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What to Pack for a Park Play Date

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SummerSkinReady #ChooseSkinHealth #CollectiveBias

You’ve lined up a play date for your children at a local park and you’re so excited to get your children out of the house and meet other moms in the area. Right after you’ve patted yourself on the back for a job well done, the anxiety of “what will I talk about, what will I wear, and what do I bring” all begins to set in. Don’t worry, Mom. If you’re wondering what to pack for a park play date, you’re in the right spot!

Scheduled your first play date? Here's what you need to know about what to pack for a park play date!

What to Pack for a Park Play Date

Camera. You never know what’s going to happen and what cute or funny things your children will pull off while at a play date. Bring your camera along to get some great shots of the action. And even if you have a very mild-mannered child, you can never have too many photos of your kid, right?

Scheduled your first play date? Here's what you need to know about what to pack for a park play date!

Bug Repellent. I live in Texas and the bugs are bad, y’all. I’m assuming wherever you live, you have bugs too. Bring a bug repellent to help keep the bugs away. I like using a citronella oil, but feel free to use whatever you like.

Snacks. When my kids are hungry, they get hangry. (In case you didn’t know, hangry = hungry + angry.) Heck, I get hangry. Bring some easy snacks so you and the kids are fun to be around. Think fresh fruit or prepackaged snacks that won’t melt or get broken. Remember, no one wants to be around grouchy friends.

Drinks. Fill up the water bottles and stay hydrated while at the park. I like using insulated water bottles so that our water stays cold and refreshing while we’re playing at the park.

Sunscreen. You don’t want to remember all the fun you had at your park play date by the sunburn you came home with, right? You want to remember it because of all the fun you had. Lather up with sunscreen before you leave, and bring extra just in case you’re out for too long. I picked up the Neutrogena Sheer Zinc™ while at Target and I love that it offers superior UVA/UVB sun protection that is effective, yet gentle on even sensitive skin. It also features breakthrough Purescreen® technology powered by naturally-sourced, 100% zinc oxide. Sweating a lot? No problem. It’s sweat and water resistant for 80 minutes! That’s over an hour of fun on full blast without stopping to reapply. (See the end of the post for a special GiftCard offer!)

Scheduled your first play date? Here's what you need to know about what to pack for a park play date!

Picnic Blanket. This is mainly for you, Mom. Sometimes parks get crowded and tables and seating are at a minimum. Bring your own picnic blanket so you can find your own shaded paradise under a tree while the children play.

Sunglasses. When the sun’s out, my sunglasses are on. I like my kids to where them too, but when they’re playing they usually take them off. Since you only have one set of eyes, it’s important that you protect them from the sun.

Scheduled your first play date? Here's what you need to know about what to pack for a park play date!

Toys. This could be anything your children enjoying playing with at a park. Think soft balls, kite, water guns, etc. Really anything that allows your child to play with other children at the park.

Change of Clothes. Accidents happen, Mom. Make sure to bring a complete change of clothes, just in case. Even if you have older children like mine, a change of clothes comes in handy so that sweat and dirt doesn’t get on your vehicle seats.

Scheduled your first play date? Here's what you need to know about what to pack for a park play date!

My kids are older and homeschooled, so we do lots of park days so that they can mingle with other homschooled children in the area. Even though they’re older, I still find that the same rules apply when it comes to what to pack for a park play date. The only difference is I don’t have to worry about diapers and sippy cups!

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Scheduled your first play date? Here's what you need to know about what to pack for a park play date!

About Crystal

Crystal Reagan, the owner and founder of SimplyBeingMommy.com lives in Small Town, Texas with her husband and 3 children. Crystal and her website have been featured on local and national news stations including Channel 2 Houston and ABC News. She has also appeared on BetterTV as a Mommy Expert for VTech.


  1. 1

    What a great list of things to bring to an outdoor playdate!

  2. 2

    These are all great suggestions for a day at the park. My daughter is so fair skinned, we make sure to have sunblock in the bag and the car at all times since she burns so easily. Gotta keep that skin protected!

  3. 3

    Thanks for sharing this! I’m always on the lookout for a good deal and a good sunscreen. Winner winner!

  4. 4

    Great picks. Always, always bring sunscreen. We didn’t pack enough once, and I sacrificed my skin to make sure the kids were protected. I looked like Bill the lobster.

  5. 5

    Bug repellent and sunblock are so important. You don’t want your kid burnt or bitten!

  6. 6

    We love Neutrogena and their sunscreen. They’ve never let us down!

  7. 7

    I don’t have to worry about diapers or sippies either. You’re right though, no matter the age, you want to pack the right age-appropriate things for the trip!

  8. 8

    We use sunscreen but always pack a hat for the day as well. Easier on the eyes and more protection.

  9. 9
    Our Family World says:

    Totally agree with everything you mentioned. Sunscreen is super important. The sun is getting brighter and the weather is warmer. We don’t want to get sun burned this early in the year. Thanks for the list. I will refer to this post when we do get some outdoorsy fun this weekend.

  10. 10
    Annemarie LeBlanc says:

    Thanks for the list of things to take with you for a park play date with the kids. If I may add to your list, I would suggest a small bottle of sanitzer or disinfecting wet wipes. The kids need to need to make sure their hands are clean before they touch their food.

  11. 11

    Summer is all about having fun but definitely have to protect the skin from those rays. Dont want the kiddies to be peeling and burning this summer!

  12. 12

    It good to be prepared for a play date especially if it’s outdoors! I think these are everything you’re going to need. I always make sure I bring water and any other kind of drinks they enjoy. It’s a must during the summer!

  13. 13
    Savannah says:

    Park playdates have become such a necessary part of my life! It gives my toddler a chance to burn some energy, and talking to another actual adult really feels nice! I made the mistake of forgetting snacks one trip and it was not. pretty!! Definitely a must-have.

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