I decided already that we are better off taking a more relaxed approach to the whole thing. I read a blog called The Abundant Mama Project. They posted this list,quite possibly the best summer activity list I found in all my research. It's an easy list that requires minimal effort but still makes a lot of good memories. Granted, we've already done a few of the cliche activities for the summer, like mini golf and a picnic in the park. And we'll probably do a few more, but the Abundant Mama list, I hope, is the one we'll always go back to.
Besides all the activities, the other thing I read up on was how to be prepared for them. Because you might make a snap decision to stop at a park. Or a trip to Grandma's might turn into an afternoon of playing in the sprinkler. So now we're ready for those things.
(Please excuse my shadow. Also, the very best feature of my ancient Equinox? That adjustable shelf. I store my reusable shopping bags on the bottom and the groceries or stroller or whatever else goes on top.)
So, after much research, here's what stays in the car all summer...
-first aid kit
-diapers and swim diapers
-extra clothes, socks, underwear, swimsuits
-bottles of water
-baby and big kid snacks (crackers, fruit snacks, non-melty stuff)
-extra formula for baby
-wipes (baby, flushable and Clorox)
-tweezers, nail clippers and file
I combined several different lists I found on Pinterest into one big summer preparedness kit. I'm one of those people who always over-packs and over-prepares, so I don't really see us using all of these things. But it's nice to know it's all there, just in case.
And now that I'm looking at those original lists, there are a few things I forgot. Like hair elastics, clips and safety pins (from http://aunnajames.blogspot.com). Other sources:
You can find all the links on my Summer Fun Pinterest board