Monday, March 31, 2014

What to Keep in the Car: Adventure Backpack

Have you ever spontaneously stopped at a park to play or needed to turn an otherwise disappointing trip into something fun? An Adventure Backpack is the perfect thing to have for just these occasions.  An Adventure Backpack is full of activities to do whenever you need them (like when you just got there and they are already bored).  Turn that not so great tour into a great adventure instead or play at the park for hours without even worrying when you pull out the backpack.  I grabbed one of the great bags we got from the Space Foundation and filled it with all kinds of fun goodies!

Some ideas to include in your Adventure Backpack:

1. Water bottles- I have some collapsible ones so they have to be filled but I keep extra water in the car if there is no drinking fountain nearby.

2. Bubbles- I don't care if you are 100 or 1; bubbles can be highly entertaining.  Just make sure the lids are on tight or keep them in a Ziploc bag (just in case).  I usually just throw in those dollar store ones or leftovers from parties.

3. Scavenger Hunt Bingo Cards and Markers- Go search Pinterest and you'll find all kinds of great printables.  Laminate them and throw in some washable markers and you have all kinds of walks and hunts in your future.  I tried to use several different types of boards so one will work no matter where we are- hiking, neighborhood walk, Christmas light tour, etc.  I also put in window markers in case I need to keep them occupied inside the car, I can let them draw on the windows (FYI: these are great for road trips too- pretend we are in a submarine- draw what you see on the windows).

4. Water Guns- Have a water fight or do some target practice.  Try drawing a picture or writing your name on the sidewalk with them.  Or yes, make some mud or better yet help your sand castle stick together more by mixing in just enough water.

5. Pens and a Journal- Sketch what you see, encourage some poetry writing, play games on paper.  I choose pens instead of pencils so I don't have to deal with sharpening them.  Write down some group games in the back of one journal so you'll always some ideas on hand.  I just took some white paper folded in half and stapled it with a scrapbook paper cover for our notebooks.

6. Whistle- They drive me crazy but can also be great.  My rule for whistles is its an outside toy only so this is one place my kids can actually use it.  Sometimes blowing whistles helps my kids release some tension and energy so they can be good.  Plus if we are hiking, I like to know they have a whistle if we lose track of each other accidentally.

7. Small Props for Pretend Play- Simple things that can be thrown in a small bag like a plastic sheriff's badge or an astronaut's name tag to encourage the imagination to take off.  Parks take on a whole new meaning when its the Wild West.

8. Stickers- Use them as prizes for a race, calm tears after a fall, badges for learning a new skill, or just to keep the littlest ones happy...I keep stickers in my purse too and once had my legs covered in stickers but it kept him happy.

9. Passports- Draw your own stamp design for every new place you use the Adventure Backpack. Its always fun to reminisce later and see your great accomplishments.

10. Magnifying glass- Whether you want to examine some bugs or beautiful leaves, a magnifying glass is a must.  Ours is just plastic.  I ordered a whole pack from Oriental Trading so if ones breaks- no biggie, I can just replace it.

What would you put in your Adventure Backpack? Comment below, Tweet or Instagram your ideas with @cmlgill and #costours 

For more fun ideas check out my Adventure Backpack Ideas Pinterest Board!

Follow Camille's board Adventure Backpack Ideas on Pinterest.


  1. I love these great ideas -- especially for a long road trip! I'm featuring you on Family Fun Friday tomorrow!

    1. Thanks for featuring me! These are definitely good for long road trips as well.


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