Remember when weekends used to be filled with sleeping in, brunch with girlfriends, and maybe a dinner date? Yeah, those days are gone. Long gone. My new weekend “normal” looks like sports tournaments where everyone has to be dressed and on the field by 8 AM.
Before we had our first weekend tournament, I took to the socials to ask everyone what I needed to get through the weekend. To the sports moms who have gone before me, I salute you!
- The outdoor utility wagon to haul the children, the chairs, the toys, the snacks. Basically to contain all.the.things! Bonus: it folds up so storing it is a breeze!
- The packable camping blanket. You stuff it into a tiny compact bag so it takes up minimal space but maximizes warmth. Iowa spring weather is brutal, so a warm blanket is an absolute must.
- Bleacher seat. For soccer we bring our own chairs, but for baseball having a bleacher seat is a must! Tired butts rejoice!
- A cooler. Based on the weekend and the number of people in your family, you can easily get away with something smaller. But in a pinch, a cooler doubles as a seat for someone too.
- Cooling towels. Iowa weather is finicky. You might need coffee and a blanket for mornings but by the afternoon it could be hot. These cooling towels are a great refresher for your athlete (or whiny sibling who is tired of being outside).
- Hand warmers. Like I said, Iowa weather is a beast. I’ve sat through 42 degree games and these hand warmers were great for me and for coaches and players.
- Wet wipes, hand sanitizer, and a roll of paper towels. Because we’re moms and kids (and parents) make messes.
- 2 gallon water cooler. We don’t like to use single-use plastic bottles, so this is a great option to keep everyone hydrated.
- We pack our cooler with ice packs, gatorade, sandwiches, cut-up fruit and veggies, cheese sticks, etc. You can’t always rely upon concession stands and there will be times where there isn’t enough time in between games to get food before the next game begins. Besides, if you’re like our family, we don’t want to drop a small fortune on candy, chips, and hot dogs every weekend!
- Treats. My children are not going to be happy if all of their friends are eating candy and they’re stuck with a celery stick. I always make sure to pack a baggie of candy too – tootsie pops and ring pops have been winners.
- I pack a separate bag of snacks that my athlete can eat during the game. These are things like beef sticks, applesauce pouches, trail mix, and squeeze packs of almond butter.
- Hands down, the best entertainment you can provide for your athlete’s sibling(s) is another athlete’s sibling for them. Pray for children who want to play with your children for hours on end on a Saturday.
- An extra set of clothes because kids are messy. And because the weather is finicky, I dress in layers, adding and subtracting as the day progresses.
- Sidewalk chalk
- Activity books and stickers. My kids both love paint-by-sticker books!
- Tennis ball or other soft ball
- Sunscreen and a sun hat
- Small dolls or figurines
You may have noticed I do not have devices listed. While they are definitely useful, I always try and encourage my kid spectators to do something else first and have devices as a last resort.
Okay, these are my best recommendations for sports weekend survival and spending a whole day on the field. What else would you add?
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