Spring is here (kind of) and with it comes the unpredictability this season is known for. What does that mean? Well, it means that you never know when you are going to find yourself with beautiful weather beaconing you to enjoy it. Having two kids in tow means that a little bit of forethought can go a long way toward making spontaneous adventures a reality instead of a disaster.
In that light I give you the snack preparedness kit:
Included in a large tupperware container are peanuts, raisins, pretzels, and fig newtons. I have everything sealed in an plastic bag. I also have extra snack size baggies for doling out individual portions (cause handing over a big bag of snacks is a guaranteed spill waiting to happen and then you are out a good months worth of snacks!). I also have a big, empty, plastic water bottle. I endeavor to fill our individual Sigg bottles to bring in the car everyday before I pick up Kid from school... just in case an adventure awaits... but sometimes I forget. With this extra bottle always in the car I can fill it up at any water fountain or sink I come across.
I have a car storage cube that it all fits in, in my trunk, and I also have a roll of paper towels, a box of individual wipes (they don't dry out), and a picnic blanket (that folds and zips into a handled tote... it's awesome) that I always have in the car. I cannot tell you how many times having those things around have SAVED THE DAY!!!
Other things I keep in the car at all times:
a pair of socks for each kid (indoor playstructures demand this... it's good to be prepared)
a few diapers, wipes, and gallon sized plastic bag... for storing the emergency dirty diaper
a light hooded sweatshirt or windbreaker for each kid & me
a roll of toilet paper (um... not all park facilities have TP... you can thank me later)
baseball hats/sun hats for the kids
All this stuff easily fits together with the snack bin in one of those small car storage cubes (you can get 2 for $9.99 at Target).
When we get to school and a friend asks us to join them at the park or the pool or the museum we can ALWAYS say YES.
And that means that we never have to miss out on stuff like this:
It also means we never have to fork over big bucks to Mc Donald's or a snack stand because we are starving and melting down and need to eat RIGHT NOW. It really only takes a couple minutes to put this together and it will save you both money (& calories!) later on... I promise.
The key to making this work is to use these things when they're really needed. I keep the bin in the trunk. If the snacks were out where the kids could see them/get to them they would be gone within a week of help-yourself-snacking on the way back from school. If I know we are going somewhere I pack snacks for that day and keep the reserves for unexpected outings.
In the summer I keep a tote bag filled with:
beach towels, some suits, small floaty for Baby, noodle for Kid, and sand toys
In the winter I keep a pillowcase filled with:
one wool blanket, a flashlight, and a couple of chocolate bars (hey you never know!!!)
(In Michigan when it is really cold I also had -20 sleeping bag in the trunk)
I am a full believer in being prepared so as to ensure you'll NEVER need it.