Summer means more time at the park, splash pads, pools, zoos, and more. No one wants to be caught unprepared and I’ve definitely learned some things to have on hand in my car to ensure our adventures go smoothly. I stay at home with my kiddos, and while we try to have somewhat of a routine in the summer, there are days we might be running an errand and I decide a splash pad is necessary but I don’t want to go home to get suits, sunscreen, etc. Also, kids are messy and dirty.
Keeping a bag or bin of supplies in my car has been a game changer! It’s easy to store in the trunk or back of your vehicle and while it takes a small effort to put together, once it’s set up, it’s easy to maintain.
1. Extra Clothes – Whether a kiddo spills something, has an accident or decides to run through a random sprinkler, an extra change of clothes is essential. I keep a top, shorts, undies (or extra diapers), socks, and a cheap pair of sandals in the car. I love snagging $1 flip flops at Old Navy, and I keep a pair for all of us in the car. Once I’m home, I will replace the clothing with whatever is missing from the kit.
2. Wipes – It doesn’t matter if your kids are out of diapers or not, you’ll need wipes. I keep two packs in my car and some wet wipes in my purse. Always. Sticky treats are key to summer fun and wipes will be needed to clean kids or spills. Port a potties seem to be everywhere in summer too and wipes and sanitizer are necessary combos.
3. Sunscreen – Need I say more? I don’t recommend a stick sunscreen though. Those get a little melty.
4. Swimsuits – Last year was the first year I kept an extra suit for each kid in the car and it was the best decision. I can’t tell you how many times it came in handy!
5. Towels – It seems like my kids are water magnets. If I forget to put extra clothes back in my kit, towels are needed to dry the kiddos and keep my seats dry. They are handy if you want to have a picnic or just sit on the grass somewhere!
6. First Aid Kit – My four year old son just discovered he needs a band aid for every little scrape, poke or scratch. You can find handy little first aid kits at most stores and just refill them as things run out. It’ll come in handy more than you think.
7. Snacks – These are emergency snacks. Like you didn’t plan on going to the zoo but you need snack snacks. Or you’re at the splash pad longer than you anticipated and you’ve got at least half an hour before home but you don’t want drive thru snacks snacks. I typically keep items that won’t melt like trail mixes, crunchy granola bars, applesauce pouches and dried fruit (specifically soft & juicy mango from Trader Joe’s. You’re welcome).
8. Bags – Whether grocery bags or a reusable tote, bags are handy to toss wet or dirty clothes, swim suits or even garbage in.
9. Sanitizer – Port a potties. They seem to be in abundance in the summer and sanitizer is essential.
10. Bug Spray – Mosquitos are the bane of my existence so I mostly keep it for myself but it comes in handy for us all.
Obviously you can customize this to your needs and these are just some basics. Hats, sunglasses, and water are some other items you may want to add to your kit! I’ll randomly add in some coloring books and such for the times we trek to the zoo or other side of town. I hope this helps your summer adventures go more smoothly! Stay cool and have fun!