Thursday, August 7, 2014

What's On Your List Today?

As September quickly approaches it is time to start thinking about getting those kids back to school.  I know, I know it's still August and it feels like Summer has just began, but before we know it we will trade these 90 degree days for leaf clogged street drains.

As I prepare my daughter for first grade I quickly become overwhelmed with the assortment of supplies kids need for school these days.  I remember walking to school with a Dixon Ticonderoga # 2 pencil above my ear and a copy of The Mouse and the Motorcycle in my back pocket.  Clearly times have changed and it is important to ensure our kids are setup to succeed in school.

As I was making my list I started to get separation anxiety and worry about my daughter's ability to cope with unpredictable circumstances.  Did I teach her about stranger danger?  Does she know what to do if she starts choking?  Does she know my phone number?  I wouldn't say I freaked out, but I began to question my efforts in preparing her for increased independence in this world.  I do this for a living, why hadn't I thought about her individual preparedness?  We have a fantastic family plan and kit, my car is a preppers paradise, and I generally feel I "walk the walk".  But for some reason I never thought about my daughter's level of preparedness when she was not with her Mother or myself.

With a little "Google Therapy" my anxiety quickly eased.  Even though the idea of "kids kits" hadn't hit me before, it was clear that a lot of people had put great thought into the topic.  I found numerous lists of recommended items to include in your child's school bag.  Do a quick Google of "kids preparedness kits" and you'll see what I'm talking about.

After reviewing a few lists I narrowed down what I thought was most necessary and reasonable for a 7 year old to carry with them.  Obviously a 7 year old's kit is going to look quite different then a 14 year old's.  Use your best judgement and really think about what your child may need if there were no adults around to guide them in an emergency situation.

Here's the list I came up with for my first grader:
  • Disposable rain poncho (we do live in the Pacific NW)
  • Assorted waterproof  band-aids
  • Emergency phone numbers on the back of my business card
  • Pencil and small notebook
  • $5.00 in $1.00 bills
  • Light stick
  • Energy bar
  • Whistle 
  • Water bottle ( one with a large opening so all items can be stored in it) 
The kit can adjusted seasonally to add things like sunscreen and lip balm in the summer.  My daughter helped me pick out the items for her kit and then helped me assemble it.  I think she thinks this is what I do at work, I can't break it to her that I sit in front of a computer most of the time.  Please feel free to share your Kids Kit suggestions in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.  I'd love to see some different ideas.
Every year I see numerous back to school drive buckets and always pick up extra supplies to help fill the bucket.  Please help fill these buckets throughout the county.  I think this year I might make a few extra kits and drop them in the bucket with the supplies.

I am done talking about fall, you may return to your Regularly Programmed Summer now.

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