What's in Your Dad Bag? With Nick Selman, Head of Growth at Tinkergarten

What's in Your Dad Bag? With Nick Selman, Head of Growth at Tinkergarten

Are “emotional support Hot Wheels” a thing in your household? If not, maybe they should be.

'Loads of Hot Wheels' is perhaps our favorite answer yet to Huhu’s “What’s in your diaper bag?” series, which asks business, tech, and parenting industry leaders to share their diaper bag essentials. And in the Selman household, there are never enough toy cars. 

Meet Nick Selman

Nick Selman is Head of Growth at Tinkergarten and dad to a two-year-old boy and a dog. His family recently bought a historic home in Louisville, KY and enjoys exploring the area. Nick’s professional path is full of startups—having either launched or been part of early teams for the last six years. As the Growth and Product Lead at Tinkergarten, Nick gets to flex his creative “dada” muscles for the national leader in outdoor, play-based learning. 

Designed by education experts, Tinkergarten provides expert-led, play-based outdoor learning program for kids ages 1.5-8. You can download this free outdoor play calendar from Tinkergarten and get it monthly! 

While even the most intense start-ups can’t prepare you for fatherhood, being “head of growth” for a child with an inherited love for cars is the most rewarding. Nick says he gets all the feels when he’s around his son. “The dopamine rush I get every time I look at my son is unlike anything else. The closest describable experience is probably the first time I saw my wife on our wedding day. It's that, multiple times per day, every day.”

Cue the awws. Now let’s get to the goodies. 

Nick’s Diaper Bag Essentials

Remember the emotional support Hot Wheels? Nick says, “Before we go out the door, we must have at least 10 Hot Wheels cars and at least five construction vehicles in the diaper bag. Even if we're going to the potty, bath, or anywhere else in the house, my son must bring two cars.”

We’re truly surprised there’s room for any of this other stuff in the diaper bag with all the automotive activity going on.

Here are a few other essentials Nick packs: 

  1. Kirkland Organic Fruit Pouches (from Costco) because any toddler parent knows these healthy snacks kids want to eat.
  2. That's it Mini Fruit Bars for more on-the-go strawberry, blueberry, and mango-y goodness.
  3. Contigo Spill-proof Straw Tumbler for water and juice anywhere without the wet mess. 
  4. Huggies diapers and wipes (though the Selman family is now in the throes of potty training!) 
  5. Puppy pads for a sanitary experience using public restroom changing tables (or to soak up accidents).
  6. Hot Wheels cars (as mentioned) because you never know when you need to drag race on the fly. Nick grabs a handful every time there’s a bargain bin at Target or Kroger.
  7. ORWINE Inertia construction push-and-go toys for when the drag race goes awry and a big digger needs to save the day (ok, maybe not). 

Snacks and toys help any parent manage boredom and prevent tantrums as much as possible. But Nick keeps it real, embracing that sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

“I like to think we're go-with-the-flow parents. But any parent that says they don't have YouTube on speed dial for those crucial ‘about to explode’ moments at the restaurant is lying to you!” 


Want a Dad Bag 101 Primer? Read our article on Diaper bags for dads.