This post is a guest post from my friend Nikki over at Yorkshire Wonders, a brilliant site for anyone looking for inspiration for what to do with the kids. I’m over in Lincolnshire so some of the days out mentioned are not too far away for my family to take advantage of.
Let’s get something straight from the beginning. I am not one of those effortlessly organised people. I am generally late to appointments. It’s not intentional, it’s just that time seems like a slippery concept to me. In my head it is ‘loads of time, loads if time, loads of…’ then BANG I am late.
I try my best, I read the school newsletter every week and make notes in my online calendar, but still always manage to forget something. Guitar lessons, flute, spellings, PE kits, swimming, the opportunities to forget something is endless!
One technique I have developed to counter this problem is just to leave everything in the car (I am rural and school is three miles away). Sure, my car is a mess, but it would be anyway, so no great shakes.
What I am super proud of though is my days out picnic backpack. I have developed its contents over a few summers of days out. It saves us a fortune on drinks and food (and sometimes food offerings at attractions are not great.) It has to be a backpack as I can’t bear to carry anything and don’t notice if it’s behind me. Also keeps hands free for grabbing children besides roads, lakes, cliffs etc.
So other than my picnic what else do I keep in there?
- Plastic cups. I don’t take individual drinks. I take a pop bottle and fill it with water and squash. If you are particularly organised, you can put this in the fridge or even half freeze it beforehand and then it will stay cold all day. If you are me, you’ll fill it just before you leave the house and then bash up ice cubes until they are small enough to jam in the neck of the bottle. Always take extra cups then if you meet other mums there is enough to go around.
- Sandwich boxes. Buy some nice sandwich boxes that keep everything together. Pound shops are good for these. Then you don’t need to find something to put your sarnies in all the time. When you get back from your day out, try not to leave the leftovers festering for weeks on end in your hot car like I do.
- Suntan lotion and sun hats. I know it is unlikely that you will need these, so just zip them up in a pocket and then forget about them.
- Plastic disposable rain macs. You can buy these for a few pence each on eBay. They fold up tiny and you can only really use them once, but they are good in an emergency. Admittedly they are thinner than a plastic bag, but they’ll keep the worst of the rain off.
- First aid kit. Stick a basic first aid kit in another pocket. The main thing is a good stash of plasters (my kids love them, and will utilise any excuse to beg for one).
- Concentrated juice. You know the little concentrated squash capsules you can buy? They are always handy to have in a picnic bag. If you run out of the squash you bring, refill from a handy tap and then squeeze a bit of juice in there to pep it up.
- Ice packs to keep things cool. Note: these only work if you actually cool them in the first place (ie remember to put them in the freezer!)
- Baby essentials. My two are older now, but I do remember having to take a lot of gubbins for babies.
- Flask. I know, you might feel a bit like a granny with a flask, but you’ll feel smug when you have a lovely hot coffee on a feezing ‘summer’s’ day. Fill it with beverage of choice before you go out. Do not leave milky coffee in flask for more than three weeks* See point 2.
Other things for the car boot, that you don’t want to be carrying around in your backpack: folding chair for beach days (I need a chair!), spare jumpers, blanket, umbrella, stash of non perishable snacks for emergency meltdown distraction.
Ok – now have a good day out!
If you’s love some ideas for Yorkshire days out in your newsfeed then you can also follow Yorskire Wonders on Facebook.