It’s summertime! Your kids are out of school and if your mom life is anything like mine it’s extremely busy. I have two elementary school aged kiddos and a recent preschool graduate. Entertaining at home is a thing of the past. We are on the go almost every day; whether it is for speech, a doctor’s appointment, on an adventure, football camp, to the pool, to baseball practice or to the store a couple times a week, we are in our car constantly.
With schedules and time constraints, the last thing I want to do is run back home to get something. If something happens on the road, I want to be prepared so we can fix the issue right then or there or at least comfortably buy time until we can make it home. And also, to be prepared to save money so that trip to the store doesn’t turn into, “Ronin (my youngest) dumped his milk all over himself so we have to buy him a new outfit”. Being prepared keeps me from burning through gasoline like crazy.
I bought a crate that I keep in my car for all my summer readiness goodies in. I already had most of these items at home; it’s just nice everything is in one spot and ready to go because we are always on the go!
- Insulated Grocery Bag: These save you time if you are like us and run multiple errands 1 or 2 days a week. We can’t just leave the milk in the car like we do in the winter. So many times I’ve had to run home to drop off groceries, then back to the same area for an appointment or store. These will keep things cool for an hour or two.
- Picnic Blanket: This tends to be our life story, we have hit up a park for lunch and all the picnic tables are taken! Our picnic blanket has given us a spot to eat or relax so many times. We scored one the of more vinyl fabric kinds on clearance so if the ground is wet underneath it does keep us dry. Any blanket in your car will do and could serve another purpose as well.
- Paper Towels & Wipes: I have three messy boys. I think I will keep a pack of baby wipes in my car until they graduate from high school. They are bound to spill something so we always keep a roll of paper towels in the car.
- Plastic Bags: We reuse the plastic bags we get from stores so much. There are so many purposes and they have saved us so many times. We put our wet clothes in them after the pool. Or when your kid throws up, you put the wipes and paper towel in the plastic bags. They fold nice so take up little room in our crate. You can also stuff a bunch in a tissue box to save more space!
- Extra Clothes and Shoes: Someone had an “accident”, someone spilled, someone threw a shoe out the window…. kids can’t ride in the car naked or walk outside without shoes, so I pack extra clothes for everyone and the cheap flip flops for everyone as well. They have so many clothes at home; we do not need to buy anymore when we are out and about.
- First Aid Kit: Bumps, bruises and scratches could definitely be something that comes with playing hard at the park this summer. It is easy to just throw a first aid kit or at least bandages in the crate.
- Phone Charger: I am constantly on my phone…taking pictures that is. I admit my phone runs out of battery probably faster than the normal person because I love taking photos of my kids. I have a charging port that goes into the lighter part of my car, so I know that my car can be charging if needed while we are on the road.
- Disposable Eating/Drinkware: It really is the worst when the drive-thru forgets to give you a straw with your drink, or if you need an extra cup or plate while you are out on your picnic in the park. I just fill a gallon plastic bag with some odds and ends that we would use for eating and drinking.
- Entertainment Items for the Kids: We always keep the beach toys in the car in the summer. I also just throw a few tennis balls into the crate in case we stop somewhere and the boys want to throw a ball around. We keep books and paper/pen in the car at all times. I feel like I’m the entertainment committee.
- Items Not Kept in the Crate: So the car is hot in the summer. There are a few things I keep in the glove box also. I will put sunblock in there so it doesn’t get too hot and runny. I also always keep ketchup packets in the glove box. Sometimes when we don’t have ketchup with certain foods, it’s the end of the world! I also throw my hair ties in there as well as my feminine products…always have to be prepared!
You can stock your car up with however your summer looks; everyone’s lives are different. Summer is a wonderful time to make memories and find adventure. This prep gives me the peace of mind and the time back to really make it the best summer ever!
What are your summer car must-haves?