What to Pack When Going Out With Children in the Summer

I know, I know. All we do is talk about the weather around here. If you are prepared to talk about the weather, anyone will have a conversation with you in England! I love living here. I really do. Where is the sun hiding, though? One minute, it is pouring down with rain, the next it is warm enough to wear flip flops and a tank top but the sun is hiding behind the clouds. Rant over (sorry!).

I live for sunshine. It is my fuel, my source of energy and my happiness gauge, all at the same time, so as soon as the big bright ball is showing its nose, I am outdoors with the kids! I am a much nicer person when I am out and about, and my children are far better behaved than if they were stuck indoors.

Every year at the start of spring, I spend half an hour or so packing a bag that stays by the front door, ready for spontaneous outings. That means not stressing about something that is meant to be relaxing (being outdoors enjoying the sun!).  I first wrote an article about this a couple of years ago. I just updated it so I could publish it again, with the addition of a short video. I hope you enjoy it!

Here is what we keep in our pre-packed bag:

  • Sunscreen – We use SunSense as it is ideal for eczema sufferers.
  • Sunglasses & hats
  • Nappies
  • Wipes – a new pack every time so the wipes do not dry out.
  • Tissues
  • A few coins – change for toilets, car park or a cold drink
  •  Snacks that do not melt – Organix cereal bars, a couple of packets of biscuits
  • A bottle of water – I always go for Evian with a sports cap (everyone including baby can use it)
  • A couple of plastic bags – can be used as bins, sick bags, bags for wet clothes…
  • Spare clothes – underwear & light outfit as well as a cardigan for each child
  • Even if you are not planning to go anywhere near water, it is a good idea to pack swimsuits for all the children, HUGGIES® Little Swimmers®  nappies as well as a couple of towels they could share. You never know; you might go past a paddling pool, a fountain or water features. HUGGIES® Little Swimmers® are an essential item in our bag for our impromptu days out in the summer. They are easy to put on and take off, and they do not expand in the water or leak. Spontaneous splashing, anyone?


 I normally add these in an insulated bag at the last minute:

  • If I have space in the freezer, I usually put two or three bottles (3/4 filled) in there the night before for water that remains cold for hours. Contact with the ice-cold bottle is also a nice way to relieve my girls’ eczema.
  • When we are going to a local park, I also pack frozen yoghurt, smooze or smoothie tubes as well as scissors for a lovely fresh treat we all enjoy as soon as we arrive at the park.

Other items you might want to include:

  • Insect repellent
  • Sand toys
  • Inflatable ball
  • Waterproofs
  • Plasters
  • Arnica

Having that bag ready by the front door means I do not have to think about what to take and I can focus on getting my four little ones ready. It is liberating to find my inner child and fully enjoy my children by sitting on the side of the paddling pool as they are having fun, splashing them, meeting friends and their little ones, cheering as they do a forward roll on the grass or jumping on the kids’ zip wire when no-one is looking.

What to Pack When Going Out With Children in the Summer

As far as snacks are concerned, I normally go for biscuits we all like as well as a pack of ‘free from’ Lazy Day Foods one for Jumpy, who has a range of allergies.

The rest of us have biscuits!

BN - Cheeky Smiles

Win a year’s supply of HUGGIES® Little Swimmers®

HUGGIES® Little Swimmers®, the UK’s number one baby swim pant, has teamed up with ‘Le Coin De Mel’ to offer one lucky winner a year’s supply of HUGGIES® Little Swimmers, worth approximately £20.

HUGGIES® Little Swimmers® has launched exclusive new designs to celebrate the release of Finding Dory, Disney© Pixar’s much anticipated new blockbuster.

Families are being encouraged to Get Set, Splash! this year and create amazing, spontaneous memories by keeping a pair of the Dory-fied pants to hand and simply adding water – whether that’s the beach, the pool or under a sprinkler.

Unlike nappies, HUGGIES® Little Swimmers® feature unique technology that stops them leaking or expanding in the water, giving mum the confidence that her little one will be protected from any little accidents.

To join in the fun, visit www.littleswimmers.co.uk for more information, top tips and advice.


How to enter the giveaway:

You can pick and choose a range of ways in which to enter. The only one you must click on to get into the draw is the one asking you to leave a blog post comment, simply answering the following question:

If you could pack just three things when going out with children in the summer, what would they be?
Entries are open until 23.59 p.m. GMT time on 12 July 2016. Good luck!

I have listed this giveaway on ThePrizeFinder, SuperLucky, Competition Database and Loquax.

