When you have a baby, you get used to never leaving the house without a diaper bag, right? And that bag holds everything you need-diapers, wipes, bottles, toys, whatever your baby requires. You get kind of used to lugging that big bag around, and it is convenient to just be able to grab it on the way out the door and know that you will have whatever you need (provided, of course, that you remember to keep the bag stocked).
So what happens once your kids get past the age of needing diapers? Suddenly you don’t need to carry a diaper bag around anymore. Sure, it can be kind of freeing not to have to drag that big, heavy bag everywhere-but then again, it can also become annoying. Why? Well, there are still a lot of things that you should have handy even when your kids get past the toddler age, but now you have to figure out how to keep these things with you without carrying them in a diaper bag.
My solution to this problem has been to make up a “Kid Care Car Kit.” As the name suggests, this is a kit that I keep in our car. I figure that if it is in the car, it will be near to wherever we are because we usually drive it to get to places-makes sense, doesn’t it? And I made it portable (ours is in a large duffel bag) so that it can be transferred to another car if we ride with someone else and so that it can be brought in the house periodically for cleaning and restocking purposes.
What does our “Kid Care Car Kit” contain? Pretty much everything we might need when we are away from home:
–Non-perishable snacks: fruit leather, animal crackers, granola bars, little boxes of raisins, peanut butter/cheese crackers, and the like. Having a selection of kid-friendly (and healthy) foods along saves me from spending big bucks on snacks at a convenience store or gas station food mart.
–Drinks: bottled water (plain and flavored, single serving bottles) and juice boxes. Again, having these on hand means I don’t have to stop to buy beverages for the kids when thirst hits.
–Baby wipes: (unscented) These are great for cleaning hands and faces before and after snacks. They also come in handy for sticky spills. And, if your child gets a boo-boo, baby wipes are good for cleaning the cut or scrape.
–First Aid supplies: Speaking of kids getting boo-boo’s, it is always a good idea to have a variety of bandages, gauze, first aid tape, and first aid cream/ointment with you.
–Pens, Pencils, Crayons, and Paper: If you are stuck doing a lot of errand-running, chances are your kids might get bored. Keeping these supplies on hand will mean that your kids can have something to do when the boredom hits.
–Sun block: Yes, it is best to apply sunscreen before leaving the house. But just in case you forget-or just in case you are out in the sun longer than you had anticipated-having an extra bottle of sun block in the car is a great idea.
–Toys for the park: Have you ever thought that it would have been a good idea to stop at the park-if only you had brought along the kids’ play balls or sand toys? I know I have. So now I keep some of those items in our car kit. We always have at least 2 balls (one per child) in the duffel bag, as well as a selection of sand toys. Now we are prepared for whenever the desire to play at the park strikes.
–Change of clothes: You never know when your child might have an accident, or when they may suddenly spill a juice box all over their shirt, or when they might trip and fall into a mud puddle. So, a smart parent always keeps a full change of clothing for each child with her at all times.
Obviously, your “Kid Care Car Kit” might end up containing different items than ours does. Maybe your park doesn’t have a giant sand pit, so bringing sand toys along wouldn’t make sense for you. Or perhaps there are certain snacks that your kids enjoy that you will want to put in your kit. Your “Kid Care Car Kit” can be as big or as small as you want it to be-whatever makes the most sense for you and your family. But, regardless of what is in your kit, I’m sure you will find that it does come in handy.