I love my kids. I really do. But one of the best things about summertime is being able to send my kids away to overnight camp. Not just for my sanity, but for theirs! They always get so much out of going with friends and also making new ones while they're there. But, one of the most dreaded aspects of this summer camp thing is the packing! Ugh! It's taken me years of learning what works and what doesn't when it comes to helping kids pack for summer camp. Today I'm sharing with you my top 3 easy summer camp packing hacks that you and your kids are going to love. Now let's get packing!
Label All the Things
Every year without fail, you'll find me attaching labels for kids to the inside of my kids' shorts, t-shirts, and other clothing as they prepare to pack for camp. I love using sticker labels like these because they survive lots of life events like the lake, the washer, and just normal wear and tear. I label everything - clothing, books, insides of shoes, pens, hats - you name it! Using a labeling system will not only allow your child to find their things at-a-glance, but it helps others to know who it belongs to should they find it astray.
Combine and Compact Like Items
When my kids go away to overnight camp, we have to always pack a bedding set and pillow. One thing that has made transporting this easier, is to pack all the bedding stuff together. Here's what I have found that works best: I fold the fitted and flat sheet as well as a light blanket. Then, I take my kid's pillow (with a pillowcase already around it) tuck the folded blanket, fitted, and flat sheet all into the pillowcase (with the pillow in it), and this helps keep it all together and compacts it in a way that's easier to carry and transport. This also helps because it saves room in my kid's duffel bag since we don't have to use any space for bedding.
First In, First Out Method
Another thing I like to consider when helping my kids pack for summer camp, is when they'll need what we're packing. I then pack the items they're likely going to need first - or soon after their arrival at camp - towards the top of the bag. So essentially, I am packing what they need later, first so it goes on bottom. For example, my kid's sleep away summer camp has these activities called "hype nights" where they have a different themed dress-up activity each night they are there. So when I'm helping my son pack for camp, I consider what hype night is first. That night's costume and props go on top since he'll need them the first night. And then I'll pack in reverse chronological order so that he's not digging at the bottom of his bag for stuff he needs sooner. This also makes it easier for him grab what he needs because he knows stuff at the bottom likely won't be used till toward the end of his stay.
Help a mom out! What summer camp packing hacks do you have?
CANDY TAI is a wife to David and mom of 5 with a degree in Communications. She's a native Texan (Hook 'Em Horns!) who's been making her home in the Kansas City metro area for nearly 15 years. She loves being able to shuffle her kids from their various sports activities, piano lessons, and school activities. She enjoys fashion, beauty, reality TV, and moviegoing.