Here in the North East, Spring is starting to pop its cute self out here and there and can I just say --- BRING IT ON!! No more paying to visit tiny places with lots of big germs. No more endless hours of Paw Patrol, Butterbeans, and the like. Say goodbye to living room lunch picnics and say hello to park picnics!! I get to take pictures of my kiddos in nature instead of on the couch or in the playroom! It means it's time to start snapping family sessions and sunsets! Creek stomping and wildflower fields. Climbing walls and going down the BIG slide! -Warning - if we are meeting up to play, expect some snaps of your kiddos!-
But with Spring and outdoor adventures brings a whole new set of responsibilities for us moms. Some day we will just be able to put kids in the car, go to the park, and be done. But in the world of babies and toddlers that I am currently in the midst of, a park play & picnic is pretty much the equivalent of packing for a weekend away minus the pajamas and air mattresses!
I took the boys and Quinn to the park Monday on a whim and felt like the lamest mom ever when we showed up and met a sweet little boy whose mom came prepared with the coolest digger toys for the sandbox. How had I not brought fun toys? I'm the lamest mom ever! (Just kidding, we moms have enough pressure on us to kick ourselves for not bringing toys to the big sandbox). I forgot a hat for the baby to block the sun (In my defense, what even is sun after a winter of cloudy, grey days?)
So, fast forward two days later and we went BACK to the same park. This time, I was PREPARED. I packed our own digger toys, a sun bonnet for the baby, a lunch, and fifty other things necessary for a park play picnic with a four year old, two year old, and infant! And you know what...I STILL FORGOT THINGS! I needed a towel to wipe off my kid's gross sandy hands & feet. I needed extra clothes for the two year old who found the only puddle in the sandbox and FELL INTO IT. (I had the clothes, in the van...an eight mile hike away.....okay kidding it's probably 200 yards, but I'm out of shape and he made me carry him with me)
It got me thinking.... I can't be the only hot mess mom out there. The one that tries SO hard to be prepared only to find myself forgetting the things I end up needing the most. I decided that I need to come up with a list of things I wanted to be prepared with for our Spring & Summer adventures out. I HATE getting somewhere and not having the essentials. Because then I end up running to Target and coming out with everything except what I went there for. (Anyone else? I KNOW I'm not alone there.)
So here's where the fun begins. I polled a bunch of moms in the plethora of Facebook groups I'm in and I combined all the information to share with you. So we can all be those moms that seemingly have their stuff together. Scroll down to check out what I've put together as your Spring/Summer must haves!
THINGS TO ALWAYS HAVE PACKED IN MY VAN
FOR LUNCH OUT
I've included Amazon links/pictures to a lot of my favorite things that I included in this post. I do make a small profit when you click to purchase.
I hope this little list helps both you and me be prepared for the fun that's coming soon with the warm weather. I hope you and your kiddos are able to get outside and enjoy the weather, nature, and each other! Take LOTS of pictures and capture every moment!!
What am I missing?! Drop a comment below with YOUR must haves for being outside!