When my older two children were little, I realized that I needed to have a bag ready for our outdoor time. Over and over, I found myself out in the yard with the kids only to have to run back inside for a tissue, sunglasses, a drink, etc. We spent half our time going in and out of the house to get things we wanted or needed.
My solution was to take a 31 bag (one of those tough canvas bags that stands open) and designate it as our outdoor bag. As time went by, I added more things to the bag that we realized was nice to have. I still don’t always remember everything we need on our outdoor trips, but this helps a ton!
Here is my summer bag list.
- sunglasses for everyone
- picnic blanket
- sand toys
- bug spray
- plastic bag for garbage
These things stay in the bag all the time. The bag hangs in my pantry ready to go at a moment’s notice. All I need to remember to put in the bag each time are fresh snacks and drinks.
As we have spent more time outdoors in the cold seasons, I realize that I should extend this idea of having a bag ready to include items we need when we’re playing in the cold. This winter I’m going to try out my idea.
Winter Outdoor Bag List
Chapstick: this is a year-round item for me, honestly. But the kids will each need their own to protect their lips from the chilly wind.
Extra hat, gloves, and scarf: we’ve all been in the situation where one kid has gotten their gloves soaked and needed to change. We’ve also had hats and scarves go missing in the snow. A few extras in my bag will keep us from tracking snow in and out to replace these items.
A carrot: as I’m thinking about the extra winter accessories, I realize that we have gone back in to get these items when building a snowman too. Let’s just plan and throw a carrot in the bag too.
Sand shovel: your sand toys double as great snow toys. Last winter we had a rounded sand shovel that made fantastic snowballs!
Snow paint: I’ve seen this a few times on Pinterest. The basic idea is to use watery paint made with food coloring in spray bottles. You spray the paint on the snow for some colorful, creative fun. Using food coloring and cornstarch makes sure that you are not harming the environment. See my Pinterest board Outdoor Activities for Kids for a link to a good snow paint recipe.
Sun protection: years of squinting and cheek chap have finally taught me that sunscreen and sunglasses are not just for summer. So these are staying in the bag too. I know all the skiers are rolling their eyes and politely muffling a “duh,” but I’m not a skier nor a fast learner, I guess.
Tissues: another carryover from the summer bag that you need year-round. In the spring and summer, we have runny allergy noses. In the winter, everyone gets a runny nose playing in the snow no matter what. I might as well keep the tissue box and the plastic bag for the used ones.
I think having all of these items ready to go will have two benefits. The first will be time saved. We won’t have to scour the house in search of these items before outdoor time. The second will be more time spent outside because getting there will be just a bit easier.
What would you add to the list? Drop a comment here, on our Facebook page, or Instagram @trailfamilylife. We’d love to hear from you!
Thanks for taking the time to read our post. To make following this blog easier, sign up to receive TRAIL FAMILY blog posts in your email (be sure to mark emails from Trailfamily.blog “not junk”) You can follow us on Instagram at trailffamilylife. Check out our videos on our YouTube channel TrailFamilyLife. Like us on Facebook at TrailFamily.