Parents of young children (and older kids too!) are always on the move and some days it seems like you probably spend more time in the car shuttling kids back and forth than you do at home. For this reason, it makes sense for moms and dads to keep their vehicles well stocked with essential items to mop up spills, feed hungry tummies and to be ready for whatever’s going on in the rear view mirror.
Here’s a list of essential items that no parent should leave home without:
- Trash removal: Stock your vehicle with bags of all sizes – garbage, grocery and sandwich. These will come in handy to bag up and dispose of leftover food, napkins, tissues, diapers and garbage and to tidy up accidents on the go. Sandwich bags can also help store extra snacks or bundle up crayons and scattered toys.
- Clean-up supplies: Baby wipes or disinfectant wipes will help clean sticky fingers and messy faces and they’ll also work well at wiping down the car’s interior. Paper or cloth towels can mop up spills and tissues are essential when you’re traveling with kids who are suffering from colds and stuffy noses.
- Food on the go: Keep a few extra bottles of water and snacks (think crackers and food that won’t melt or spoil in the heat or cold temperatures) in case you’re out on the road longer than you thought. Hungry children aren’t often happy children but if you can give them a bite to eat and a drink to hold them over, it will make the ride go a lot smoother.
- Prepare for the unexpected: Throw an extra pair of kids clothing in your car just in case you need a clean t-shirt after a spill or a pair of pants on a cold day. It’s also a good idea to carry extra sunscreen to protect your children and yourself from the sun as UV rays can penetrate car windows.
- Stock the little extras: You never know when you’ll need spare change for parking metres, vending machines or pay phones. The same goes with Band-Aids or extra diapers. You might also want to keep an old toy stashed in the car or a favourite children’s CD to help put an end to backseat tantrums.
- Don’t forget the essentials: Always carry a well-equipped emergency roadside kit, your cell phone and a phone charger in the car when you’re out on the road. It’s also great to have a roadmap or a GPS as well. Being prepared will help you deal with car problems and can prevent you from getting lost.
By packing your car with these day-to-day essentials, you can make sure the car is a place where your children are comfortable and content as you run daily errands and transport them to and from school and activities.