When it comes to being prepared, a few simple items can help you be prepared for a variety of situations. And, happily, many of these items are small enough to fit in your bag, or even your purse, if it is of the slightly larger variety. That way you can take them with you wherever you go.
Having balloons on hand can serve a variety of purposes. Obviously, they are helpful in situations where small children get bored. All you have to do is blow them up and they can be used for games and for other fun activities (keep a sharpie on hand, and you can draw faces on them). But they also come in handy when one has a bump or bruise. Fill the balloon half full with cold water, and you have an instant cold pack.
Vaseline is one of those things that comes in handy for a variety of uses. A small tub can be found on many store checkout lines and with other travel-sized cosmetics and toiletries. Vaseline will help your lips, but it also works on diaper rash and sunburn. Additionally, it can shine your shoes if they need a touch up and can help loosen up stuck zippers so that they slide up and down as they should.
A small travel size of aerosol hairspray can also be good to have on hand. Try not to use it too much, since it is not the best thing for our ozone. However, it will arrest a pantyhose run and get rid of ink stains. In a pinch it can be used as glue, and can even act as a laminate to protect a craft project. And when you can get that pesky fly to leave the car, you can kill it with a spray of hairspray (don’t aim toward your kids!).
WD-40 in a trial size can will help you get gum out of anyone’s hair. Additionally, it is handy when you’ve got a squeaky stroller wheel or a problem shopping cart wheel. You can also use it to remove crayon markings from walls and even stickers.
Finally, have small emergency info cards on hand. You can make them yourself on little pieces of cardstock or your computer, or you can go online and get some help. A Web site, www.vistaprint.com/emergencycard, can help you create them. You put in the info where you can be reached (and even children’s allergies) and the company will send you 25 cards for $5.99. They are easy to hand to babysitters, teachers, and parents during a playdate.