I am not a very spontaneous person. And especially with three kids, any activity, or outing, or playdate needs to be planned out and decided on at least the night before, if we ever hope to get there on time
(or at all).
But, I have been trying to play it by ear a little more this summer. Feel out everyone's moods in the morning, scan over our summer bucket list and pick something fun off it after breakfast or after naptime, or just ask the kids what they'd like to do that day. And no question, the kids have wanted to go to the park just about everyday.
We are so lucky to have several parks really close to us, so we don't get bored going to the same one over and over. But, I have learned that it's much easier to be spontaneous, and go by the park after the grocery store, or meet up with some friends for a park dinner date with only 15 minutes to spare, if I have already done some preparation (be spontaneous with preparation...a little contradictory, right? :)). So I keep a Park Bag in the car all the time. What is a Park Bag you may ask? Welp, it's just about everything we may need for an impromptu trip to our favorite playground. Nothing special and nothing that you most likely don't already have at home, but it's all ready for you in the trunk of the car if ever the mood should strike you!
Here's a list of the things I keep in our Park Bag all the time. And after each trip to the park, I refill as needed to keep it stocked and ready for the next trip!
Diapers (at least one for each child still in diapers)
Wipes (whether or not you have kids still in diapers, every mom needs wipes!)
1 Bottle of Water per child (and maybe one for yourself)
Disposable Sippy Cup (if needed)
Neosporin (I use the little Neo To Go spray, and it's the perfect size)
Tissues (I use the little travel packs of Puffs)
Small Blanket (for picnicking)
Another item that we always keep in the back of the truck that has saved us many times in many different situations is a travel potty! Having two little girls, tee-teeing against a tree has never been an option for us. And what is more gross than having to take a preschooler to a porta-potty? Let me answer my own question...only having to take two preschoolers and a toddler to a porta-potty!! There isn't enough hand sanitizer in the world to cleanse us from all those germs. And then, of course, what if the park doesn't have a bathroom at all? Never fear...mommy keeps a potty and a roll of toilet paper in the back of the car! Not to mention the times it has saved me driving back and forth to and from Atlanta (or wherever else), just me and the kids, and Brantley has to go to the bathroom. Rather than having to drag all three kids into a gas station bathroom, we pull into a parking lot, and I get her out and into the back to use the potty, and she's done and we never had to leave the car.
So, the point of this entire post is, that when you have an extra bag packed in the car whether it be for the park, the pool, the library, or wherever, it allows you to be more spontaneous and fly by the seat of your pants, since your bag is already packed and in the car, ready for you to go. Now, all you have to do is get the kids ready!