When your kids are play sports, you are going find yourself in the car – a lot. Especially if you have more than one kid involved in athletics. Honestly, you deserve a medal if this is you. You become their taxi to and from practices, games, and events.
During certain seasons, you might feel like you live in the car some days. However, there are ways to make your life easier – even during those busy tournament weekends.
Here are a few products you should have handy for those worst-case-scenario moments:
Kids are perpetually hungry, and this fact is amplified when they are in a sport. Keep granola bars, nuts, raisins, and other easy-to-pack foods on hand. They are easy to grab on the way to practice and can hold your kids over until lunch or dinner. Snacks are also a must for the siblings who you might have in tow, waiting for practice to be over.
- Outdoor Blanket
I always carry a picnic blanket in my car that’s a soft cotton plaid on one side and water-resistant on the other. I use it to sit on during games, as place to keep my other children contained during practices, to cuddle up in during the cooler months, and as a barrier to protect my seats when the dog comes with us.
It’s super easy to clean – just throw it in the washer and it’s ready for more adventures. Everyone needs a travel or picnic blanket!
Sports means lots of outdoor time, most of the time, there’s grass involved – which can be in issue with children who have grass sensitivity or other allergies. If your kids have allergies, Benadryl is a must. It’s also good to have on hand in case of a bee sting or other insect bite.
- Pain Relievers
When your child plays sports, there’s always potential for injury. Keep children’s Tylenol or Motrin on hand to alleviate pain from bumps, bruises and strains. If you have a child over 12, arnica montana 30x is a homeopathic medicine that older children can safely use for bruising, swelling, and pain from injury.
Maybe your child suffers from pregame jitters. If that’s the case, some essential oils like lavender might help soothe his or her anxiety. Or, perhaps your little one has a sensitive stomach? Give them a little chamomile to help relieve stomach cramps.
- First Aid Kit
This one isn’t just for sports parents, although it is an especially good idea for them. Keep a first aid kit stocked and in your car at all times. You never know when you’ll need Neosporin, bandages, or gauze. Being a parent means being prepared – first aid kits are a must!
If you’re looking for a natural way to help speed up your child’s recovery from a sports injury, you can also try natural home remedies to assist in the healing process.
- Paper Towels
Life is messy and life with kids is even messier. Paper towels come in handy for all sorts of situations: muddy shoes, messy fingers, for holding snacks, for cleaning up spills, or to wrap around a cut or scrape until you find your Band-Aids. Don’t leave home without them!
- Wet Wipes
Like paper towels, wet wipes are a must! When you have a sticky mess to clean up, a dry paper towel won’t cut it. I keep a container of antibacterial Wet Ones in the back seat for the kids to use to wipe their hands after practice, when there isn’t a place nearby to wash hands.
The antibacterial part is especially important during cold and flu season. I also keep a travel sized pack in my purse for those sticky fingers on the go.
- Breakable Ice Packs
Keep breakable ice packs on hand for sprained ankles and wrists, or the inevitable bumps and bruises your child might get on the field. They are also great to have during summer sports, when kids can easily get overheated.
They are small and portable, making them super easy to carry with you, and they activate quickly when needed.
- A Bag of Entertainment
This one is for the siblings of your little athlete. Being the spectator for frequent practices can get old quickly for the little brothers and sisters you have with you. I keep a small bag of things in the car for my youngest son to do while we wait for my oldest to get done with practice.
I have colored pencils, a blank drawing pad, a few small cars, a few Legos, crayons, and coloring books. This, combined with the snacks mentioned above, is a real sanity-saver when the boredom whining starts up.
Be prepared for anything
With the right products and supplies, you’ll be the most prepared soccer mom or soccer dad out there at practice. A little preparation goes a long way and will save you from those whoops-I-should-have-brought-that moments.