Alright, it is officially SUMMER!!!!
Schools are out and there is a lot of exploring to be done. With toddlers at home, we spend very little time at home and a lot of time at parks, pools, splash pads, and so on. One thing I learned quickly is I hate packing a bag daily. I took some of my own lessons and ideas and created the ultimate park bag! Of course, you can add or remove items you do not think is important. The idea behind the park bag is something that can be kept in your car all summer long and add/re-stock items throughout the season.
1. Find a big sturdy bag to use!
I highly recommend using a Thirty-One utility tote bag. It is super easy to find a Thirty-One consultant in your area. These bags are durable, wide and super easy to carry!
Snacks are SUPER important and if you have a toddler, you will know that the amount of snacks I have pictured above, would definitely not be enough! 🙂 It is always a major crisis when we leave home and I do not have something packed to snack on. Packing snacks that you can keep in a bag separated from everything else, is a great idea. Snacks that do not spoil, so you can keep them in the bag and re-stock as needed.
Also, packing a lunch is a great idea, if you know before the house exactly what you are doing. It will save you money in the long run! It is easy to find an inexpensive, insulated lunch box to throw in your bag too!
Staying hydrated on a hot, summer day is important! Always make sure you pack water. I love using stainless steel water bottles, because they stay colder a bit longer and the kids love all the fun characters and themes you can purchase!
4. Toys & Activities
Including fun toys and activities in your bag is important. Yes, you will probably visiting a fun pool or park, BUT kids do love to bring something to make it even more fun! Here are some great ideas:
Chalk, a bug/critter keeper (we purchased ours from Melissa & Doug), and fun ball!
This will keep the kids busy for hours AND they can learn their alphabet 🙂 There are all different types of scavenger hunt printables on Pinterest. I printed and laminated these, so they can be reused over and over again.
Bubbles and water guns are always a hit at a splash pad!
Sparklers and frisbee flyer thing (I have no idea the actual name), but if you end up staying late somewhere this summer you can have some fun sparkling entertainment on hand.
You can also include shovels, buckets, pool toys, and much more!
Make sure you always have sunscreen and bug spray! I have a gallon size zip lock bag where I put these two items in including my scavenger hunt sheets and pens. This is a great way to keep anything you don’t want to get wet or destroyed protected.
Also, this is not pictured, but I added some bandaids and neosporin to this bag just in case there is an accident! Always be prepared! 🙂
I always keep a few towels in the car. It could be if you go to a splash pad, pool or if you go to a park the day after it rains, everything will be wet! Use the towels to dry off the slides and your kids. The extra bag is there to throw wet or dirty clothes or towels in.
7. Swimming Gear
If you do a lot of swimming packing an extra change of clothes and a swimsuit is a great idea. You can always throw them in your dirty/wet bag at the end of the day, bring it inside and wash them all up for the next day!
What would you add to this list? Comment below!
Do not forget about our Parks Guide, Guide to Central Iowa Pools & Aquatics, and our Guide to Splash Pads, Beaches & More!