How do you teach a reluctant child how to pack their own bag with all the right things they need for the day ahead and to bring it all home again?
Clare, whose own children learnt this important skill with TomTag, recommends the following simple steps:
1. Select one day when there are not many items to take to school. Use only one tag from the TomTag pack to make a list of the relevant items and activities for that day.
2. Set aside some time the night before to pack the bag with your child and attach TomTag to their bag. Praise your child for remembering and packing everything they need for the day.
3. Ask your child to repack their bag at school using TomTag as a reminder of what to bring home. Check their bag when they return from school and praise them when they have been successful in bringing the correct items home.
4. Ask the child to pack their bag on their own for the same day using TomTag as a visual reminder of what items are needed. Then check their bag for them. Praise your child’s success. If something is forgotten, refer back to the tag and repack.
5. Ask your child to repack their bag at school using TomTag as a reminder of what to bring home. Check their bag when they return from school and praise them when they have been successful in bringing the correct items home.
6. Your child packs their own bag using TomTag as a visual reminder and does not have it checked. Praise your child’s success.
7. Choose another more complicated day and repeat the process. Gradually build up to a full week and using the full TomTag set on the child’s bag.
Packing their school bag independently, being organised and taking responsibility for their belongings are great life skills for all children to learn but are especially important for those with additional or special needs. TomTag uses only picture cues so it’s easy for any child to use.