Countdown Bags

countdown bagsSpoiler Alert: It is very possible that you will be very jealous by the end of this paragraph.  In fact, if I had read this post on another blog even the day before this trip was booked I would have turned green with envy and thought to my poor self “why don’t I ever get to do stuff like that?!”  Well my friends: I’m going to Bermuda.  For 9 days. Without my kids.  Wait, did you hear me right? NINE DAYS WITHOUT MY KIDS!!  IN BERMUDA!!!

I have very mixed feelings on this.  It all happened so fast and the stars aligned just so (aka my amazing mother in law who is willing to spend half of her summer break watching my three munchkins).  I should mention that my sister lives in Bermuda.  My sister, her husband and their little guy.  So maybe its starting to make a little more sense now?  And my parents and two little brothers will be there visiting.  And my dear Dad offered to use his frequent flier miles for me.  And Sweet Hubby who works like 12 hours a day this time of year told me to “go have fun”.  How lucky am I?  I feel so blessed to have such support!

But then it gets down to the nitty gritty of leaving my kids for 9 days.  Can I really do it?  The only time I’ve ever gone anywhere all by myself since Oldest was born was to my Grandmother’s funeral for a weekend.   So to be away from ALL of them for this long will be hard.

Also, not to get too deep on ya, but I wonder… who am I without my kids?  It’s kind of embarrassing to admit.  But my identity for the last 5 years plus has been so entrenched in motherhood that I don’t know who I will be without it? without them?  I hope my family isn’t like “hey who is this lame girl?”  I hope I still have an adventurous side!  I hope I’m fun!

Since I will be out of country, communicating with my kids is going to be a challenge!  I hope we can do some skyping.  But I wanted some way for them to know that I was thinking about them- and that just because I was off doing something “for Mommy” didn’t mean I didn’t miss & love them to pieces.  I saw this idea on the dating divas and thought it was brilliant and wanted to adapt it for my kids.

So of course I went to my favorite place- the dollar tree (they should really pay me for all the publicity I give them!).  As it turns out our dollar tree in town was closed due to rodent issues, figures (…maybe they shouldn’t pay me for all the publicity…) so I had to drive to the town over- but I picked out a few fun things, put them in lunch sacks, included a fun little note, and labeled them with the days I would be gone.  This way they will have something to look forward to opening each day and a little message from Mom, just in case skyping doesn’t pan out every day with the time difference.

days of the week printables

Easy peasy, thought I would share for those of you wanting to do something a little extra special for your kiddos- whether your on business travel, going to girls camp for the week, or just wanted a fun summer tradition.

dollar store gifts

For my kiddos they got: silly string, jump ropes, water toys, tic tacs (they’re obsessed!), ring pops, glow sticks, coloring books and blow pops.  Each day had a special note from me inside.

Of course you could use these days of the week labels for anything else as well (school lunches, calendars, organizing your closet, whatever!)

Monday-Thursday download here

Friday-Sunday download here

Other Ideas for Count-down Bags

  • Back to school:   Put something that they will need for school (pencils, markers, crayons, notepads, new shoes, backpack, thermos, lunchbox…whatever!).  And let them open them one day at a time.  If the item is too big to fit in the bag put a little note inside with a clue as to where the item is hidden.  A little scavenger hunt!  They are going to need these items for school anyway, might as well get credit for being “the fun mom”.
  • Family Vacation:  Wouldn’t it be fun to plan a family vacation and keep the destination a secret from your kiddos and the week before you leave let them open a “clue” each day?  You know if its a beach vacation a new towel, sunglasses, sunscreen etc!  Ok, I am totally doing that!
  • Count down to Summer: Count down the last week of school with a fun surprise waiting for them after school.  Fill the bags with fun things you can do that summer like water balloons, water guns, sunglasses, tickets to an aquarium or museum, sidewalk chalk, swim goggles, new sand toys, whatever you have planned!

fun idea to count down to summer break

My Genius Mother in Law does something similar to this for our family reunions.  Each morning she hides wrapped presents (one for each of the grandchildren/cousins) and they have to search the house and find their gift from the Reunion Elf/Fairy/Bunny/Leprechaun (he goes by many names…)  They are all just dollar store items but the kids have a RIOT!  It’s their favorite part of the family reunions.

What’s your favorite back to school or summer tradition??

Well- here’s to 9 days of not planning around nap schedules… how weird will that be?? I’ll let ya know!

Be sure to follow my pinterest board so you don’t miss any free printables!


8 thoughts on “Countdown Bags

    1. Thanks for commenting Heidi! I love your lunch box notes- I am using them for my son 🙂 Hopefully it will cheer him up at lunch today since I left him in tears…eek!

  1. Brilliant! I will add this to my arsenal of cool things for my kids. I am totally with you on ‘who am I without my kids?’ I hope you have an amazing time and come back refreshed ready to get back into the whirlwind of children.
    Maioha recently posted…Charity

    1. I know! It was weird at first, but then it felt so, so right 😉 Of course I couldn’t stop thinking “oh they would LOVE this..or that” but I sure enjoyed all the hot meals! Turns out food is way better when you eat it right after it’s prepared instead of 2 hours later… 😉 Thanks for stopping by the blog!

    1. Yes it was amazing! Except I think I am kind of ruined for life because we went to Belize for our anniversary in Feb and I kept thinking “um… where are the pretty beaches??”

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