Keeping Track of the Kiddos
Traveling with kids. That very statement conjures of fear in the minds of many parents. The stress of keeping track of fast moving little bodies in a crowded museum or park is a real concern for those of us who travel with kids. Over the years, I have developed a few key strategies that help keep my crazy levels from climbing too high. The list includes many of the standards, like teaching the kids to ask for parental permission before they talk to strangers and making sure the kids know your cell number, address, etc. These are all things that we have heard a million times. But for me, there is a single change that I find mission critical for kid tracking in crowded venues. MATCHING COLORED OUTFITS!
My mind is very simple, and it likes to organize things into neat little compartments. My eyes are immediately attracted to the 3 little girls in matching shirts or hats, and truth be told, so are most other peoples. The benefits are two fold. It makes it easier for me to see the kids quickly in a crowd AND it lets everyone else know that those 3 little kids belong together. If someone tried to hold one of their hands and pull them out of the crowd, other people would notice, because they have already noticed the 3 little girls that look alike and a dressed alike, and made a mental note of them. EVERYONE KNOWS THESE KIDS BELONG TO ONE FAMILY!
BUT DOESN'T THAT GET EXPENSIVE? Nope! I am always on the lookout for cheap matching kid shirts or outfits in the 3 sizes I need, but often that doesn't work out. For the concept to work, the outfits don't have to be identical, just in the same color group. Frequently I can't find 3 identical shirts, but it is very easy in a house of all girls to find 3 pink shirts! Below, the girls are wearing completely different outfits, but are all in red white and blue. It still works. In the next picture they have on different styles of sweatshirts, most are hand-me-downs even, but it gets the job done! (Notice, they each have an orange t-shirt underneath in case it warms up).
BUT I CAN RARELY FIND CLEAN UNDERWEAR ON THE ROAD, HOW ON EARTH WILL I FIND MATCHING OUTFITS? Aha...and here is my biggest secret. This takes a little planning. Before we leave on a long trip, I make clothing bundles for each day for each kid. I have seen people do this in quart size ziplock bags, but that seems expensive to me. I just tie them up with yarn. Each bundle is complete with socks, underwear shorts and shirts. I pack warm day and cold day bundles, so that all I need to do is grab the appropriate bundles and hand them out in the morning. THIS SAVES ME HOURS of pawing through suitcases trying to find socks and underwear for each person. The bundles stay neat and organized and clothes stay folded for the entire trip. When we get back home, the outfits that are still bundled I know for sure are still clean.
While on the road, we put all the dirty clothes into a sack, and when we find a campsite with laundry facilities, we wash everything and bundle them back up with yarn. (We do bring extra socks though, because if your kids are like mine, they end up muddy and jammed into the seat pockets in the back of the car by Day 3!
5/29/2016 07:46:45 am
I wish you would organize my clothes that way. Then I'd always be ready for the day! Site looks great.
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