We have 2 days to pack for the entire summer. This past week was filled with vacation bible school, doctor visits, and last minute errands. The kids are beyond excited. My challenge: How to channel that energy to the greater good of the family?
Lists are always good to focus us on the tasks we need to complete, so I made one for each kid. KID 1 can read enough to figure out what his jobs are, but KID 2 needed a picture list. After going over her list with her to make sure she understood her jobs (a picture of a shoe for "pick up shoes," a laundry basket and some clothes for "pick up laundry," and a dolly for "pick up babies"), she very self-importantly strutted to the kitchen and "read" her list to Daddy. When he started reading it with her, she stopped him and said, "No, Daddy. I can read it all by myself." And she did.
They love having specific jobs. We can't just tell them to "go clean your room." Not even our 5 1/2-year-old can handle that. Breaking it down into smaller parts keeps each task short and sweet. Honestly, that's the way I have to make my own lists when I'm feeling overwhelmed.
After their rooms are clean, I'll sit down with them and make their packing lists. KID 1 has been begging for the last 2 weeks to start packing. "Can I pleeeeeaaase just pack my cold weather clothes? I think maybe 6 shorts outfits and 6 cold day outfits will be plenty, Mommy, because we can wash our stuff there when we need more, right? I'll just pack my six cold day outfits, okay?" He's getting better and better at using very solid reasoning to argue his points.
I'll be so glad once we're on the plane! There is so much to do, but once we're actually on the plane, I'll feel like I can relax for a few hours. Then the vacation begins (or should I say "Family Trip?").
How do you get your kids involved in family tasks?