A Packing List Just For Kids

This idea might be one of my favorites of all time. Why? Because it came completely from the rest of my family, I just had the privilege of benefitting from it. While Matt and I were packing for our vacation last week, we were telling our girls what to put in their suitcases and they were packing themselves. They finished a good bit before we were ready to go, so Matt asked the girls to make a list of what they packed. (I’m sure so they could practice their writing during summer break  … not to, cough cough, keep little ones out of mom and dads way.) It was the start of something beautiful.

When were all packed and ready to get loaded, I checked the girls luggage to make sure they didn’t forget anything. {You can imagine some pretty hilarious additions to the 4 year olds suitcase … babies, stamps, a doctor kit made from her play kitchen stuff … lots of ‘necessities’.} My 4 year olds list was a whole bunch of random letters she told me ‘decorated’ the paper. But the 6 year olds, they were inspired. They each created a check list of items, drawing each item, writing the name, and putting a number of how many ‘socks’ or ‘pajamas’ they packed. I loved how they drew a crescent moon on the pj’s to show night-time and a sun on the clothes to show day-time clothes. It was so easy for me to check their luggage against their list. It was awesome!

At the end of the vacation, before we left the hotel, the girls also checked their visual list to make sure they re-packed all of their stuff. The whole system was genius! I was so proud!

That is when I decided that this was going to become a family travelling tradition, but I’m taking it a step further and making a generic list, so next time, Matt and I don’t even have to remember what they need to pack. I’ve left the # a blank for me to fill out each trip. What do you think?


I take that basic, blank form and fill in what the girls need to bring. Like this –

After the girls pack, they put a check mark in the top box like this –

After Mom or Daddy check, we put a check mark in the bottom spot, like this –

Then pack away the list right into the suitcase and cross off items when they are re-packed to come home. Perfect!

Use my list or make your own. Make sure to save a copy if you take time to make one for your family, because then you get to re-use it again and again. Be sure to check out all of my travel tips!

Happy travels!


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9 thoughts on “A Packing List Just For Kids

  1. That is a really awesome list, Mary!! Love it!! It’s always so nice when you are getting so much ready {like for a family vacation!} and the kids can be occupied and doing something useful– perfect!

  2. Cute! My daughter is going to her grandparents’ house with my husband soon and she is so excited to pack…I am going to print this up for her! :)

  3. Great! I had this pinned for an upcoming vacation, but I am going to a funeral this next week. This will help so much with the sudden packing!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your work! The last sleepover my daughter took, she packed herself from my scribbled list. It was soo nice! So I went looking for a list to laminate for the future. Yours is perfect! THANKS!

  5. Hi Mary! I found this list from a google search. We are packing for a long Christmas vacation and your list looks really helpful. My 6-year-old’s suitcase looks a lot like your 4-year-olds, but she did remember to pack her snow pants, boots and jacket. Do you have a list like this for winter packing?

    1. I’m sorry, at this time I don’t have any others created. It is on my 2014 editorial calendar, of course that doesn’t help you now. Good luck!


  6. Mary, This is quite helpful. Now that I’m divorced the kids can use this to pack when they go visit their dad. They visit him just about twice a month so you can see how this would be helpful. Thanks.

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