Packing your child’s school bag is one of those busy morning routines that we all dread as dedicated parents. With school lunches to prepare, library bags to find and hats to find (always under the bed!), packing your child’s school bag is one of those extra school routine jobs that is just calmer and simpler if we ‘just do it ourselves’.
The Benefits of Children Packing Their Own School Bag
As hectic as our school mornings are getting ready for school, teaching our children to take responsibility for packing their own school bag or backpack is important for so many reasons, including:
- Develops independence
- Develops life skills
- Develops organisation skills
- Develops sequencing skills (how to put things in the correct order)
- Develops ownership skills
- Develops school-specific vocabulary
So if you are reading this wondering ‘how on Earth do I teach my child to pack their own school bag? – I hear you! As a former school teacher AND current school mum, I’ve been on both sides of the fence! There is nothing more frustrating as a teacher than when children forget to bring what they need… and there is nothing more frustrating as a mum than trying to get my child to do it!
My 3 Top Tips to Teach Your Child to Pack Their Own School Bag:
1. Designate a School Bag Station
Set your child up for success through storing ALL your child’s school in one central spot – not just school bags but hats, shoes, library bags, school information, homework folders, the lot! For us, it’s the cupboard at the top of the stairs as you walk in. Keeping everything in a central spot sets your child up for success as when they sit down to pack their school bag, everything is within arm’s reach ready to pack, rather than starting a house search to locate that missing library book….which then leads to distractions!
2. Encourage your Child to Pack Their Bag the Night Before
Say goodbye to hectic school mornings! Do as much packing as you can the night before. You can then sleep soundly knowing that all you have left for the morning is to pop those pre-pared lunches in and you’re good to go! Which leaves you time for that extra coffee before school drop off!
3. Use Visual Supports:
As parents, we verbally remind our children to do a LOT of things. And let’s face it, that can get tiring, repetitive and stressful! Replace your verbal reminders with visual supports which will prompt your child to pack exactly what they need without you needing to say a word!
Visual supports are a wonderful tool for building independence and life skills at any age. They can help to reduce the cognitive load that your child has to remember so instead of forgetting what they need to pack, it’s there ready for them to follow!
Try my new ‘Packing the School Bag’ Visual Supports to set you up for success!
This resource includes:
- 40 Individual Visual Cue Cards:
With both colour and black/white options included, these are perfect to attach to your child’s school bag for an instant prompt.
2. ‘Weekly Schedule’ chart template:
This handy chart instantly shows your child daily differences throughout the school week and helps them to independently plan what is needed to pack in their school bag, e.g. homework on Fridays; library books on Tuesdays.
3. Desk Sequencing Strip
Perfect for developing independent skills at school, this template shows your child or students the steps involved for packing their school bag.
4. Memory Cards of ALL Visuals
Develop school vocabulary in FUN ways with these school-themed visuals – Memory, Go Fish and Snap are our favourites!
School mornings are here to stay – and while we can’t completely eliminate the chaos, there are definitely ways that we can make the process as stress-free as possible.
What’s your top tip for encouraging your child to pack their own school bag? Share it with us below!
Remember to grab your Packing the School Bag Visuals Pack here!