Family vacations are great fun. It is a great time for the family to spend together, and depending upon where you are going, the kids may particularly enjoy their time away from home. Getting ready to take that trip, however, can be a real pain. Getting kids organized, packed and in the car can drain you more than all of the other work involved in the trip. One thing that may help to ease this preparation is to teach your kids how to pack their own suitcase. Not only will this help you, but it will make your kids feel useful and more important. Listed below are a few suggestions along this line.
Give your kids a checklist to follow when it comes to packing. Most kids don’t have a clue what to take on a trip. They will grab a handful of this a few of that and then close their suitcase. Make a checklist for them of all of the things which they will need. Be specific when it comes to shirts, pants, underwear, socks and those sorts of things. Otherwise, things like underwear and socks will not make the trip.
Have them arrange all of the items on their bed. In this way they can see that they have everything on the list. This will also help you to check the list against everything that they have on the bed. Make sure that you check everything once they have laid it all out. It will be very easy for them to forget something. Having everything on the bed will also make it easy for you to arrange these items so that it will be easier to pack everything.
Cross check the items with the list. Once everything is arranged on the bed, cross check those items with the list you compiled. Show your child what you are doing so that they can do it the next time. If something is missing, make sure that they add that item to the bed. If your child has pulled some extra items, not on the list, or too many shirts, then ask them to choose which ones they would like to take.
Show them how to pack their suitcase. Begin placing items in the suitcase by showing them the best way to place items in their bag. Getting a suitcase closed is all in how it is packed. So, make sure that they understand that each item must be placed a certain way in order to facilitate the closing of the bag. If it is all just thrown in, it will be very difficult closing the suitcase. A big part of packing a suitcase is in how each item is folded. Show them the best way to fold each item.
Show them placement of certain items in the case. Explain the importance of placing each item in the suitcase. Things that they may not need right away, or very often, can go in one location while things that they may need more readily will need to be placed where they can get to them. Teach them how to organize small items and large items to make the best use of the space available in the bag. Show them how smaller items can go into some of the compartments in the bag thus keeping them out of the way and preventing them from becoming lost in the bag.
Teaching your kids to pack their own bags will substantially decrease the stress of preparing for your next vacation.