But we do like to go places. And I’m not really a planner…we may hop in the car without much thinking and go hiking, or stop at a park with fountains while we’re out running errands. If you spend 5 minutes gathering these things to keep in your car for summer at the beginning of break you can have more impromptu adventures with fewer problems in general.
1.) A towel. For impromptu trips to parks that have creeks and streams and water fountains. I don’t keep one for everybody, just one to share and get everyone a little drier. Also useful for sitting on during picnics.
2.) Sweatshirts. One for everyone. ‘Cuz it’s usually the times you think, “Oh, it’s so warm out, we don’t need sweatshirts,” that it turns really cold and you need a sweatshirt.
3.) Diapers and wipes. Or, for older kids, a change of underwear and pants. Even for those who are done potty training — we’ve had kids get soaked crossing streams, or playing in fountains, or whatever it is kids do.
4.) Water bottles. I usually buy each of the kids a new one at the beginning of the summer (for around $1 at Target or Michael’s). I store them empty in the car and fill them at drinking fountains or sinks before we start a hike.
5.) Non-meltable snacks. A box of granola bars, or crackers, or raisins or something. In case you’re at the library and want to go to the park after. Or are just out and about longer than you’d planned.
7.) Hats. Definitely sunhats. Depending on where you are (say, perhaps, Colorado), also snow hats and mittens.
8.) Band-Aids. A car first-aid kit is actually the best way to go, but at least some Band-Aids for minor injuries.
10.) Colored pencils and a notebook or nature journal. On your way home from hiking, or the park, or wherever you go, have everyone jot down a few notes or draw about what they did that day. At the end of the summer, it’s a lot of fun to look through and remember your adventures! Use pencils rather than crayons since they don’t melt.
How about you — what’s the one thing you always bring on a day trip with kids?
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SRP Auto says
Awesome content and tips that every car owners can follow through it.
Love it! Especially the journal and pencils. With three boy scouts 10, 12 and 14….well… Our list doesn’t have diapers anymore. (She writes with a tear in her eye,) but we still carry wipes. Other summer things we keep in the car. Bug repellant, small pocket kites, a playground ball, a picnic blanket that has a reflective emergency blanket side, three pocket sized hammocks, extra socks,dollar store ponchos, a couple of garbage bags to leave-no-trace wherever our adventures take us, along with a bottle of antiseptic hand cleaner. We love to be ready in a minute to jump in the car and find that days adventure. Summer’s short…gotta make the best of it. Thanks for the great list!
I think its a good idea to keep some spare flip flops or shoes in the car for when shoes break or get wet/muddy.
We keep suits and towels, for last minute trips to the beach, all sorts of sports balls, sand toys and chalk for extra fun at the park! We also have a kit that has ouch supplies aka bandaids, sun screen, bug spray, hand sanitizer ect.
oh, I love the chalk idea — how fun! And the “ouch supplies” — good idea.
Beth Gorden says
Great list. I’d never thought to bring gloves. We went camping last fall and it got REALLY cold at night. We ended up running out to buy hats =)
Thanks for linking up to TGIF! I hope you come by and link up later today =)
Jana from HowToRunAHomeDaycare says
Thanks for these great ideas. I run a home daycare and this is wonderful advice for a child care provider with a troop of little ones in the van.
Ruth Soukup says
Hi Laura! I hopped over from Sugar Bee Crafts – I am loving this list. Toilet paper is definitely something you don’t want to be stuck without 😉
We would love for you to link this up with us at Living Well Spending Less! You can link up any of your thrifty projects each Thursday – we would love to have you join us! http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/category/thrifty-thursday/
Carrie @ My Favorite Finds says
These are awesome ideas! And so practical, kind of a “why didn’t I think of that moment”, you know? I love how your ideas are always so doable!
thank you! Mostly my ideas are doable because I don’t have my act together enough to do anything fancy…hah!
Good list!! I also keep a container of wipes, they come in handy if one happens to throw up once, or twice or….
no kidding! We looked at a ton of cars and I vetoed all the ones with cloth seats because I wanted something easy to clean after someone ralphed in the car…
Aisling Beatha says
With grown children, I don’t need some of those things anymore but there are some on that list that it would be good for me to keep in the car.