We’ve finally started winding down, but this fall was the fall I signed the kids up for ALL THE ACTIVITIES. Evan has Judo, Caroline has ballet, both big kids had soccer (two different days, two different games on Saturdays), and all three kids have swim (on two different days). I felt like a big reason we had such a great summer was that we were never home. Busy kids don’t whine about the iPad. Tired kids go right to sleep. It seemed like a good idea to keep us out of the house as much as possible. The problem with a full-time after school schedule on top of both full-time schools kids and a full-time baby is you run out of time to keep track of all the accoutrements that go with four different activities. My car was a disaster of shoes, cleats, tights, hair clips, soccer balls, belts, snack cups, water bottles and goggles. I would go to the store to buy groceries and realize every reusable bag contained wet towels from swim. We would get to ballet and I’d realize we were missing a shoe. I couldn’t tell the kids “grab your stuff, let’s go!” because no one ever remembered where their stuff was.
Then I had a GREAT idea: activity bags specifically for each activity. And even better, personalized photo activity bags so they wouldn’t get mixed up. Luckily, Walmart Photo has the perfect bag as part of their home decor collection – the canvas tote bag. I decided for the Judo and ballet bags I’d really love new pictures, so I took the kids out for a fun photo shoot. For the swim bag, I used photos from my 365 project, both at swim class and from the beach. It was impossible to pick just one, so I made a template in Photoshop for a 4-square collage. If you want to use it, you can download it here (just click, it should download). It’s a PSD Photoshop file, so you’ll need Photoshop to use it. If you don’t have PS or PSE, Picasa makes a quick and easy 4-square collage – and it’s free!
Really pleased with himself for putting all his Judo stuff in the bag.
The bags are a nice sturdy canvas with a wide bottom, so they stand up when I fill them with stuff. I can fit 2 towels and changes of clothes in them.
All three bags hanging up on the hooks in the hallway, ready to go!
We’ve been carrying these all week and they’re working GREAT. Now when I shout “Caroline! Ballet!” she knows exactly which bag to grab (although the fact that I’m pretty sure we left a ballet shoe at the Christmas tree farm is a problem that can’t be solved with organization). There are 3,500 Walmart Photo locations nationwide or you can order online without leaving your couch. Many of their photo gifts are available for free same day pickup in store, so last minute isn’t a problem (and you know grandparents love photo gifts). Right now Walmart.com is offering free shipping on all holiday cards and gifts through the end of the year (12/30/15) so that makes things like their photo ornaments and mugs even more affordable. A huge thanks to Walmart Photo and BlogHer for making these bags possible!