our summer essentials list

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared a “parenting” related blog post that’s completely unrelated to photography, but now that we are in the thick of summer here in Colorado, I’ve been reaching for the same handful of items EVERY SINGLE DAY.  It makes me wonder: ‘Are there moms out there who don’t know about these amazing items?  How do they survive summer?!‘  Ok maybe that’s a bit extreme.  After all, I’m in support of buying FEWER things and encouraging your kids to get creative.  But, these items make my life easier on a daily basis so I wanted to share.  [And, bonus, it’s all available on Amazon Prime so you can have it before the weekend!]

Summer is here!  I put together a short list of summer essentials that we use nearly everyday because they make summer (with kids) better!

our summer essentials list

  1. Outdoor Picnic Blanket.  This thing is mega-portable and wipes clean with a baby wipe (or sometimes I hose ours down).  I keep it in the back of my car so that I’m prepared at the park/beach/concert.
  2. Think Baby Sunscreen Stick.  I discovered Think Baby sunscreen last summer and love it.  I use it on the kids AND myself.  But this summer I tried the sunscreen stick and I love it even more!  SO EASY and SO CONVENIENT!  It’s expensive, but ThinkBaby is one of the safest sun care brands.
  3. Crocs.  Let me start by saying I’ve still never worn a pair of Crocs myself and it was hard for me, initially, to purchase them for my kids.  But they are truly the best shoe for summer.  They work in every situation.  The park, splash pad, cabin.  The kids can put them on themselves and are always comfortable.  I think this style with the white band along the bottom makes them look a little less… Crocs-ish?… no?  I don’t even care anymore because they’re so practical.  Colin has had them in at least 4 sizes over the years.  Jill has her first pair now, in purple.
  4. Gazillion Bubbles Machine.  Endless summer entertainment right here.  Though my advice is to stick with the Gazillion brand bubbles because it kicks out WAY more bubbles than when we tried the generic bubble liquid (for what it’s worth, I’ve found the bubble refills are much cheaper at Target than Amazon).
  5. Kids Picnic Table.  This is a new addition this year and I’m not sure how we lived without it.  The kids each lunch at this table, out on our patio, every single day.  It’s totally adorable.
  6. Collapsible Wagon.  I picked this guy up from Costco this year and it’s so awesome!  We use it to cart food and drinks (and kids) to the park.  It would also be perfect for a parade or sporting event.  Folds up easily to fit into your car or store away in the garage.  My kids don’t love the stroller anymore but they’ll happily ride in this.
  7. Car Window Shade.  Ok, this is a little odd, I’ll admit.  But, I saw it on a friends car and she explained that it’s really quite helpful.  I was looking for something to prevent the car seats from BURNING UP in the summer sun and those little shades that cling to the interior of the car window got pulled down in seconds (and turned into swords).  This one, however, slides over the entire car window so it stays put.  It took me a little while to adjust to the change in visibility (you can see through it… it’s just an adjustment), but it’s helped tremendously in keeping the carseats cool.

Honorable mention:  We recently added a water table, sprinkler, and t-ball set to our outdoor toy collection and all three are quite popular, though we’ve only had them a few weeks so I feel like it’s too soon to call them ‘summer essentials.’ 


Are any of these items ‘summer essentials’ for you?  Anything you’d add to the list?

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