We are working with HUGGIES® Little Swimmers® this year and I have received payment for this blog post, but all opinions and photos are my own. You can get HUGGIES® Little Swimmers® from the baby aisle. Click here for more information, tips and advice.    


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Pre-Packed Bag for Stress Free Summer Days out

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  1. Lovely post Mel, I really like how you approached this challenge 🙂 Such a good idea to have a bag ready, I do that too as we are forever just running out the door and at the very least I know I have suncream, hats and sunglasses!

  2. Your pre packed bag is a great idea.Certainly take the stress out of getting out the door. #CountryKids

    • It does! We have been to a different park every day this week. It has been great! We will go to the library today for the summer challenge. Excited kids!

  3. liquoriceuk says:

    Having a pre-packed bag is a great idea – so much easier than trying to rush around at the last minute getting things together. Will have to try and do this so we are better prepared for days out too! 🙂

  4. Sounds like a great plan to me! I’m going to start packing a bag the night before as the mornings are always hectic here too and we only have 2! #countrykids

  5. Hi, I’ve got a similar blogpost coming up, as I have to work, I’ve been trying to think of ways to save time so we don’t eat into our precious family time at weekends 🙂 Found this post really interesting. This park sounds great, I’m so jealous that you have something so good so close.

    • We have a lot of very good parks in our area and we went to a different one every day this week. Looking forward to reading your post!

  6. Alexandra Mercer (Life of mummy) says:

    It does actually seem less stressful when we go out too, there’s just more space to run about! x

  7. Your blog is lovely and great post, nice to see someone as organised as me x

  8. It is definitely good to get out isn’t it? being stuck indoors is a sure fire way to send you all a bit crazy i think! The pre-packed bag is a genius idea and I try and keep a similar one so that we don’t have too much of a rush. I can imagine it is even more important with lots of kiddies! xx #countrykids

  9. We have a bag in the boot packed ready for the beach (as we live so close to several good ones) which just needs to be replenished with a dry towel and bathers after each time, it’s been a life saver several times! I couldn’t agree more about getting out and being less grumpy!

    Nipping over from Country Kids.

  10. Such a great idea to have a ready to grab bag, kept for days out, I certainly need to take a leaf out of your book and do this it would save a lot of rushing around ! #Countrykids

    • This bag always ready near the front door means I have felt confident to leave the house with my four little ones every day for impromptu visits to parks, paddling pools, the library. Brilliant!

  11. Love the bag and your handy list of things to go in it. Always prepared for a Country Kids hour when things are this organised. We have a bag at the ready for the beach like this. It really helps. Thank you for sharing your idea with me on Country Kids.

  12. That is such a brilliant idea Mel, so much better than running around like a headless chicken on the day you decide to take a trip!


  13. ~Merlinda~ (@pixiedusk) says:

    When there are lots of stress inside the house the only way to cool our heads is to go out as well. As we live near the beach our only essential is a hat and a bottle of water. We apply spf at home. When our heads are cleared we go back home and then go out again when the beach is emptier at night. #Countrykids

  14. What a fantastic post! Loved reading it. Such a great idea too, we’re all guilty of throwing things together last minute! Im really missing being out and about with my 10 yr old, I’m due my 2nd baby anytime now so Im just too tired and not coping with the heat well to be able to take him on many day trips at the mo!
    Lianne | TheBrunetteSays…

    • Whenever I throw things in a bag at the last minute, I either end up carrying way too much, or forgetting essentials like sunscreen or water! Good luck for your last few weeks of pregnancy.

  15. What a brilliant idea, I don’t have a bag ready but I do have a list and it becomes fundamental o excursions and days out 🙂

  16. jenniferhowze156 says:

    Nice post and great idea to have a go-bag ready at any time. I too find myself running round getting this and that. I end up throwing in so much stuff the bag weighs 2 tons. Also love that BN was the summer holiday biscuit. What great memories.

    • I tend to do the same thing: throw everything in a bag (kitchen sink included) if I have not got a bag ready. At the moment, going out on my own with the four little ones, I try to make it light and manageable. The biscuits did not last long!

  17. FANTASTIC idea!! I hate running around in the last minute packing these bags… I’m not calm, relaxed, patient mama in those moments!! I will definitely be doing this…
    Suncream too – I can’t understand why we only buy one at once?! It means you’re always looking for it and it’s in a new place every time you need it!

