I survived my first Saturday as a soccer mom this weekend and it was a learning experience. I spent nearly 3 hours in the sun watching my kids play. In temperatures pushing 105 degrees that is no small feat. I quickly learned that there are certain items that make surviving soccer or sports Saturdays far more bearable. Here are the 17 essentials soccer moms need on the sidelines.
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In the southwest where I live, water just does not stay cold for very long unless you have an insulated water bottle. We bought some last year that are just amazing. We took a road trip and the ice was still there 12 hours later. Whether or not you are sipping hot or cold drinks during the games, you will want a bottle that will keep your beverage the right temperature.
When your child is on a sports team, at some point you will be responsible for bringing snacks for the whole team. A small cooler will help keep the snacks ready to eat at the end of the game.
It never hurts to have some extra snacks like Goldfish Crackers in your trunk in case you forget them some day.
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Your child’s coach and sports league should have first aid materials available for you. If they don’t, you will want to carry a small first aid kit with you. Even if your child on the field doesn’t get hurt other children could.
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5. Baby Wipes
I used to think we wouldn’t buy baby wipes once my kids got out of diapers. I was so wrong. Baby wipes are so versatile for cleaning up faces and messes that we still keep a pack in both cars and several boxes around our home. Kids can get messy at sports games or after snack. So no matter where we travel I always carry a pack with us.
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No one wants to have a soccer mom tan!
7. Bug Spray
If you live in humid mosquito territory or your kids play where there may be ticks. This is a must!
I really like these bags for transporting wet or dirty clothes. You can also throw them in the swim bag for wet suits during the summer!
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Comfortable chairs are a must at your child’s sporting events. You never know what kind of conditions there might be on a playing field. If you have allergies you will definitely not want to sit on the ground and risk triggering them. Chairs will also help keep the temperature regulated better than the ground and keep you away from bugs such as fire ants.
If for some reason you don’t have the ability to carry chairs or the budget for them, a good blanket is a must. It also works well as a place for kids to sit and for babies to crawl around safely. I’ve learned over the years that the more waterproof and dirt proof a blanket is the better. It is so much easier to clean off. You don’t want to spend hours picking dried grass out of a regular blanket or drag sand to your car if you use it at the beach.
Once you have all your sports survival gear, you will want to have a way to get it back and forth to the field. One of the fields my daughter has to play at is quite far from the parking lot and down a long hill. I can’t wait to use our wagon to get everything back up the hill next week, instead of carrying it.
Changing Weather Conditions
No matter where you live you will probably encounter some kind of weather system during your children’s sporting events. Many leagues don’t cancel games unless the weather is life threatening. That is why you should be prepared. We have to suffer through horrendously hot weather where we live, but as the weather cools we also have to prepare for cooler temperatures and rain. Many parents have to endure a whole season of rain and even snow. These tools will help get you through it.
12. Shade Umbrella or Structure
(Pick the One that Fits Your Needs and Budget)
If you don’t have money for more expensive shade coverage a sun umbrella will go a long way in protecting you from heat and rain. It’s not perfect, but it will do the job.
These little umbrellas are a step up from a traditional sun umbrella. They allow you to be hands free and can attach to your chair or wagon.
If you can afford a little more for your shade coverage invest in a beach umbrella that can be staked in the ground. These often provide plenty of coverage and are lightweight.
I saw many of these at our children’s soccer games. They seem to be a great way to keep out the sun.
This is the type of shelter we invested in. I like the type of coverage it provided, the cost and the fact that we could actually take it to the beach or camping.
This is the mother of all shade structures and also a very popular choice for many families. This is great for sheltering the whole team or family.
Misting fans are a great invention. They are a great way to cool yourself down in the hot sun. If that is too expensive, you can always pick up a generic spray bottle at your local dollar store. If you want a really great way to spray down your child’s whole team and keep them cool, you can also invest in a gallon sized sprayer. Many people use these for spraying bugs or chemicals, but I saw a dad fill a clean one with water and spray down the whole team. So creative!
14. Cooling Towels
When it is super hot out, these towels are great for cooling down spectators and players alike.
If you can’t completely avoid the sun or rain with an umbrella or shade structure, a hat works well for those long game days and practice. Grab your favorite baseball hat or a waterproof sun hat.
I can survive without many of these items on a hot day, but what I cannot survive without is a good pair of polarized sunglasses. I love how inexpensive they have become.
17. Warm Blanket
A waterproof blanket is great for sitting on the field but it won’t keep you warm. If you live in a cooler climate or your weather will turn colder during the season you will want to have a warmer blanket. There is nothing worse than shivering through a late night practice or windy and rainy game.
No matter where you live you will want to invest in some of these items to help you survive your seasons cheering your children on from the sidelines. It doesn’t matter if they participate in soccer, football, baseball or another outdoor sport. Many of these items are very versatile and can serve you in multiple ways in years to come. You can also use them for camping, on vacation, a day at the lake or at the beach.
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