As I get older, I become more and more of a homebody. However with Tbomb and Snapper's needs (doctor, therapy, testing, etc), and the fact that we homeschool, we have to get out and about more than I would like. However, we turn appointments into full-day excursions, with lunch out (sometimes a picnic), something fun, and shopping. We just get it all done at once and we like it that way!
This also means I have to be prepared with activities and everything we need for a full day. This includes snacks, first aid, and more. We take tablets to doctors appointments (they can only use them after their worksheets are finished). The kids have always carried backpacks with them, but only the small ones (the others are way too big) and they come with problems of their own- no drink holders, not sturdy, and I've had to buy a new one each year- for kids that do not go to a public school, that is a lot of backpack buying. Luckily, this summer, Thirty-One came to the rescue!
These backpacks are absolutely perfect! There are two mesh pockets on the sides for water bottles or drinks (we use one for their leashes and sunglasses so they are handy.) The handles make them easy to carry from the top, they have padding, the straps are comfortable and do not burn the shoulders if wearing a tank top. The bag itself is extremely sturdy. I won't have to buy another until they outgrow these! A win for mom!!! There is plenty of room for everything they need!
The basics that are kept in their backpacks are below.
All items fit comfortably, with room for an extra toy or such.
Folder with worksheets
Activity bag with games and school supplies
Small bag for doll items (they both take their 18" dolls everywhere)
Change of clothes
Diapers and travel potty for snapper
Calm down stick
First aid kit
sunscreen/ lip balm
Hanging on the backpacks are hand sanitizer and if lost tags
This is what I have found works the best for us, but each family is different. If you are setting up a bag for your child, I encourage you to really consider my list, which is what we have settled with after 3 years of doing this. I also encourage you to encourage some art and school into the bag.
Here is the activity bag, which was really fun to put together!
This amazing new backpack from Thirty-One is perfect for young school-aged children that aren't quite ready for a full-size backpack. It is also perfect for homeschool kids that do not need to carry around a lot of books. Is mom tired of fighting with her purse falling off her shoulders while traveling or running errands? Use the Lil' Go Backpack from Thirty-One Gifts!
In one pocket (left to right) are a coloring book, multi-color pen, dry erase crayon, dry erase notebook, pouch with pencils and school supplies, and a multi-color crayon. The next pouch is our stress ball and fidget toy, the next is a lacing activity. The last pouch has a magna doodle, hairy werewolf game, and a couple of other activities that are great for in the car. I used the Fold-Up Family Organizer from Thirty-One Gifts to make one for each child.
The Cool-Clip Thermal from Thirty-One is one of my absolute favorites. We have been using these for quite some time and they are perfect. A lunch fits perfect, as do snacks, and drinks. I send their lunch to their great-grandparents in these and take them on our days out. They love having their own "lunch box" like daddy does. They fit a compartment lunch container perfectly or several smaller items. It clips onto their backpacks or fit into my tote perfectly- whichever works best for that day!
I love this Hanging Traveler Case from Thirty-One for the kids' tablets. It is absolutely perfect. Their tablets can be placed in the top to watch a movie without taking them out of the protective case. There is a handle that allows it to hang, as well as the outside handle for carrying. There is another clear pocket in the front (bottom) that they can put their tablets in if they are sitting on the floor or at a table. There is also plenty of room for headphones, chargers, and battery packs. Want to know something even better? I can even fit their travel DVD players (we have dual screen ones that also act as two sperate DVD players) and accessories in them. The DVD players will fit in the pockets for viewing as well. This means that I do not have to have two separate things for the tablets and DVD players! It is awesome. There are pockets for organizing accessories, but because they are young, I use zipper pockets to differentiate between tablet accessories and DVD player accessories. I have never found anything more perfect or their gadgets! (We only take DVD players when we are traveling, but It is amazing to have an all-in-one solution!)
How It All Comes Together:
I know this may seem like a lot, but it really isn't and it will definitely be worth it in the long run. To begin with- their backpacks stay packed hanging in their room. The Cool-Clip Thermal stays hanging on it, and the Fold-Up Family Organizer stays inside them. Then, when we get ready to go, we grab their backpacks, throw in their chosen toy(s) for the day, I add a water bottle and snacks/ lunch and we are good to go.
If we have appointments, we grab the Hanging Traveler Case and add in their tablets and headphones. They shoulder backpacks, carry tablet cases, and we are out the door for the day with everything we need.
This is also helping them to learn independence and responsibility and I'm not having to carry everything! I carry the specifics for appointments, my purse, and other things we need for the day (library books to return, gifts to deliver, mail to send, etc).
Look how organized they are: