Creating a Family Fun Bag

by Jenn Fowler | August 13, 2012 at 8:30 am | comments

How often have you found yourself with spare time between your kids’ activities or errands? You’d love to swing by the park or the pool with the kids, but you didn’t plan ahead and aren’t prepared? Never fear! You can make it easy to stop and have some spur of the moment, active fun on-the-go by creating a family fun bag!

A family fun bag is simply a kit you store in your car to make last minute outings easy and enjoyable for any season. While you could get very complicated, this basic kit can help you have fun on a whim. Here’s a list to get you started:

  • A bag or tote
  • Bug spray
  • Sun screen
  • Bottled drinks
  • Shelf stable, non-melting snacks, like granola bars, peanuts, crackers or pretzels
  • Spare swimsuits (check your local thrift store for cheap ones!)
  • Towels
  • Plastic grocery bags
  • Hand sanitizer
  • A roll of paper towels

Additional optional items can include a Frisbee or ball, novel or magazine, hat with a visor and small first aid kit with band aids and antibiotic ointment.

Why pack such a lengthy list of items? With them conveniently at your disposal you can easily:

  • Go to the pool or beach: With suits, towels and sunscreen everyone is ready to hit the water! You’ll have drinks and a snack for the inevitable cries of “I’m hungry! I’m thirsty,” and if you have a hat and novel you can sit on the sidelines and enjoy your time while the kiddos are splashing around. When done toss, your trash in one plastic bag, the suits and towels in another and off you go.
  • Go to the park: Spray everyone down with sunscreen and bug spray (especially if ticks are an issue in your area) and you’re ready to hit the playground. Or pull out the Frisbee or ball for a bit of group fun. No benches? No worries! Grab the towels and use them for sitting on the ground. Again, snacks and water keep the kiddos happy, a hat can make it easier to watch them if it’s bright out and the first aid items fix any boo boo’s.
  • Have an impromptu picnic: Grab a bite to eat at a deli or local grocery store and head to a park or nature area for lunch instead of hitting the drive through. Apply the sunscreen and bug spray, clean everyone’s hands with the sanitizer, use paper towel for napkins and use the towels as a picnic blanket.

To make this kit really work well for your family, replace items as you use them. If you eat all the snacks, toss some more in. Use up the band aids? Grab some from the medicine cabinet and refill. Hit the pool and bring home wet suits and towels? Make sure they go right back in the car when they are dry.

What items would you pack in a family fun bag?

Jenn Fowler is a blogger, speaker, social media consultant and ex-Army Officer. She lives in a quaint village in Upstate New York with her husband Yankee Bill and their two wild and creative children—Princess (11) and Buddy (9). When she isn’t blogging about living a good life on a budget at Frugal Upstate, she is gardening, reading, acting, crafting, cooking and knitting—although not necessarily in that order.