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Favorite Kids’ Stuff for Summer

We try to keep a minimalistic approach to most things in life, including our kids’ toys and other accoutrements. That’s not to say that they are living in a Dickens novel, though, and of course there are some products that we have found particularly fun for the kids or life-saving for the parents (or is that one in the same??). Here’s our summer round-up of favorite things!

Favorite Kids' Stufffor Summer! (3)

1. Outshine Popsicles

These are all-natural and made with fruit juice, so there are no nasty dyes or HFCS to worry about. Everyone in our family loves these,Β and we are looking forward to trying the many flavors throughout the summer!

2. Badger Sun Screen/Bug Spray products

I really love Badger for their zinc oxide sunscreens. I feel totally safe using them even on the littlest of babies (Lucy used it all during Rome at 2-3 months) and they are very effective. You do have to rub a lot to get the white to blend in, but I feel like that’s a good thing, as it gives me an obvious visual as to what areas haven’t been covered yet. The bonus is that all the sunscreens actually smell nice, not chemical-y. The bug spray is ok too, though it seems not to be a match for the Great Swampy Mosquito Land that our yard becomes here in the summers. We’re looking into some natural yard spray options because we can’t go out for more than a minute or two without getting devoured. But this spray does help a bit (maybe 2-3 bites as opposed to 10 without) and doesn’t have DEET so I feel safe spraying it on Lena.

3. Manito Sun Shade

Don’t know where we’d be without this thing, seriously. This is an ALL THE TIME favorite, but obviously even more so in the summer. If your car happens not to have tinted windows, you find out very quickly that a toddler carseat + sun streaming in windows + toddler= terrible combination. This shade has helped a lot and is pretty flexible so you can adjust it as you need to. We highly recommend this if you have scream-fests in your car anytime the sun so rudely shines through the windows.

4. Β $0.50 Paint Brush

I’m serious. Best $.50 you ever spent on a toddler. Give this to them with a bucket or basin of water, and set them to work on your brick patio or wood deck slats. They will paint the tiles/slats for a loooooong period of time. It’s wonderful.

5. Β iPlay Reusable Swim Diapers

Disposable swim diapers are absurdly expensive. The invention of these washable/reusable swim diapers is genius. They are basically the cloth diaper equivalent to a swim diaper, and are officially approved for use in public pools/any place where there’s a sign saying, “Swim diapers required.” I use these whenever the girls are going to be swimming or playing at a public pool or splash pad, but when it’s just at home with family they go commando! πŸ™‚ You can find them at Target for about $10, which is well worth it with the number of uses! My only complaint is that they can’t be put in the dryer and take a LONG time to air dry, so if you use the pool daily, you may want to have two in rotation.

What are your favorite summer kid (or adult!) essentials??

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13 thoughts on “Favorite Kids’ Stuff for Summer

  1. Great list; the bugs by us are not too bad but will be filing away the bug spray recommendation for vacation time this August.
    And picking up a bunch of those paint brushes soonest!

  2. I love Badger sunscreen! We use the California Baby bug spray but it sounds like it has about the same effectiveness as the Badger, all right but not great. πŸ™‚ I have been using a cloth diaper without the inserts as a swim diaper. I might need to get what y’all have though when he graduates to a real pool for the first time.

  3. Loving the swim diaper!! I detest the disposable ones. Nice idea, but… no. I usually use Burts Bees sunblock for my babies under one and then they use coconut oil with the rest of us. I will have to check out the Badger stuff.
    And, side note regarding mosquitoes. Something that helps TREMENDOUSLY with those nasty little itch spots is rubbing alcohol. Put some on a cotton ball and wipe it down. Sometimes it does sting for a moment, but it always reduces the swelling and takes the edge off, if not completely ridding the itch, for a few hours. It was our go-to when we lived in VA and is now when we get that occasional bite.

    • The alcohol is a genius idea! I also have some hydrated bentonite clay that helps draw out the poison from bites (and it works great on rashes, sunburn, and scrapes too).

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