My nanny and I have been making lists for my kids ever since they were in pre-school. It started out with pictures I would draw and staple together into a book (before they could read), but has matured into detailed lists. Here is one we have laminated for each child for for school mornings:
- Get dressed (change underwear)
- Clothes in hamper
- Make bed
- Eat breakfast (clean up after yourself!)
- Get snack for school
- Feed dog
- Brush teeth
- Shoes on
- Water bottle
- Put backpack on
- Need a jacket?
At this point, I have made my kids lists for everything including what to bring to a swim meet, what to pack for a day camp, and even what they should pack for trips that are weeks long. Here is another example that we are using right now:
- Swim bag
- Swim Cap
- Water Bottle
- Games / Activities for Zoo
- Lawn Chair
Since they were little, they have been empowered to collect their own things and check them off a list. They love it! They are proud of themselves, they feel mature, and it saves me and my nanny a lot of time!
This is of course not a fool-proof system – we do have to double check that they’ve done what they were supposed to (we often have to send back some mis-matched outfits; in my son’s case, he often checks things off a list that are not done!), so it sometimes takes a bit of persistence to get through it.
It’s tempting to simply take over, or to have my nanny pack the kids, etc. However, in the long run, we are teaching them valuable lessons about organization, independence and responsibility!