    Thanks for linking to #brilliantblogposts 🙂


    • No worries hun; it was a real pleasure linking with you! Ha ha, so true about the suncream. I have just bought a second one so we always have one in my handbag and one in the pre-packed bag! x

  18. Michelle at Bod for tea says:

    This Summer I’ve ditched my leather bucket bag for a rucksack and stuffed it full of all the things that I think we’ll need for our days out, much as you have. The only thing I’d add to your lost is antibacterial hand wash for mucky hands when you’re not near a sink. We’re big fans of SunSense at Bod Towers too – have you tried the roll-on? It’s awesome. And those biscuits look delicious! Great post!

    • Great idea to add the antibacterial hand gel. We always use the roll on SunSense toddler milk. The children love putting it on themselves.

  19. Angela Treadway says:

    Sunscreen, hats and baby wipes! X

  20. kimneville1 says:

    Sun cream, pampers wipes and snacks

  21. barbedwire71 says:

    lots of baby wipes, drinks and sunblock

  22. Ben Audsley says:

    extra clothes, a towel and some sweets

  23. cluckyhen0 says:

    Wipes, raisins and sunscreen

  24. liane mccreanor says:

    Wipes – what would we do without them? lol Sunscreen and an ipad for entertainment. You can never have too much Peppa Pig, right?

  25. Paula Readings says:

    Mine would be.. wipes, nappy & bottle.

  26. rowena wood says:

    Hey, thanks for the amazing competition! For my little one I would pack sun cream to keep her skin from burning, A mini picnic and a towel for those spontaneous jump in the fountain moments!

  27. Darren says:

    Suncreme, Baby Wipes, Water

  28. Elizabeth Hinds says:

    Baby wipes, suncream and snacks! 🙂

  29. Claire Scott says:

    Suncream, blanket and bottles of water for me, great post lovely idea!

  30. Emma Meach says:

    The three things I have to take are,
    Nappies, baby wipes and sun cream.
    My little girl is disabled so has to wear swim nappies for days at the beach or swimming, wiped clean everything up, and sun cream because my kids are so fair that they burn just looking at the sun. X

  31. Amanda Jaggard says:

    Hats, sun cream and drinks for the little ones.

  32. Michael Rose says:

    My three things would be, food, drink, sun cream as I know first hand how bad it hurt getting burnt

  33. christine shelley says:

    Sun cream, wipes and juice

  34. Claire Nutman says:

    Wet wipes of course, healthy snacks and a sunhat x

  35. caroline lyons says:

    Wipes, Suncream and Water!

  36. Dawn Samples says:

    Great ideas, I need to get more organised when taking my son out as I always forget something x

  37. Karolina Rozwarska says:

    wipes, water and purse!

  38. emma walters says:

    suncream, hats & baby wipes 🙂

  39. Lovely Post !! You are a super woman managing things so well. You are going to see me here more often.

  40. keri2016 says:

    Wipes nappys and snacks but that’s a day dream bag always seem to carry 2 to 3 bags everywhere if only

  41. daniel baugh says:

    sun cream food and drink. they can always make their own entertainment

  42. abbyed33 says:

    sun cream, a hat and a drink

  43. Isabel O says:

    I never would have thought of having a prepacked going out bag. You always think of the hospital bag and the nappy bag but not the sunny day bag. Good idea though! 🙂
    It’s a really hard question to think of just three as kids need about ten thousand things to get ’em through the day it seems like. But I reckon sun cream as a definite number one, then baby wipes (they solve most messes/spills) and a big bottle of water or sugar free squash.

  44. Sally Collingwood says:

    Fun, happiness and love!

  45. Shivon Davis says:

    Nappys, Baby wipes and Drink

  46. kelly mobbs says:

    Suncream, Hat and baby wipes

  47. melanie stirling says:

    Wetwipes,suncream and insect repellent.

  48. Joanne Hutchings says:

    If I could pack just three things I’d go with wipes, water and suntan lotion X

  49. Jo Carroll says:

    My three essentials are my little boys’ kids tablet for videos, games and music to keep him occupied, plenty of water to drink and wet wipes for all the sticky mess he gets into. x

  50. Kim Styles says:

    I would always pack suncream , first aid kit and bottled water

  51. robyn297 says:

    Wipes, nappies and a muslin

  52. Lucy I says:

    This is a great idea, i would pack sun cream, juice and a hat

  53. Anna Stimson says:

    I always pack Wipes, water and sun cream in my handbag at this time of year

  54. Kerry Taylor says:

    Suncream, wipes and snacks. We can go just about anywhere with just these!

  55. Natalie Crossan says:

    Sunscreen hat and baby wipes x

  56. winnie says:

    sunglasses, hat and suncream

  57. Sunglasses, suncream and water

  58. Pam Smith says:

    Snacks, drinks and wet wipes

  59. Penny H says:

    Fantastic idea! Mine would be suncream, wipes and drinks.

