I like to think I’ve smartened up a bit now that I’m a mom of three for 16 months….but I’m sure that’s not true. I feel like the more kids I have the more forgetful I get. Anyone else? One thing I’ve learned from carting three kids around all day every day is that there is no such thing as being over prepared when it comes to stepping foot out of the house with kids. Too many times I’ve been out without something essential that we need….like diapers, or a sippy cup, or a change of clothes. Yep…that wasn’t too fun.
So today I thought I would team up with Allstate to share what I keep in our car for the kids at all times. They have a great post where they share tips on how to keep toys organized in the car that has motivated me to re-vamp my toy storage! You can view it here. But as for my car, I am by no means an expert, so this is just what works for us. I keep an emergency basket, first aid kit, toy basket, snack bag, and a small craft/art container for each big kid in my car. We carry around a LOT of stuff.
First, I keep a basket in my van for emergencies. Inside it contains:
– A bag containing a set of season appropriate clothes for each child (including diapers, socks, and undies)
– Changing pad
– Tote bag
– Sweatshirt for each child in case it gets cold
– First aid kit
– One sippy cup per child
– Trash bags
– Wet bag
– One fleece blanket per child
– Portable potty and potty liners (I got mine here)
Our fist aid kit is mostly bandaids, gauze, and antibiotic ointment. I also keep water and a flashlight in our trunk. For other ideas about what to include in your car emergency kit, check out this list.
I try to remember to go through this basket every week or so to make sure I re-stock any supplies, clothing, or diapers we used. I also swap out clothes and diapers when the season changes or my kids move up a size.
A few notes: the extra tote bag has come in handy SO many times for groceries, carrying random junk in to the house or a friend’s house, and on more than one occasion doubled as a school bag for Hudson. Yep. Every now and then we would make it all the way to school only to realize I had forgotten his school bag at home in the mudroom. Having three kids will do funny stuff like that to your brain. Thankfully all he needed for pre-school was a water bottle and change of clothes, all of which I carry in the van every day, so I would just transfer them in to the tote bag. Classy.
And the towel has been really helpful for cleaning off wet slides at the park, or vomit from a carsick child. Yep, I said vomit.
I also carry a snack pod for each child, wipes, scissors, ziplock baggies, and sunglasses in my glove compartment. Because you never know when you’ll buy a toy at Target that has to be opened RIGHT NOW. Or a snack that needs to be split three ways in to bags! Or you need to label something of your child’s las minute. I like having all of these things (especially the wipes) close by so I can grab them quickly. After watching too much flood coverage on the news, I went out and bought this glass and seatbelt cutter for both of our cars and keep it in the center console. (These are the kind of things that keep me up at night, so spending $12 for a little peace of mind is totally worth it.)
First aid kit. This is self explanatory and probably used once a week (mostly just for bandaids).
Keeping these things in my car (instead of carrying them around in my bag all the time) makes life so much easier! But keep in mind I always carry hand sanitizer and sunscreen in my bag with me, so they won’t spoil in the car. And I keep diapers, wipes, and a change of clothes for the girls in my bag too.
And in car basket #2…the fun stuff! This basket sits in the back seat next to Hudson’s car seat. It’s mostly filled with stuff for him to grab to entertain himself while we are driving.
– Magna doodle
– Sticker book
– Several large books
– Flash cards
– Random toys
– Water wow coloring book
Sadie has a small zip pouch that we store in the seat pocket in front of her (where she can reach it) filled with crayons, pens, a pad of paper, and stickers. She LOVES this.
I also tossed some magnet letters in to a metal lunch box for Hudson to practice spelling out words. He told me this was his favorite thing!
Belle typically just wants books in the car, so I have a stack I rotate every other week or so for her to go through. They have to be pretty durable though because she’s been known to chuck a book in the van when she’s done.
And finally, the snack bag! I keep two small lunch bags filled with snacks in the car, and try to remember to bring them in the house each day to re-stock…but it doesn’t always happen. Hudson keeps one bag in the back net to him, and I keep the other up front. They are both filled with non-perishable snacks like goldfish crackers, applesauce packets, fruit snacks, and animal crackers. Oh, and lollipops. We go through the snacks pretty quickly so they don’t have a chance to go bad.
So that’s what we tote around every single day! Jon and I were talking the other day about how much time I spend in the van with the kids, and how important it is to make sure we have the best insurance coverage. Allstate has made researching and learning about your car insurance options really easy! They have so much helpful information and resources on their website to help you make an informed decision about what car insurance would best suit your needs. Keeping my kids safe in the car is my number one priority! If you want to learn more about Allstate car insurance, be sure to check out their website!
This post was written as part of the Allstate Influencer Program and sponsored by Allstate. All opinions are mine. As the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, Allstate is dedicated not only to protecting what matters most–but to guiding people to live the Good Life, every day.
jenna | the urben life says
So smart to have a basket of essentials! I need one for myself haha
This is so much better than carrying diaper bags with extra stuff! XO ~Anna http://www.pepperedinstyle.com
Vanessa Price says
These are excellent suggestions! Mine are a little older now, but I still keep wipes, a change of clothes, paper towels and a little potty in the car.
So many great suggestions for traveling! I love the thermos and lunch box games. Great post.
Such great suggestions. I’ll be taking your advise very soon as we have a fun filled family vacation coming up soon!