Family days and outdoor adventures fill your soul... but if you're not well prepared (and we’ve all been there) they can be equally soul crushing!
As I’ve come to learn over the years putting a little effort into prepping and planning the night before can go a long way to making sure that the big humans, along with the little humans, have a great day. Just 4 simple steps and you’re on your way…
1. it’s all in the details
Check tickets, date, times, admissions and if possible, get someone else to check them over too. There is nothing more devastating than an over-excited youngster that thought they were going to the circus only to get shut down at the gate!
With so many distractions and things on your mind, it is possible to misread or overlook something so always take a moment to look over the finer details.
Make sure all e-tickets are easily accessible and perhaps print hard copies as a back-up, and pack into your bag or backpack. It’s probably a good time to make sure your myki’s are topped up too (if you’ll be catching public transport) and safely in your wallet.
2. get dressed for success
First point of call, your weather app! Check out the forecast and then based on your planned activity, arrange suitable clothing for the whole family as well as spares.
Be it beanies and gumboots, hats and sunscreen, spare undies and socks – it’s always a good idea to have it ready to go the night before so you don’t forget anything and so you’re not running around like a headless chook in the morning trying to make breakfast, dress the kids, pack for the day, drink coffee and brush your teeth – all at the same time!
Lay the kids clothes out for them so at least the older ones can get on with dressing themselves. And have all the spare and extra bits and pieces packed away in your bag or backpack and leave it at the front door.
Make sure to include some spare plastic bags for any wet or dirty items along the way.
3. road tripping activities to beat the ‘are we there yets’
If you’re spending more time than usual in the car, it’s always a good idea to be prepared with activities to keep the kids entertained.
Perhaps some coloring books, paper and pencils will cut it, just place them in the car so they are ready to go. If you’re looking for something a little more involved (and time consuming) try these fun games that use the same materials and are easily adaptable for little and big kids…
Bingo: Write down a list of 20 things you are likely to see whilst in the car. This could be a petrol station, a red car, a yellow van, a motorcycle, a particular fast food restaurant – you get the idea.
For littlies, you could all work from the same list and for the older kids, you could come up with separate lists. Then everyone keeps their eyes peeled, searching for the items and places on their list and crossing them off as they spot them.
And of course, the first person to cross everything off calls bingo and is the winner! For extra fun, bring prizes that can be awarded like a cheeky treat or perhaps the winner gets to choose what music you’ll listen to.
Alphabet Race: Write down the alphabet on your piece of paper. As you drive along and look out the window, spot and write down things you see – starting with each letter.
The first person to complete the whole alphabet wins. Again, with littlies you can work together and with the bigger kids work separately and get competitive!
4. food, glorious food
Unless you want to stop for snacks and spend a fortune every time someone says ‘I’m hun-gry’ then bringing plenty of food is a no brainer. When it comes to preparing the night before, just be mindful of foods that will stay fresh and tasty overnight and throughout the following day.
b.box lunchboxes are ideal out and about companions because they have separate compartments to keep foods fresh and kids can easily access what they want, when they want.
Plus, they pack a punch and are big enough to accommodate big appetites to keep active kids energised throughout the whole day. For smaller appetites, there’s always the mini lunchbox.
Keep hangry at bay with snacks like fruit, vegie sticks, crackers, cheese, sandwiches and more! And then if you happen to come across a gelato truck you can happily treat the kids knowing they’ve had healthy & nutritious foods throughout the day.
And finally, try to get a good night’s rest. So that on the day, there is nothing left to do but relax and enjoy every moment with your precious littlies … except for chasing after them taking happy snaps of course!