What's in Your Summer Bag? 6 Things a Mom Should Always Have on Hand

Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff
What do you carry in your summer bag?
What do you carry in your summer bag?

A 2007 study reported that the average woman's handbag weighed nearly seven pounds. Apparently, the stat went down in 2010to three pounds, as we started carrying smaller tech gadgets. But those numbers can't be accurate for moms, especially over the summer.

Does the content of your handbag change in the summer? Mine does. It became noticeably heavier this past week. Like Allison over at Petit Elefant, I suddenly was carrying more stuff. Summer stuff...for my kids.

Along with my own personal items -- sunglasses, makeup, wallet, iWhatever, a notebook and pens -- I have several things I only keep in my purse during the summer months. And I'm guessing you'll likely have these items in your bag as well. Check out these summer "mom bag" essentials:

Snacks. Kids seem to be hungry all the time during the summer. Be sure to carry simple snacks at all times. I usually tote apple slices, cheese sticks and a few Z Bars. If my kids don't eat them, I will!

A water bottle
. Kids play hard and you need to keep them hydrated. Even if they've gotten into the habit of keeping their own water bottles, they'll run out quickly. (See above comment about food.) Again, if they don't drink it, you will.)

Sunscreen. You and your kids will spend far more time outdoors than you can imagine, and you'll want to protect everyone's skin from potential sun damage. Whether you need to carry your own sunscreen and a kids' version or you all use the same type, it's definitely a must-have in your bag.

Kids' Lip balm with SPF
. It's easy to remember that your kids need sunscreen on their exposed skin, but what about their lips? I like Smarts Kids Who Play lip balm because it's made of natural, organic ingredients and has a taste that doesn't repulse my kids.

Tiny toys. If you have little ones (toddler through preschool), consider keeping a little bag of tiny toys (e.g., the size of LEGO minfigures) that your kids could easily use in a sandbox if you make an impromptu visit to a park while out and about.

A small first-aid kid. I notice an increase in scrapes and scratches over the summer, especially on kids' feet since they tend to go barefoot more (at the park, the beach, the pool). So keep pocket-sized first aid kit in your purse. I have the Medibuddy and I'm OK! kits, both of which I found at Target. They have small bandaids and antiseptic wipes, and you can restock their containers when you run out. (I also keep a larger first aid kit in my car...just in case.)

What's in your bag this summer?