When you think about the gear your child needs to play soccer, things like cleats and shin guards probably come to mind. But as a soccer parent, you need some equipment of your own. Here are 18 things to always bring to your kid’s soccer games.
- Portable seating: Only a rookie soccer parent arrives at a game with nothing to sit on. Camping chairs are a good go-to, especially the kind with a built-in canopy to shade you from the unrelenting sun. It’s also wise to have stadium seats on hand to make bleachers more comfortable. Kids can use them to sit on the grass, too.
- Outdoor blanket: In the summer, your kids can sit on the blanket and play while they “watch” their sibling’s soccer game. Then, when the weather cools off, you can use the blanket to keep your legs warm. Opt for an all-purpose blanket with a waterproof side to keep you dry when it rains.
- Umbrellas: Speaking of rain, it never hurts to have a few umbrellas with you in case of bad weather! They also come in handy on sunny days to shield you from the heat and UV rays.
- Pop-up canopy tent: If you’re headed to an all-day tournament, you’ll love having a pop-up tent to keep the wind, sun, and rain away. For the greatest convenience, choose a small version that one person can set up.
- Sunglasses: Wearing polarizing sunglasses keeps the glare out of your eyes and ensures you can catch every play without squinting.
- Outerwear: When the weather turns sour, everyone at the soccer game benefits from having the right outerwear. This includes jackets, gloves, hats, and warm blankets for spectators, along with insulated long-sleeved undershirts for athletes.
- Sunscreen: Even with all your options for staying out of the sun, it never hurts to wear sunscreen. If nothing else, be sure to slather up your young athlete before they take to the field.
- Bug repellent: Nothing ruins a soccer game faster than a swarm of mosquitoes. Keep those pests at bay with bug repellent.
- Cooling towels: A cooling towel is a lightweight product designed to drape around your neck. Simply wet it, and it gets cold! Use one on the sidelines to help you stay comfortable on hot days, or offer one to your child to help them cool off faster after the game.
- Hand warmers: Keep your hands nice and warm during those cold-weather games with portable hand warmers. They only heat up when you activate them, and then they last for hours. Tuck them in your coat pockets or directly into your gloves for a steady supply of pleasant, mild heat.
- Water bottles: Pack enough for the whole family to have a water bottle or two at every game.
- Sports drinks: While there’s nothing wrong with plain old water, sports drinks have the salt and electrolytes soccer players need to maintain a high energy level. Bring at least one to every game to ensure your young athlete stays hydrated.
- Small cooler or insulated lunchbox: It’s wise to bring snacks to soccer games. With a small cooler or insulated lunchbox, you can even pack perishables like cheese and yogurt. Load up enough for everyone, including yourself, your young athlete, and your other children who will be watching the game with you.
- Insulated tumbler: Whether you want to bring coffee to those morning soccer practices or keep your smoothie cold while sitting on the sidelines all afternoon, an insulated tumbler is a must.
- Soccer ball and a pump: Make sure your child can practice whenever the opportunity presents itself by keeping a soccer ball on hand. A pump also comes in handy if the ball you want to use goes flat.
- Stroller or collapsible wagon: If you have young kids, a spacious stroller gives them a place to nap during their sibling’s soccer games. A utility wagon is also a handy tool for transporting young kids or carrying your chairs, blankets, and other gear across the field.
- Towel: You never know when a towel might come in handy. You can use it to dry rainwater off bleachers, drape it over your legs when it gets chilly, or line your car seats to protect them from your child’s muddy uniform on the drive home.
- First aid kit: Injuries are rare in youth soccer, but it never hurts to have a first aid kit just in case. Whether your child or another player gets injured, you’ll be glad you have basic supplies available to lend a hand.
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