Don't you just hate being caught short when you're out? With no drink and nowhere to buy one that's not a rip-off or a mile-long queue. Or nowhere to stow that toy they had to bring - but immediately got bored of carrying - or the jumper that's making them hot and cranky. Or the pants they peed that are making you cranky. So - what do you really need to pack to keep the show on the road when exploring with kids for the day?
A refillable bottle is the first 'must-have' and we stock a whole range of options, in glass and silicone, BPA-free plastics and lots of stainless steel models. The Liewood Anker Bottle is a great grow-with-them choice that comes with a sports lid, ideal for when they're younger, and a steel lid which turns it into normal drinking bottle when they're older. It keeps liquids hot for up to 12 hours and cold for up to 24 and can be attached to bags and buggies easily by its handy carry handle.
2. Reusable food wrappers
Along with your planet-saving refillable bottle, if you're taking a packed lunch, Haps Nordic makes smoothie bags, sandwich wrappers and snack bags that you don't have to throw away. They're easily to fill, use and wash, and can be reused time and time again. (Now give yourself a massive pat on the back.)
3. A lunchbox
Balanced meals matter, even when you're out and about, and a lunchbox that has lots of different compartments makes getting the right mix of munchables down them easier. The Munchkin Lunch Bento Box has a range of compartments to help you mix and match food groups and clever clip-in metal cutlery.
We also love this Tractor Lunch Box by Blafre which is so adorable it might make them feel keen to help out by carrying it. (We only said 'might'.)
For babies and toddlers, smaller snack boxes are lifesavers for keeping hangriness at bay. We also really rate snack cups with easy dip lids that let them serve themselves without creating mess or dropping everything on the floor.
4. Their own backpack
A backpack built for them can give them a sense of responsibility for their own stuff, and we love brands that turn leftover rubbish into something cool and useful. The Allan Backpack by Liewood is an ideal day-tripper bag, roomy enough for all of the kit they need to carry and is made from plastic bottles. Doubles a handy bag for pre-school too. Top marks.
5. Ear defenders
Not an essential for everyone, but very handy if you're heading somewhere noisy and want extra reasssurance, or have a neuro-divergent child with sensory issues. The Ear Defenders and Glasses Combo Pack from Banz is designed for babies from newborn through to 24 months, providing sound protection with padded muffs that are comfortable to wear. The stylish sunglasses offer 100% UV protection, with an elastic strap to get just the right fit. Banz makes cool ear defenders for older kids too.
6. A wet bag
Again, not for everyone, but with the new distractions of a day out, even older kids can sometimes forget to ask for the loo. A Wet Bag like this one from Bambino Mio is a lifesaver in cases of accidents - so those wet (or worse!) clothes don’t dirty anything else. Also doubles as a swim bag. Genius.
So there you have it. A handy checklist for days out and about. And remember, if you need advice on anything, our Live Chat team are waiting to help, 7am - 11pm every single day. Just hit that purple button, bottom right.