My son (11 at the time) and I did Tuolumne Meadows to the Valley over 5 days. Rafferty trailhead out of TM. Itinerary was:
- Rafferty trailhead
- Vogelsang HSC (still closed at the time)
- Bernice Lake
- Merced HSC
- LYV (climbed Half Dome)
- Mist trail to Valley
Lots of water everyday, everywhere, which was great and easy on the packweight.
If I had to do it again, with kid(s), I'd layover at Merced an extra night. He really enjoyed the HSC (we just had meals there) and people were waxing about the fishing at Washburn, which is a nice dayhike from Merced. You can save a little weight/space by taking meals at the HSC; it enabled us to take only one Bearikade Weekender for the two of us.
I would go up to TM at least a day (or two) before. We spent 2 nights at the TM Lodge before the hike and my son, who was in great shape, felt the altitude; headaches, loss of appetite, really lethargic. He was fine by the morning of the hike.