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We are deep in the throes of ‘three-ness’ around here. Lots of big emotions and a burgeoning independent streak. I once read a quote about how terrible it is that just as our kids are starting to truly grow into their own personalities (what a wonderful thing!) we call it the ‘Terrible Two’s’ or another equally derogatory name. I’m not saying it isn’t hair pulling-ly challenging, that I don’t want often want to scream/lock myself in my room with my coffee and never come out… but I’m trying to see it in another way as well, and I hope this Visual Packing List for Toddlers is a step in the right direction!
My daughter is creating her own sense of who she is. She is discovering all the things she is capable of, and learning to take care of herself. All of these things are what I wish for her now, and things I hope she feels confident in as a tween/teen/adult. With this in mind I have started trying to create opportunities for her to practice her independence and have successes. The bonus is that by seeing myself as a facilitator for her independence, it takes some of the pressure off me! It is not my job to cajole and threaten and nag her into doing things. It is my job to set limits and clear expectations, and to guide her in taking care of her own needs.
To that end I have started to set up our home in a way that encourages her newfound independence. (Follow along on our Facebook to see our journey towards a more Montessori home environment!) She has taken to many of these things like a champ! Not to say there isn’t some practice that still needs to happen, ie brushing your teeth doesn’t mean half an hour in the bathroom playing with the water and squeezing toothpaste everywhere… we’re a work in progress!
Visual Packing List
Since we enjoy lots of outdoor adventures and traveling, I thought a great skill to introduce would be packing her own daypack! She already has an adorable daypack from Deuter, and loves to put all manner of things in there and tote it around the house or bring it with to the grocery store:) She is pre-reader so I wanted a simple, visual checklist of just the necessities for her. The first time we used it I worked with her to identify the pictures (ie the Teddy Bear signifies ‘toy’ not just a literal teddy bear.) We also talked about the ‘Hat’ and how depending on weather we might want our sunhat or our cozy winter hat. For now I always check her bag and/or have extras, but I am excited to foster this bit of independence that will be SO helpful when we start preschool! *Added bonus, this gives her a job to do while getting ready to leave which means I actually have time to brush my hair, hooray for the small things! Without further ramblings, here is the visual packing list for toddlers and a few of our favorite things:)