  60. karen taylor says:

    Will be pacling my little beach tent too to keep the sun off while baby naps x

  61. Martina Pichova says:

    Baby wipes, sun cream and drinks.

  62. Emma thackery says:

    Nappies, wipes and sun cream

  63. laura stewart says:

    money, baby wipes and toys x

  64. Amandeep Sibia says:

    Suncream, snacks and water.

  65. Astra coath says:

    I would have to take baby wipes (useful for everything!), water and suntan lotion x

  66. Kirsty Hosty says:

    Loving the prepacked bag, I would have to take Baby Wipes, Money and Sun tan lotion

  67. Diana Croos says:

    Nappies, Wipes , Sunscreen

  68. xgembeanx says:

    nappies, suncream, water

  69. leanne weir says:

    drink, wipes, clothes

  70. craftywren says:

    wipes, money and suncream

  71. Solange says:

    Baby wipes, sunscreen and snacks.

  72. Samantha O'D says:

    hats, sum cream and wipes

  73. kezzy999 says:

    A prepacked bag is a great idea … The three things that are a must have are – Suncream, Hat and Water

  74. Kelly says:

    Nappies, suncream and snacks!

  75. hannonle says:

    Bottle of water, Sunscreen, Money – to buy anything else we needed! (is that cheating? haha)

  76. Tasha Hamilton says:

    Sun cream, sun hat and beaker with water

  77. Stephanie Tsang says:

    I would pack sunscreen, hat and sunglasses.

  78. sadiewoohoo says:

    wet wipes, sun cream and nappies

  79. Rachel Butterworth says:

    Wipes, sun cream & a drink.

  80. Hazel Murphy says:

    Baby wipes , nappies and lots of patience !

  81. Kate Leather says:

    Sun cream, sun hat, wipes

  82. Tammy Tudor says:

    water, suncream, wipes

  83. Laura Marshall says:

    I’m currently pregnant with my first children – due twins in Dec! I think I’d pack suncream, snacks and a comfy blanket for naps…

  84. Carrie-Anne Brown says:

    Sun cream, water and snacks 🙂

  85. Simon tutthill says:

    Wet wipes,water and a game

  86. tee simpson says:

    Suncream money and baby wipes

  87. mandydoherty65 says:

    The three things would be Suncream, wipes and drinks

  88. claire woods says:

    water, suncream, sunhat

  89. stephanie whitehurst says:

    Suncream, hat and snacks

  90. Katherine McDonald says:

    Wet wipes, nappies, money

  91. Lizzy Cooper says:

    Wet wipes, sun block & nappies!

  92. jessica catherine says:

    sun screen, wet wipes and snacks

  93. sarah clegg says:

    snacks-wet wipes and suncream

  94. Pam Francis Gregory says:

    Sunscreen, wipes & snacks

  95. melissa crowe says:


  96. Kim Styles says:

    I am looking at your approach to packing an organised bag for all outings now – I even have one for the dog!

  97. Julie Ward says:

    Tissues/wipes, sunscreen and my purse (with cash in it kids don’t come cheap)

  98. Carly Belsey says:

    Money to buy ice cream, baby wipes to wipe the ice cream off of everywhere on their faces and bodies and suncream 🙂 Thanks

  99. Water, wipes and nappies

  100. kim heeps says:

    Baby wipes, Robinsons squashed and a spare pair of trousers!

  101. Lisa Wilkinson says:

    Sun tan lotion, water, hat

  102. Kerry Kilmister says:

    I always try not to forget sun cream, baby wipes and snacks

  103. Kerry Brown says:

    Sun cream, spare clothes and ice cream money

  104. buddymagoo says:

    suncream, hats, and waterbottles

  105. Laura Nice says:

    Sun cream, wipes and a spare hat!

  106. Tammy Bastian says:

    suncream, juice and snacks

  107. Vickie Jackson says:

    Sunscreen, water, snacks

  108. Jess Powell (Babi a Fi) says:

    Sun cream (gotta live in hope), wet wipes (to be prepared), phone (for when I can take no more and need reinforcements…)

  109. Allan Fullarton says:

    Always carry wetwipes with you wherever you go! They’re a god send!

  110. Laura H says:

    I would pack nappies, sun cream and drinks/bottles of milk

  111. Dawn Hull says:

    It would have to be water, some snacks and plenty of high factor sun lotion.

