Summer days in our house are filled with play dates at parks and splash pads, zoo days, road trips, and spontaneous stops to get frozen custard. Over the years, I’ve gotten smart and have begun carrying some essential supplies in the car for the inevitable messes and to avoid as many meltdowns as possible. Because nothing can make a day go sour like a toddler melting down because his shirt is soaked or his hands are sticky or (Heaven help us) we forgot to pack a snack. My mom secret to disaster-less days is a Summer Essential Car Kit!
Every Essential Car Kit will look a little different, because each family has unique needs. And as the summer goes on, you’ll probably find that you don’t need something you thought you would or that you need to add something. I like to use the reminders app on my phone when I’m out of the house when I think of something that I need to add to the bin.
- Paper towels
- Extra clothes
- Snacks that won’t melt
- Huggies ® Wipes – even if your kids are out of diapers, wipes are a must. I can’t tell you how many times I’m so grateful to have them!
- Hand sanitizer
- Band-aids and/or first aid kid
- Extra diapers, if you have littles
- Water bottles (we prefer reusable bottles, but no one wants to be stuck without water on a scorching hot day!)
I put everything in a bin with a lid that snaps on, but you could also make a tote bag to put everything in. This is especially helpful if you want to carry your supplies with you when you arrive at your destination. I like to know that when I put it in the bin, it’s going to stay in there, and not fall out as the car moves or if it gets kicked around the car.
One of my kiddos does NOT like to be messy. Anything sticky or muddy can turn into a major disaster. So carrying wipes with me is a non-negotiable. Huggies ® Wipes have Triple Clean Layers for handling even the biggest of messes. A change of clothes is also necessary to avoid meltdowns. I add clothes that are in the middle size range, since my kids aren’t all that far apart in age. They might be a bit too big or small for some kids, but will fit the kids that are most likely to make a mess and will work in a pinch for the others.
Here are some other ideas you can put in your Summer Essential Car Kit:
- Bug spray
- Larger first aid kit
- Bubbles (for when you arrive at the pool before it opens and have to wait!)
- Sweatshirts for cool summer evenings
- Instant ice packs
- Extra sunglasses or hats
Stock your Summer Essential Car Kit before your summer gets too busy, Because Kids Outgrow Diapers, Not Messes*
Here’s to a meltdown free summer!