A smart thing that you can do prior to each sports season is to spend a few minutes to gather together and put into the car the gear you need to enjoy the season- so that you can be prepared for anything that comes your way! It's one of the ways that I like to get organized for the new school year! Here are 9 Things To Keep in Your Car When Your Kids Play Sports!
You never know when you show up at a field if there will be stands to sit in or if you'll just be standing around on the sidelines- so my advice is to keep a couple of collapsible camp chairs in your car so you can be comfortable while cheering for your favorite team.
I also keep one of these stadium blankets that has a waterproof back for the kids to pile on when watching a sibling play. And it works as a wrap when it's cold outside!
Also- have those jumbo-sized golf umbrellas in the car. Their very presence will ward off a rainstorm (because we all know that it never rains when you actually HAVE your umbrella!), and you'll be glad you have them on rainy as well as on extra sunny days!
A spare sweatshirt or jacket
Find a fleece sweatshirt that fits the largest-sized person in your family (like Dad), and keep it in the car. This will save you on days when you realized that the field is MUCH windier than you realized and your 6-year-old decided to wear just shorts and a tee-shirt on a 55-degree day!
Extra hydration and snacks
No matter how hard I try to remember to send every child to his or her practice with a water bottle, once in a while I do forget. And rather than head all the way back home and then back to practice again- it is so much easier to just walk around to the trunk of my car and pull a bottle out from the case of water that I keep in the back!
I also keep a small box of snacks like granola bars, Rice Krispie treats, and even a small assortment of candy and gum. These items are not necessarily for the athlete, but for the younger siblings that are dragged along to so many practices and games! Sometimes they need a little snack or treat to avoid a meltdown!
Depending on the sport, if you can keep some spare equipment in the car in the event that your child (or a teammate) forgets theirs on the day of the “big game”- you can really save the day.
I always keep an extra set of shin guards and soccer socks for my soccer players. And I think I have lent them out to others more times than we have used them ourselves!
Sunscreen and bug spray
After a long winter spent under layers and layers of clothing- it is hard to get back into a routine of remembering to apply sunscreen before games! I keep a bottle of sunscreen and a bottle of bug spray in the pocket of my driver's side door so that I always have it on hand!
It can be hard to be the little one who is buckled into his or her car seat and toted around endlessly (or so it seems to them!) to practices and games. So it is important to be prepared with some activities and things for them to do too.
Of course, if your athletic field is located near a playground- super BONUS! Your younger ones can climb and swing to their heart's content, soaking up the fresh air, and having the chance to burn off some of that childhood energy!
But in the event that you need to be at a field that offers nothing in the way of diversion for the young ones, you need to be prepared!
I like to take along a bag of craft kits (ones they receive as birthday presents from friends are great for this!) and art boxes and paper. A few books, a board game, or even a deck of cards can all make for some bonding time with parents and other siblings while the athlete is on the field.
What do you like to have on hand in the car if you have kids who play sports?