Backpack of a Four Year Old Child

One of the recurring questions that ask me about our family trip around the world is how to decide on luggage for a year. The golden rule is that we should only pack what is really necessary, because the burden of all those needs will be felt by our arms and back. And even a child can realize – and fulfill – this rule.

Pikitim participated in the process of “packing” from the start. He spent days thinking about what to take, getting in and taking his favorite things from the new backpack they gave him for Christmas.

She was quick to select the clothes (which we told her she was not supposed to carry in her backpack since her clothes would be divided by her mother’s and father’s bags), but it took her a long time to decide what to bring to her, the toys and books that should accompany her during the trip.

She had tried to make it clear to him that she would always have to carry her backpack-because the parents also had larger suitcases and backpacks to carry. So the best thing would be that your choices were not too heavy, because even though the backpack had wheels  via baglib, it was not alone! “You always have to be pulling her!”I warned. And she reacted very well to the “responsibility” she was giving her. She was, after all, “a grown girl.”

Pikitim accepted the challenge with enthusiasm, but it was a long process. Evaluate the things you like best and learn to separate yourself from the many others you also enjoy. For example, Minnie’s little computer they had just offered. The problem was that he took a good part of the backpack and robbed him of the space he wanted to fill with books. Space was, understandably, its main problem.

When he realized that everything he wanted to carry in that backpack could not fit, he still appealed to the father or mother to take a doll, a book, a game in his suitcase, but because of the resistance in the response he ended up giving up, and faced the “challenge ” facing.

He began by separating the books. He took dozens of shelves. Shortly thereafter he realized that it would be better to leave the bulkier behind, even if he loved the stories they told. He ended up selecting just two hardbacks, and realized that he would have better results (that is, take more stories) if he chose the collection of pocketbooks with traditional stories – those booklets that cost less than € 1 and are for sale in supermarkets.

He also put a box full of polly pockets (an excellent invention since, as the name implies, they are pocket-size dolls, which bring their accessories in almost microscopic sizes), a case with a dozen of his favorite DVDs Disney movies, which he asked to see on his mother’s computer), crayons, pens and two notebooks to draw.

And of course, the black Moleskine, where he would do his diary. At the end of the pages of this notebook, still immaculately blank, he signaled with a big heart the place where he intended to keep the letter with the kisses given him by his friends on the last day he spent at school. “My letter will always be kept here. So when I open my diary, I can look at the letter again and remind myself of my friends and my teacher, “he explained.

He further separated a series of objects he had received at Christmas. The family and friends would endeavor to offer her novelties that she could not resist:a Barbie/Sleeping Beauty, a case with bananagrams, a camera and an mp3, and two card games:Dora’s Uno, and the “Geofamily”. With the backpack already bursting at the seams, he was, of course, more important than anything else:his stuffed companion, the Popcorn rabbit. “Can you carry that backpack? See if it’s not too heavy … “, I insisted. “With you, mother! Of course I can!”, Guarantee.

During the eight months that the trip lasted, the composition of his backpack did not undergo major changes. Like any child, who sees a toy he likes on a supermarket shelf or in a storefront, Pikitim has often asked the question. “Oh mother, can I buy it or is it too expensive?” I told him the price. But he quickly showed her that there are other equally important criteria:how do you carry it in your backpack? Does it fit in there? Since it’s already full, what do you throw away from there for this new toy to come in?

The truth is that Pikitim quickly stopped asking to buy things, and got used to buying only what he needed. And more often than not, it was sheets and crayons to draw , and pens and coloring pencils. There were, of course, objects that were changing places. Polly Pockets that were lost, toys and even books in Portuguese that wanted to leave a new friend just met. “It’s to remember me when I leave,” she explained.

That’s why the Sleeping Beauty that was from Portugal stayed in Tanna (Vanuatu) with Emily, a girl who lived in a nearby village and who always came to play with her. And the Koala and the Kangaroo, two giant cuddly toys, at least for the backpack he was carrying, which had been offered to him by his friend Joao (an Alentejo who made a point of taking us in Mandurah, Australia, after we had run into his daughter 25 years on the plane flight that took us to Perth), were eventually offered to new friends, children he met a few weeks later.

He kept the drawings of Koala and Kangaroo, and said that he would not forget John. The koala was offered to Edgar, the Mexican friend with whom he played in New Caledonia; the kangaroo was offered to Sarona, the youngest daughter of our friendly hostess in Port Vila, the capital of Samoa . And he argued that Edgar and Sarona would not forget it, too.

Pikitim understood very well the rule of thumb – that of carrying only what he really needs. So he gave up the bananagrams game, with which he almost did not play, and sent all the sketchy notebooks to Portugal.

And you, how do you prepare the backpack of your children?

Leave a Reply