Don't you hate being caught short when you're out? Without a 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?
1. A reusable bottle
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 Anker Bottle by Liewood 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 a fastener specially adapted to little hands, plus cutlery that snaps safely inside. Excellent.
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 Little Dutch Backpack is an ideal day-tripper bag, roomy enough for all of the kit they need to carry and each one is made from 10 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.
7. A portable potty
Potty training and days out. Deep breaths. You can't stay in forever just because you're 'at that stage'. And 'that stage' of needing the loo IMMEDIATELY can last for several months. (Or more!) We stock great options from OXO-Tot and Potette's 3-in-1 Portable Folding Travel Potty & Toilet Trainer Seat scores full marks for versatility. You can use disposable liners but it also has an eco-friendly reusable hard liner that you can empty out and pack away to clean properly at home. Plus when you're home you can unfold the side supports and rest it on the toilet as a trainer seat.
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, 8am - 10pm every single day. Just hit that purple button, bottom right.