My son has been playing soccer for over 4 years, but last year was our first experience with real games against other teams and attending actual tournaments. Up until then, soccer had been all about learning basic skills and the rules of the game.
At the beginning of the season, we didn’t really know what to expect as far as tournaments. So when our first game day rolled around, it was clear we were rookies. But by the end of the season we were total pros. Now, we don’t leave home without all the “Soccer Mom Must-Haves.”
If you’re a soccer mom newbie, don’t worry because I’m here to help ensure you’re prepared. Keep reading to see all of my “Soccer Mom Must-Haves for Game Day” and then print your checklist so you can keep track!
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1. Soccer Gear
Okay, so this one seems like a no-brainer. Most kids can keep up with their own gear – jerseys, shin guards, socks, cleats, etc. Mine? Not so much. Even when my son walks out of the house for soccer practice, I have to ask him if he has everything he needs. He plays the goalie position more than anything else and you’d think after a while he’d remember to grab his gloves. Wrong!
It does good to dedicate one bag to all of your child’s soccer gear, that way it doesn’t get mixed up in everything else you’re bringing along.
Hydration is key for both the player and the sideline supporters. So whether your drink of choice is water or a sports drink like Gatorade, be sure you have plenty on hand to last through all of the games. Trust me, you don’t want to pay concession prices for anything.
You’ll want to keep those drinks cold, too. So you need to have a cooler. It doesn’t matter if you opt for a big one or a smaller one, as long as it’s large enough to carry what you need. We typically use a small drink cooler that fits approximately 8-10 drinks or so. Plus, it fits perfectly in our wagon (which I’ll get to later).
Unless you like to sit on the ground, you need to bring along some portable seating to the soccer fields. I’ve seen many people spend the day picnic style, which is perfectly fine too. It’s easy to grab a beach towel or blanket to sit on. But I like to sit in portable chairs. I get up and down too much, cheering and yelling, to sit on the ground all day. Even kids’ soccer games can get intense and I have to be ready to jump up at all times!
We’ve tried a few different portable folding chairs and let me tell you, it is totally worth the investment to get one that is comfortable. Basic and cheap camping chairs will do, but they’re not that comfortable. I can’t go 5 minutes without having to adjust the way I’m sitting. So keep comfort in mind when deciding on the right portable chair. If you’re a true soccer mom, you’ll spend A LOT of time on the soccer fields and you want to be comfortable.
And don’t forget the little kids either! There are so many fun kids camp chair options to keep them content.
Look, it’s hot on the soccer fields and there’s not a lot of shade. We live in Florida, where just walking to the car causes me to break a sweat. Even when sitting in the shade, I still break a sweat unless there’s a constant breeze, which is rare. But I’d still much rather sit in some shade than directly in the sun. I don’t leave home without some type of shade option and there are many to choose from – oversized umbrella, canopy chair, canopy tent, beach shade – just take your pick.
Personally, we have a small pop-up beach shade that the kids like to use, and we also have a canopy tent.
Not only do sunglasses block the haters, but they also block the bright sun. Do not…I repeat, DO NOT leave home without your sunglasses! I mean, you do want to see what’s happening on the field, right?
Speaking of the sun and heat, sunscreen is essential. My pale skin does nothing but burn, so while on the soccer fields, I lather sunscreen on a few times throughout the day. My kids actually have melanin and aren’t as fair skinned as I am, but I still put sunscreen on them to be safe.
Even if it’s cloudy out, it’s still possible to get sunburn. Wind burn can be vicious too. Sunscreen will help protect your skin from it all.
If you’re going to a tournament and plan to be on the fields all day, you definitely want to pack some snacks, and possibly even lunch, for everyone. One-game days aren’t as intense, so simple snacks will do. But when you have 2 and 3 games in a single day, you’re super soccer star needs some refueling, as do you. Just be sure to store items in the cooler if they need to stay cold.
We traveled a few hours for our most recent tournament and I prepared food like I never have before. We had a cooler specifically designated for food – yogurt, snack bars, turkey wraps, pre-made salads, refrigerated snack packs, you name it. I even packed plastic forks and spoons for the yogurt and salads. I’m telling you…concession stand prices are garbo!
Sometimes the rain rolls in while you’re on the field and if it’s not lightning, most parks will keep the game going. While the players have no choice but to get wet, you don’t have to. Keep a poncho or umbrella handy for those rain showers. If using a tent for shade, you should already be covered while on the field, but what about heading to the car after the game? Checking the weather forecast before you leave home is also a good idea.
10. Change of Clothes/Soccer Slides
For those occasions when it does rain, it’s nice for your super soccer star to have a change of dry clothes after the game. I don’t know anyone who likes a wet ride home. Even from all the sweating the players do on the field, a dry change of clothes is always welcome.
The same goes for soccer slides or sandals. After a game, my son can’t wait to get his cleats and shin guards off, and slip his sandals on. I can only imagine the relief his legs and feet get from taking his gear off.
11. First Aid Kit/Ice Pack
With all the running, tripping, sliding, falling and person-to-person contact in the game of soccer, sometimes there’s going to be injuries. It’s nice to have a first aid kit on hand for when that happens, including instant ice packs. I see a lot of smaller kids get their hands stepped on by soccer cleats or get hit hard with the soccer ball itself. When it’s really bad, an ice pack will help ease the pain.
12. Trash Bag
I don’t go out of my way to bring along an actual trash bag to the soccer fields, but I do make sure I have an empty plastic grocery bag handy. Water bottles, Gatorade bottles, snack trash – it adds up and having a trash bag handy helps to keep it all contained. Then when we near the trash bins, I can easily separate the trash and recycling, and discard it all without carrying any of it home.
On the soccer field, things get dirty – hands, faces, arms, legs. And there have been other times that have arisen where I wished I had baby wipes or hand wipes available. So now, I keep a pack of baby wipes on my soccer mom checklist.
Whether you have small kids to occupy or need to keep your super soccer star entertained in between games, a tablet, deck of cards or entertainment of some sort is essential. Sometimes we wait on the field 3-4 hours between games and the kids get restless. They want to run around and be kids, which is great, but it really takes a toll on their energy levels for their upcoming game.
Not to mention, my smaller kiddos have absolutely no interest in their brother’s soccer games, so we have to keep them entertained too. For us, a tablet is the way to go.
Well, this list of soccer mom must-haves has gotten a little long. Wondering how you’re supposed to tote it all around? A wagon! Every good soccer mom, or at least those who need to carry all of this stuff to the soccer fields, has a wagon. I feel like once we got our wagon, we were legit soccer parents and there was no turning back. Along with my soccer mom must-haves, my youngest kiddo likes hitching a ride in the wagon too!
There you have it! All the Soccer Mom Must-Haves for Game Day. Did you think being a soccer mom would require so much?
It has really become almost a way of living for us. We have regular season games just about every other weekend and weekend long tournaments come along at least once (sometimes twice) a month. I’m pretty sure if you just look in our vehicle’s trunk, half of this list is packed in there at all times during soccer season.
To help keep it all organized and because it’s a real pain when I forget something, I’ve created this Soccer Mom Game Day Checklist.
It’s free for Making Time for Memories Community members to print and utilize, as are all of the printables I offer. If you’re not already a part of the community, sign up here and immediately check your email for the link to my Library of Free Printables.
This Soccer Mom Game Day Checklist is a good one to print once, laminate, and use over and over again.
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