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Summer Car Kit

Summer Car Kit - How to put together a summer car kit

It’s only the second week of May but here in Arizona summer is here to stay. For us that means our days are full of splash pads, city pools, picnics in the shade, BBQs and pretty much bouncing around town all day. Inevitably I end up out of the house wishing I had this or that with me, so I have started to keep a few things in my car for those occasions. It’s perfect for those afternoons when you decide to make an impromptu stop at the splash pad so the kiddo can get out a little energy before dinner.

I like to call it my Summer Car Kit – I’ll share below my must have basics for our kit, but it can be tweaked to fit your needs.  I have a toddler so mine if full of things like snacks and diapers, but feel free to swap out or add things that you think you’ll need.

First things first, you will need a container to hold all your stuff. I picked up a clear plastic tote bin from Walmart for a couple bucks. Next is the fun part -filling it!

Summer Car Kit - How to put together a summer car kit

Spare change of clothes – this one is pretty obvious, kids get dirty/muddy (or you know, poop happens). I also keep a spare pair of socks in there too.

Swimming suit – this is a back up suit I got just for this car kit. My little guy practically lives in swimwear in the summer so it doesn’t hurt to have one for on the go!

Hat – I’ve got a cute little bucket hat and a baseball cap

Shoes – I like to have a pair of sandal style shoes for those last minute splash pad trips

Sunglasses – it’s Arizona – we live in these, right?

Beach Towel – I like to have a small lighter weight one so it doesn’t take up much room. It can also double as a blanket for the grass

Sunscreen – This is a MUST! I use a baby one for my little guy and a spray sunscreen for myself.

Summer Car Kit - How to put together a summer car kit

Toys – I have a small little set of sand/water toys from the Dollar Spot at Target

Baby Wipes –Or something like Clorox wipes would work too!

First Aid Kit

Snacks – I love having packets of freeze dried fruit on hand for snacking or raisins (plus a Larabar for me!)

Reusable Tote Bag – Or a couple grocery bags work too. Great for trash, stinky diapers, wet name it!

Diapers – I have both swim diapers and regular diapers

Hand Sanitizer

Stuff for Mom – I threw in an extra pair of sunglasses and a little bag with hair ties and bobby pins just in case
Summer Car Kit - How to put together a summer car kit

I also like to keep a fold up picnic blanket in my car and our lightweight stroller in my car as well.

So there you have it! My Summer Car Kit all ready for summer adventures around the valley! Is there anything you would add to yours?

Looking for more summer fun?  Check out these ideas!

Guide for Summer Fun in the Valley fbp (1)

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24 Responses to Summer Car Kit

  1. Kristian May 30, 2016 at 5:50 pm #

    Do you find that the heat causes the sunscreen to leak? Or do you take the kit in and out?

    • Lynze June 1, 2016 at 6:29 pm #

      That was my thought as well as the snacks. My car gets super hot in the summer. Would it be better in the trunk?

      • nicolewhite
        nicolewhite June 3, 2016 at 3:39 pm #

        Hey Lynze! I like to keep snacks in there that can withstand the heat. Our favorite is freeze dried fruit!. I have an SUV so my trunk isn’t exactly separate, but if i had a car I would totally keep this kit in my trunk

    • nicolewhite
      nicolewhite June 3, 2016 at 3:36 pm #

      Hi Kristian! I haven’t had any problems with it leaking (yet) but we haven’t hit our crazy summer temps yet. I will probably toss mine into a ziplock bag just in case it leaks!

    • Andrea May 14, 2018 at 12:33 pm #

      I thought that it was bad to have sunscreen at such high temperatures too? I could be getting this confused with bottled water haha!

  2. Lulu May 31, 2016 at 11:18 am #

    And baby powder!! It’s perfect for removing sand of your feet or hands. Shake a generous amout on the area and the sand will just shake off!! The baby powder removes the moister from your skin allowing the sand to easliy come off. If you prefer something more natural, you can try cornstarch!!

    • nicolewhite
      nicolewhite June 3, 2016 at 3:40 pm #

      LOVE that idea Lulu! I definitely use that trick when we are at the beach. Now you have me wishing Arizona was closer to the beach…*sigh*

  3. Leigh June 10, 2016 at 5:55 am #

    Sunscreen shouldn’t be left in the car – it looses effectiveness of it gets too hot. Even on the beach we store it in the cooler. Everything else sounds useful!

    • nicolewhite
      nicolewhite June 15, 2016 at 2:02 pm #

      Thanks for the tip Leigh!

  4. Beth June 11, 2016 at 1:05 pm #

    Bug spray too!

    • nicolewhite
      nicolewhite June 15, 2016 at 2:03 pm #

      Good idea, Beth! I might have to add some to our bin!

  5. Emily April 1, 2017 at 11:31 am #

    Was searching for summer fun bag suggestions and this was exactly what I needed! Thanks! 😉

    • Nicole White
      Nicole White May 2, 2017 at 8:59 am #

      Glad to help, Emily!

  6. Erin May 16, 2017 at 7:31 pm #

    I keep some bubbles and a ball as well for unplanned trips to the park. I also keep instant ice packs for bumps and falls.

    • Nicole White
      Nicole White May 23, 2017 at 11:44 am #

      Erin! You’re a genius! I love the bubbles and ball idea! Totally adding these to ours since my toddler loves both 🙂

  7. Lulu June 11, 2017 at 5:54 am #

    Where do you put your groceries?

    • Joann June 22, 2018 at 7:19 am #

      Same thing I thought. LOL She mentioned she has an SUV in another comment, so she probably just has more space.

  8. Jennie May 5, 2018 at 11:19 pm #

    I would add a gallon of water. Even though it’d be like drinking hot tea when out in the sun it’s always nice to have available just in case. And maybe one of those fans that connects to a spray bottle for me!

  9. Melissa May 25, 2018 at 8:22 am #

    You say baby wipes or Clorox wipes? Clorox wipes would be very dangerous to use on kiddos. We also keep honest bug spray and a thin linnen picnic/beach blanket in our bin – if you roll it vs folding it – it takes very little space!

  10. Margaret June 3, 2018 at 2:51 pm #

    You should add a travel size baby powder. It helps get the sand off. And little boys get sand everywhere. Pain free removal.

  11. Briana June 4, 2018 at 4:07 am #

    A good bug spray and sunscreen that’s safe for 6months and up, DEET/free is Bug guard. I use it on my whole family and keeps me from carrying so many different bottles. I use the Blue sun lotion on my little guy because he doesn’t like when I spray him lol.

  12. MrsMom June 10, 2018 at 5:20 pm #

    We do this too! We live in Florida so we keep all our beach gear in the car. Saves on having to repack it all each time! We have floats, boogie boards, sunscreen & bug spray, towels (after they’ve been washed and dried again) hat, snorkel gear, 2 beach blankets and even beach chairs for the adults!

  13. Susie June 26, 2018 at 1:03 pm #

    I keep a jug of tap water in the back- not for drinking- but for washing sticky hands or sand off feet.

  14. Stephanie, One Caring Mom July 11, 2018 at 7:09 am #

    Such great tips here. I loved reading through the comments and seeing what everyone else includes in their summer car kit!!

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