her clothes keeps everything compact, but for a child it also serves as a practical way to keep clothes from ending up in a pile.
Carry the Load
According to kidshealth.org, children should only carry 10-15% of their body weight. If they have too much in their suitcase for them to carry, you have two options: 1) rework what you've packed and get rid of some things, or 2) carry it yourself. If you decide on option #1, this is an opportunity to teach your kids the concepts of "necessity" and "improvising." A vacation should be relaxing and fun. Start out on the right foot by taking it easy with the packing.