How to pack a summer deck bin to save time

If you have small kids, you know that getting outside to play in the summer heat is quite the task.  By the time you’ve finished sun-screening, putting shoes on and finding hats and sunglasses, half an hour has gone by.  My kids love playing outside and we eat most of our meals outside too, weather permitting, so I keep a bin on the deck with supplies we usually need, to avoid having to run in and out of the house all day.

deck bin contents
Keeping a bin on your deck makes heading outside with the kids quick and easy. (Some items not shown.)

I always plan to head outside when we’re about to have a meal or a snack.  That way, I can prepare the snack while everyone is still inside and I don’t have to drag everyone back in while I prepare the food. Since we eat outside whenever we can, I keep a tray in the house for carrying out plates, utensils and snacks, but aside from that, here is a list of eating supplies we keep in our bin.

Eating supplies

  • Napkins/paper towels
  • Wet wipes
  • Straws
  • Cups and/water bottles for each child
  • Drink koozies
  • Bottle opener
  • Scissors (for opening freezies!)
  • Barbecue lighter (use your discretion on this one)
  • Picnic blanket

We keep all the kids’ toys in the playhouse and the garage, however there are a few things that I like to keep in the bin so that we don’t lose track of them.

Fun supplies

  • Bubbles
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Coloring books
  • Crayons, pencils and/or markers
  • Bluetooth speaker (we keep this in the house, in case the bin gets wet)

Miscellaneous supplies

  • Hats (Return these to the bin before going back in the house)
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Hand soap
  • Washbasin (for washing dirty feet before going in the house)
  • Multi-surface spray cleaner (for cleaning the table before eating)
  • Facial tissue
  • Diapers

Having this bin full of supplies really cuts down on the number of times I have to run in the house while the kids are playing.  I like to use a large latched-lid bin to keep the rain out and refill it periodically when we run out of something.

Did I miss something? What will you pack in your summer deck bin?