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Busy Bags Save My Sanity at School Pick up

This school year marks the first I’ll have two kids in elementary school.

Managing the logistics of two school-agers is far more challenging than I ever knew, especially when your kids have radically different dismissal times. Speaking of dismissal, isn’t school pick-up enough to destroy our collective faith in humanity?  It’s insanely crowded, there’s absolutely no parking, and only like one shady tree to stand under in 1000 degree heat.

It is for these reasons and these reasons alone that BooBoo and I leave to pick up Boy Wonder from school very, very early just so we can wait. We nab one of the three available parking spots and head over to a lone tree for shade before swarms of hurried parents in minivans get all kinds of crazy. We hang out under our tree at least 20 – 25 minutes each day until Boy Wonder is dismissed from school with the masses. Don’t think for a moment the wait with a 4-year-old is an easy one. He’s bored, hot, and hungry — which is precisely why I started packing daily busy bags!

I take a Ziploc all-purpose storage gallon bag and fill it with snacks, drinks, a small puzzle or toy, small notepad, few crayons, an action figure or two, and stickers to keep BooBoo busy while we wait. They best part is, I can pack the busy bags ahead of time for the week so they’re totally grab and go! I can even reuse the Ziploc bags because they’re the only reusable, storable bag that can actually stand up to my rough and tumble kindergartener!

Since I started bringing busy bags, I haven’t had to give up my phone for games (blogger’s nightmare), or listen to the dreaded, “I’m bored/ I’m hungry / I want to go home!” Having dubbed the daily wait our “special time”, we play tic-tac-toe, share a snack, and even use empty Ziploc sandwich bags to collect pretty leaves and rocks.

If you’re in the business of playing the waiting game with young kids at school pick-up or after school sports, busy bags are the way to go!

What would you pack in a busy bag for your little one?

A big thanks to Ziploc for sponsoring this campaign. Click here to see more of the discussion.

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More on Kid Scoop:

School Lunches Made Cheap and Easy

Kids, I Love You. Now Get Your Own Snack.

8 School Days When Kids Can Use an Extra Pick Me Up

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