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Part of the fun of summer is being really spontaneous, accepting last minute invites, and going on random adventures! This can be hard to do if it requires packing, your stuff is all over the house, laundry has fallen off the priority list, etc. Pre-packing a few grab and go bags is one way you can prepare for last minute fun and then be ready to say yes to anything!
Before you start your bags, make up a few “kits” you can pre-pack for all of the bags you make. Decide which of these you need and make several so you can stick one of each into each of the grab and go bags below!
Here are 7 bags you can pre-pack to be ready to grab and go:
1. Pool (beach, lake, etc.) Bag
Include sunscreen, sunglasses, goggles, nose or ear plugs, water/sand toys, swimmies or tubes (deflated), beach ball (deflated), water shoes, towels, suits/coverups, swim diapers, toiletries (if you intend to shower/clean up there), hair ties, hats, book or magazine for mom, diaper/snack/first aid kits. Feel free to add or subtract whatever works for you!
2. Picnic Bag
Include plates and napkins, cups and utensils, straws, salt/pepper packets, condiment packets, a tablecloth, hand sanitizer, small garbage bags, diaper/snack/first aid kits. You can add all of your desired food and drink when it’s time to go, or keep it prepacked with snacks and drinks that will stand up to any temperature.
3. Park and Playground Bag
Include a blanket, sunscreen, bug spray, ball or frisbee, chalk or bubbles, bug catching stuff, diaper/snack/first aid kits. You can pair this with your picnic bag, if needed.
4. Library Bag
This works best if you can have a bag with 2 sides, or create your own divider out of cardboard to have two halves! You can keep unread books on one side and the ones you have read and are ready to return on the other side. If you prefer to keep unread books somewhere else in your house, just the one space for ready to return books works. In addition to your books, you can include: a pouch with library card(s) and change for overdue books and an envelope, folder, or clipboard with summer reading requirements, contests, etc. paperwork. That way you can keep track right there!
5. Bonfire/Camp Out Bag
Include s'mores stuff (and possibly marshmallow toasting sticks), a lighter, a flashlight, bug spray, and a few extra hoodies, jackets, tall/warm socks, and hats (warm or ball cap). You can pair this with your picnic bag, if needed.
6. Long Car Ride Bag
Include books, activities, games, snacks, drinks, drawing materials, playing cards, and carsickness remedies your family might need! You might also include change for tolls.
7. Last Minute Overnight Bag
You will need to pack one of these for each of your children, and possibly one for each adult, too! These are perfect for last minute sleepovers, invites to camps, or mom-needs-a-break-go-stay-with-grandma type of days!
For each child, in a separate bag, include: t-shirts, shorts, long pants, sweatshirt, swimsuit, sunscreen, toothbrush, toothpaste, beach towel, socks, PJs, and maybe a hat! The key to these bags is that no one is allowed to touch or use them while in the house, they are only for overnights!
Tips and Tricks for making this work and last all summer:
Trust me! Don’t put this off. You will thank yourself the next time you need to grab and go!