Getting out the door with even one child can be a frustrating task.
When you have more than one kid and you are trying to go somewhere for the day or an afternoon and you have a bunch of stuff to pack up, it can become even more daunting.
We love to go to the beach, but with five kids to pack up stuff for, the leaving-the-house process can take FOREVER.
Now that the younger five are between six and thirteen years old, they can all read and they are all more than capable of packing up their own stuff.
Instead of me packing a big beach bag with a whole ton of stuff in it for everyone, I have each of the kids pack their own bag for the beach. That way they can all easily access their own stuff, and they can get their bags ready by themselves.
But what I have found with my kids is that they have approximately a seventeen second short-term memory, and if it’s not written down, they are going to forget it.
So I made a checklist for them. It’s saved on the computer, and all I need to do is quickly print one out and give one to each kid any time we are heading to the beach.
The list has pretty much everything we would ever need (or have needed in the past) on it with extras in case we get super sandy, spill something, or have another unexpected issue or emergency.
Like this past week we went to the beach, and we were going to stop at my parents’ house on the way home. They live about halfway between our house and the beach, so we pass their house on the way to and from the beach.
We often stop in on the way home from the beach and hang out for a little while, and on those days, I usually have the kids take a shower or bath at my parents’ and put their pjs on because they are totally shot by the time we get home.
That way they can just get home and go right up to bed and they aren’t full of sand and sunscreen.
So one of the kids added blanky and pjs to the list. And a hat to wear at the beach because I forgot to put that on the list.
I’ll revise the list and add those things on later.
But here are Number 5 and Number 7’s lists from the other day:
I also made a list for general stuff for me, and I use this for myself, but I also give this to the kids so they can help get everything else we like or need to take with us and I’m not doing everything alone and then getting super annoyed and frustrated that nobody is helping me.
These lists have made getting out the door so much easier. They have saved me lots of time and lots of frustration and lots of energy.
They are great not just for the beach, but for any road trip, really.
And having your kids pack their own bags for the beach or any day trip doesn’t just take a little bit off of your shoulders, but it also helps to teach them responsibility.
If you have a trip planned this summer, think about trying this with your kids. It can cut down on the amount of time (and headaches) it takes you to get out the door!