Monday, March 18, 2013

How to be a traveling soccer mom (or football or softball..)

        If I make a list for you of all the extra-curricular activities my two oldest kids are involved in, you would think I have lost my mind! But, in my defense, we homeschool and both my husband and I work from home, which means no extra school work after 4:00 pm, adjusted bed times and meal times when necessary and—most importantly—ample family time during the hours most others are at work.       

       Anyway, since we have been/are involved in so many activities with the kids, much of it involving travel, I have started packing things for our time at the field and on the road. As the spring season starts for a lot of programs, I thought I would share with you how we save time and, most importantly, money!
      First of all, I want to say I was terrible at this little league thing for a couple of years! A lot of trial and error until I figured out what to carry, how to carry it, and how much to bring.
      Second, there have been stages in this process because I have a 10 and 11 year old that have been participating in sports since I was pregnant with my 4 year old.

      Finally, here is how I "Travel Ball!"

We bring a small cooler with water, Gatorade, apple juice for my toddler and milk (or formula for babies). In the top of the cooler, I put a cake carrier with snacks. The cake carrier allows a lot of cold in because it isn't insulated, but keeps everything from getting wet---plus they are only $5 at Wal-Mart!

fits perfectly in the above cooler!

Here is a list of snacks I keep in the cake carrier:
  • 1-2 bananas (a MUST if one of the kids may become dehydrated--this has only been an issue for us one time, but bananas are great for muscles cramps since they are packed with Potassium.)
  • A green apple (my kids like the green) sliced and put in a ziploc snack size baggie
  • A bag of beef jerky (protein for my boys--hubby and oldest--after a tough football game)
  • Some crackers and peanut butter
  • Grapes
  • Goldfish
  • Granola bars
  • Nutria grain bars
  • Teddy Graham Cookies or Nilla Wafers
  • The small containers of Peanut butter (for apple dipping, if wanted)
  • 1-2 small apple sauce containers
  • A couple of plastic spoons and a plastic knife
  • other possibilities are a container of ranch dressing and a baggie of carrots of snap peas.
  • If the game is far away, I will also stuff a few ham and cheese sandwiches in the box. I will take other things out if I need to in order to make them fit. You will be surprised at how many things you can shove in the cake carrier!
Non-food items are probably even more important to us, and I carry them in a Sterilite  15 Qt. container instead of a backpack because it is clear and you can put stuff in a certain way so that it stays put. That means no digging around in a backpack for 10 minutes trying to find sunblock!

I haven't re-packed this one yet. I took it on our last vacation for an emergency kit!

Which brings me to the list (most everything is in trial or small sizes but some things are larger like the sunblock:
  • Sunblock!!! SPF 50 or higher apply every 2 hours...and use it for YOURSELF as well!
  • A small amount of cash in small case you need something from the concession stand.
  • Hair brush
  • Some hair ties
  • Extra sunglasses
  • Band aids
  • Neosporin
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Ponchos (we live in Florida and it rains all the time! And who has any hands left for an umbrella with all the stuff we are carrying LOL)
  • An umbrella (mostly for shade if needed)
  • A roll of toilet paper (lots of places we visit either have none in the bathrooms or run out soon after we arrive!)
  • A spray bottle of water (I use this to put my daughters hair back in a pony tail.)
  • Extra batteries for our misters.
  • Eye black
  • Extra mouth guards
  • After bite medication
  • Mosquito spray
  • Wet wipes
  • Ibuprofen (adult and children)
  • alcohol wipes
  • We use these nifty little misters to keep cool during the hot summer games. Often, we are able to sit right behind the team on the sidelines and I will spray them when they walk by. (The coaches keep hand towels in a cooler full of ice water for them too, so they are well taken care of!)

  • If you have babies along for the ride, you will want to make sure you pack them age appropriate snacks or jars of baby food as well as a few diapers.
You need chairs with built in umbrellas!
When my youngest was a baby, I also carried a pack n' go!

It sounds like a lot, I know! If you aren't prepared, though, you could be stuck with a screaming baby in a car for 2 hours and 2 sunburned, dehydrated children playing outside! If everyone carries their own chair (we have the kind that fold up in to the bags with a shoulder strap), and you have a rolling cooler, you can easily transport these things across the field in one trip! :)

 Go Team Mom!

No comments:

Post a Comment