Running Errands With Little Ones

 I remember going shopping with my mom when I was a child and getting in trouble for playing hide and go seek in the fabric bolts at Hancock’s. I think my brother, Jason, said it best when he said that “Going to the fabric store was a wrist-slitting good time.” And yet, years later I am putting my children through the same thing! And it isn’t just the fabric store. It’s the post office, doctor, grocery store, dentist and any number of other places that we go on a regular basis.


Our subdivision is about 30 minutes to the nearest city for shopping. Ruby is still at the age of needing naps so I try to work things out around that, but if that isn’t possible I try to make sure that I am driving to or from the store during her nap time. Since it takes 30 minutes to get there that works out ok for her to get a quick nap. She isn’t one of those babies who sleeps in her car seat wherever. Once the truck stops, she wakes up.

I don’t have too many complaints about taking my kids places with me, but even well behaved children have a breaking point and start to wonder when it will be time to go home. So I seek out ways to make outings easier on my little ones. I understand how they feel because they aren’t the only ones who would rather be at home playing :) And the easiest way to make it easy on them is to make it easy on me! When I’m prepared I’m in a better mood to handle situations and things go so much more smoothly. Because it is usually that extra store I stop at or when I forget to get gas and make another detour on our trip that puts our quick outing past lunch time or nap time.

Even with things to keep them entertained, accidents happen to get in the way of my perfectly laid out plan. Like when Kaylee had an accident in the Walmart parking lot and I didn’t have a change of clothing for her. Luckily she was wearing a dress that didn’t get wet so we just walked into Walmart, bought a pack of underpants, went and put a pair on in the bathroom, and then went shopping.  That, I could go my whole life without dealing with again.

So I keep the following in our truck at all times: Diapers, wipes, backpack with change of clothes for younger kids, toilet seat covers (you can get kid ones that stick to the seat and are flushable), hand sanitizer, a box of crackers, bandaids, plastic grocery bags (for diapers or wet clothing), little toys for Ruby, and a toilet. Yes, I said toilet. We have a truck so when I have a little one who is potty training or freshly trained I keep a little training potty in the back.  More than once I’ve loaned it to a friend at the park who had a little one who couldn’t wait to drive home to go to the bathroom (all parks should have a bathroom! Just sayin’) and we even have a couple of pictures of Kaylee on the tail gate and on the side of the road. We’ll save those for black mail down the road. 

Whether we are going across the country on a family trip or grocery shopping, the following situations are pretty common: potty breaks, diaper changes, tired beyond tired baby who won’t fall asleep, the “How much longer?”s and the “Can I have more chips?” and the “Who needs to go to the bathroom?” as we near a rest stop and nobody replies or they all reply saying they don’t need to go. Then we pass up ‘said’ rest stop and someone pipes up, “Um, yeah, I think I do have to go now.” That’s life with children. And I love my life! A good attitude helps and I am often guilty of slacking in that department on trips when I feel stressed out so it all goes back to being prepared.
  Besides the “Slug Bug Game” (which sometimes tends to cause more drama than fun, ha!), the “Alphabet Game”, books on tape/cd, and movies, I’ve taken the time to create fun activities for them to do on the go. I’ve shared some of our ideas in the past and you can find all of them {here}.
But unless I am heading to church or going on a long drive I don’t have the space to bring a bunch of coloring books, quiet books, puzzles, or other items that even the biggest of diaper bags could hold. With 4 kids in tow the last thing I need is to lose a hand while holding another bag.


 Recently I  discovered something easy and quick to prepare for kiddos to bring when we are running errands…
The Lego You Tube Channel! You can download video clips and make a you tube playlist for them! Creating a list is quick and easy and my kids love it. I let them play games on my phone and tinker around, but they enjoy it when I add new things.  And it is much less labor intensive than making a binder or quiet book if you need a quick go-to idea. It’s the perfect way to entertain kiddos for short bursts of time. Like when little sister is in dance class and you and your brother are forced to go and watch for an hour 😉
I created a Lego You Tube Channel Playlist that you can view here.
I added 20 short video clips for my boys to check out and they thought it was awesome.
The new LEGO YouTube channel has over 500 videos for kids from a name you trust with more videos being added daily! Custom playlists are an easy way to build something special just for you and your child(ren). Playlists are easily made from the Official LEGO® Channel and can be accessed anywhere you go by parents and children (in the care, at an airport, waiting in line, around the house, etc.)
So those are some of our ideas for running errands with little ones . I’d love to hear yours! And be sure to check out the Lego YouTube channel to create a custom playlist for your next day out!
Thank you to LEGO and Technorati for being sponsors. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.


  1. says

    Thanks for sharing the info about the Lego YouTube option! I am usually working with my grandchildren and they love my iphone, nook, and laptop. So it’s a great idea and something refreshing for them to try! Thank you also for sharing your ideas! Have a great weekend! Kelly xoxo

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