This week I have been watching my three grandkids all under the age of 4. Any adventure outside the house is well, let’s be honest, challenging. It seems like a great idea but by the time we are all buckled in the car I feel like I have wrestled three chimpanzees and all I want to do is take a shower and a nap.  But I know the value of creating memories so it was critical to find a solution for getting kids out the door fast and stress free. Here are some of my favorite tips and tricks to make things a little easier.

Step One

While the kids are happily entertaining themselves, hopefully while wearing Little Adventures dress ups, start getting everything ready to go. Pack the diaper bag with all the essentials: diapers, clean clothes, snacks, bottles, toys etc. Try to keep it simple! Use a backpack to haul your supplies so you have free hands to wrangle the kiddos in.

Step Two

As soon as you start to gather everyone to leave, it’s almost guaranteed you will hear someone say “I’m hungry!”.  We all know eating leads to dirty clothes and messy hands and faces. Since they are likely still in their dress ups why not entertain them for a few minutes with food while you work on step three.  No worries, the dress ups are washable!

Step Three

Gather their clean clothes, shoes, socks, hair ties and jackets. Once you know you have everything, then gather the kids and make a game out of getting dressed. Who can get dressed first? Ready…Set…Go! This step will likely be the hardest and your heart rate is guaranteed to raise a little but just tack it onto your exercise goal and keep on moving and grooving.

Step Four

Once everyone is dressed, put your backpack on and head to the car. Get the kids buckled in first so you know they are safe. Once they are buckled in, load up your backpack and don’t forget to make sure you have your phone and shoes. What? You have never got in the car only to realize you left your shoes inside? Ok maybe it is a little more likely to leave your phone but you get the point.

Step Five

Buckle yourself in and then ask the kids if they are ready to have fun! By this point they are likely a little frustrated and overwhelmed getting in the car since Mom didn’t buckle the car seat just right or the tiny wrinkle in their sock is bugging them. “Kid problems!” Turning a positive spin on things helps change any negative tones that might be lurking and gets you on the road smiling and laughing. You got this!!