After a few years of messy, run around summers, I think I’ve finally gotten our kit of necessities down to a fine art. With the van fully loaded at all times, we’re ready for impromptu park visits turned splash pad turned beach frolic.
Spontaneity is key and being organized ahead of time helps makes that a reality. If you’re an outdoorsy family like us, or new to the game of entertaining a toddler in the summer, you’ll want to take a gander here.
These are our essential products for the summer:
Summer Essentials… 1 of 16
Green Beaver Spray Sunscreen 2 of 16
Love this all natural stuff. I find the spray application to be genius. It works well, stands up to the water and is long lasting. I bought a bunch of these back in the winter on sale, with free shipping! My kids' preschool loved it so much when I sent them to school with it that the owner bought a big shipment herself and promotes it to all of the parents. It works that well for a natural product.
Available via By Nature, $21.98
Beach / Sand Toys 3 of 16
We've garnered quite the collection over the years and it all gets used. We chuck them in the wagon in a mesh bag and the kids are happy for hours in the sand and water with this stuff.
Available via Amazon, 16.82
Natural Insect Repellent 4 of 16
DEET free baby! And yes, it works. We live in bug-ville, otherwise known as cottage country in Northern Canada, thus—I would not lead you astray.
Available via Eco Boutiques, $11.40
Hand Sanitizer 5 of 16
Summer = being outside a lot. Camping, hikes, bike-rides, festivals, road-trips and all other sorts of places where indoor bathrooms and hand-washing isn't always available. We have a couple of these on the ready.
Available via By Nature, $14.98
Convertible Wagon 6 of 16
As I mentioned previously we live in Northern Canada so this was a sensible purchase for us. Sleigh in the summer, wagon the rest of the year. It get the most use in the summer as we aren't a stroller kind of family. We use this to haul our picnic, blankets, towels and the kids take turns having a ride. They never want to be contained anyways unless they're tired. They're always down for walking and running.
Learn more via Millside, prices will vary depending on configuration
Water Resistant Outdoor Blanket 7 of 16
We switch up between this and our beloved Mexican blanket, depending on the outing. I have enough to contend with on the wet towel front. So do you. Plus, this rolls up nice and compact and comes with it's own carrying case, like a sleeping bag but smaller!
Available via By Nature, $49.98
Hooded Beach Towels 8 of 16
Love these. We're at the beach so often that my kids are as attached to their cape towels as they are a favourite lovie or blankie. They can wear it and still play from beach to park, park back to beach. They wear it as soon as they are out of the water and straight into the car, no messing around with getting dressed again. Especially if we're just going home to bed! I'm coveting this one for myself.
Available via SDK Designs, $32
Cooler Bags 9 of 16
While any old cooler bag will do, I'll admit to crushing on these particular ones.
Available via By Nature, $34.98
Zoku Slow Pops: Classic Pop Molds 10 of 16
BPA free, I'm there. I have a couple of sets of these and they get used like nobody's business. Homemade popsicles and frozen yogurt bars are so easy and economical.
Available via Amazon, $14.99
KangaSac Reusable Sandwich Bags 11 of 16
We be using these for everything. Goldlfish, fruit, sandwiches, left-overs. Anything we take on a picnic, which happens multiple times a week - these are our mates.
Available via By Nature, $8.99 (set of 4)
Insulated, Leak Proof Stainless Steel Straw Bottle 12 of 16
Praise be. Finally an actual leak-proof sippy that keeps water cold. For real.
Available via Amazon, 11.79
Kinderville Little Bites Jars 13 of 16
You know the cup holders that most toddler car-seats have? These bendy, squishy silicone snack cups live in there. Perfect for grapes, raisins, nuts, goldfish, berries - basically any snack you want them to have easy access to while you're road-tripping.
Available via By Nature, $16.98 (set of 2)
Coleman Road Trip Beach Shade 14 of 16
As I mentioned, we pretty much live at the beach, so. With this, we can hang-out right on the shore-line, which is where the kids want to be playing, and have some shade too.
Available via Amazon, $51.16
AMP Reusable Swim Diapers 15 of 16
No more soggy bums - no more anything else. 'Nuff said.
Available via By Nature, $16.49
Wipes 16 of 16
Damn, we go through these in the summer. Sticky toddlers are a constant as are runny noses from all of the swimming.
Available via Amazon, $18.50 (for a big ass box)
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Via her humble beginnings, mastering in general mayhem: le petit rêve