  112. Addie Roe says:

    Always suncream, drink and the inevitable baby wipes x

  113. Ruby Spiteri says:

    Wipes, water and suncream

  114. Dale Dow says:

    Sun Cream, wipes and an umbrella (we are in Britain after all!)

  115. Eleanor Wigmore says:

    Nappies, wipes and snacks!

  116. Andrew Hindley says:

    Nappies, Wipes and Suncream

  117. Rich Tyler says:

    Wipes, Food & Peppa Pig!

  118. Elspeth McMillan says:

    Sun cream, hat and drinks

  119. Charlotte Cook says:

    Suncream, Food and Lots of Water

  120. steph lovatt says:

    Wipes, sun cream, drinks

  121. Your pre packed bag is a great idea, amazing x

  122. Holly Walker says:

    water, wipes and and suncream

  123. Frances Lauder says:

    Sunscreen wipes and a drink

  124. gemma hendry says:

    wipes suncream n juice

  125. liz ferguson says:

    water, wipes and nappies

  126. Caroline Bourne says:

    I’d take suncream, juice, and wipes

  127. Norman innes says:

    His blanket , baby wipes and his milk

  128. fleaing says:

    Suncream, wipes and drink!

  129. Hayley Todd says:

    The 3 items I would pack for a day out with the little ones would be sun cream, sun hats and wet wipes!

  130. Jo McPherson says:

    Suncream, wipes and a camera

  131. mum2amiracle says:

    Im trying to get out more with my little one before he starts school in September. This is a great idea easier to just go and will give me more time to spend with my boy. Im stealing this to make life easier. Thanks!

  132. Chris Bull says:

    Sun block – Sun hat – spf sun clothing (great invention)

  133. cathryn1 says:

    juice snacks and baby wipes

  134. Anneka Hulse says:

    wipes, drinks and hats

  135. christine westlake says:

    suncream, hat , water change of clothes

  136. claire little says:

    water wipes and sun cream

  137. rockandrollpussycat212 says:

    A change of clothes, suncream and a camera

  138. Diana says:

    Sun cream, sun hat and water : )

  139. Maria P says:

    suncream, sunhat, towels

  140. Andrew emery says:

    I always pack – Sun cream – wet wipes – and grapes ?

  141. Laura Harrison says:

    Sun cream, wet wipes and water xxx

  142. Jamie Millard says:

    suncream, nappies, drinks

  143. Jean Vaughan says:

    If just three things then it would be water wipes, sunscreen and nappies

  144. lynn neal says:

    water< sunblock and wipes!

  145. Matt Phew Colburn says:

    suncream, wet wipes and water 🙂

  146. Denielle Nicol says:

    Baby’s wipes, nappies, sunscreen

  147. Jess Berkeley says:

    I always pre pack a bag, you never know what children might get up too! I love to be prepared!!
    My 3 things would definitely be lots of baby wipes, change of clothes and lots of water 🙂
    Brilliant competition:) xx

  148. Karen Howden says:

    Wet Wipes, a carrier bag for rubbish, treasures or wet clothes and suncream

  149. Hayley Colburn says:

    Nappies, Wipes and Suncream 😀

  150. Simone Kilshaw says:

    hi what a fab idea, mine would be wipes, sun cream and snacks

  151. tricia Cowell says:

    Wipes suncream and a dinosaur, they are all necessary for my 2 year old Grandson

  152. mynellie says:

    a towel, sunscrean plus big bottle of water

  153. katy bulcock says:

    great idea 🙂 when going out with our son the three main essentials would be his train box (includes a small talking thomas train and some old tickets which he likes to hand to people) wipes! – there a must for a messy toddler and pennies as he likes to buy his own snacks like a big boy 🙂

  154. Lyndsay Spencer says:

    Baby wipes, juice to drink and sun cream

  155. Deborah Mackenzie says:

    snacks, towel and suncream

  156. Jemma Webster says:

    His toy monkey, his ocean music and muslin squares 🙂

  157. Pia Stephens says:

    With three little ones I attend to pack as much as I can the previous night, sandwiches ready and foiled (no moist bits in or they get soggy mind you), cucumber slices and cherry tomatoes into containers, drinks into the fridge etc.

    If I’d have to choose just 3 items it would have to be sun cream, purse (for ice creams, snacks, drinks etc) and wet wipes 😉

  158. Lisa Mauchline says:

    This is such a great idea. My 3 things would be sun cream, nappies and wipes.

  159. Emma gough says:

    Sun cream, wipes and water – all very essential items 🙂

  160. Nicole Farao says:

    suncream, a hat, wetwipes

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