June may be behind us, but summer’s not over ’til the school bell rings! We still have six weeks or so of fun in the sun, and I, for one, plan to make the most of them. And to help you make the most of your summer, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite summer essentials for moms and kids!
These are 10 things that, while admittedly not fundamental needs, sure do make the summer smoother and more spectacular!
Check out the list below to read about my summer essentials, and then leave a comment with a few of your own!
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10 SUMMER ESSENTIALS FOR FAMILY FUN
Mom-friendly summer clothes
Here’s what I’m learning as a new full-time SAHM — it’s a major drag to look like a slob every day, but looking cute while also being able to play LEGOs on the floor and chase toddlers through the park requires a delicate balance of functionality and style. All while being cool enough for scorching summer heat and also fitting in a budget.
There are many different ways you can go, but my newly-discovered and current favorite is bandeau bra tops + relaxed-fit tank tops. Relaxed-fit tanks are my jam because the loose fit keeps me cool and camouflages my “I’ve-had-two-kids” tummy. And the bandeau top prevents any unfortunate games of peek-a-boo.
Whatever style you prefer, my best tip for keeping it well within your budget is buying second-hand. And my hands-down favorite source for second-hand clothing is ThredUp.
I first tried ThredUp during my second pregnancy to save on maternity clothes, but I had such a positive experience, I’ve continued shopping there ever since. In fact, it’s where 90% of my clothes now come from. Once you’ve paid those kinds of prices, it’s hard to go back!
A “mom suit”
Ugh. Shopping for swimming suits is not my idea of a good time. And finding the right suit after a couple kids can be difficult. I don’t want a frumpy suit that screams, “I’m a mom!” But let’s face it, my bikini days are definitely over.
So I was thrilled when I found a swimsuit that covered all my trouble spots but didn’t look matronly. This magical unicorn for me was a two-piece tankini with an athletic-style swim skirt. But every woman is different, so find what works for you.
Look around, do a little research, and don’t be afraid to try new styles. Find a suit you love and feel good in, and rock that “mom suit!”
A sprinkler is a must in the summer heat! It keeps the kids cool and provides some much-needed entertainment on those long days at home.
Kids’ water bottles & thermal sleeves
On hot summer days, staying hydrated is absolutely essential. Dehydration occurs much more quickly than we anticipate, especially in our kids. So it’s important that we encourage them to drink a lot of water.
This is some simple, cheap, and mess-free fun right here. Get a few plastic condiment bottles, fill them with water, and let your kids “paint” the patio, driveway, sidewalk, etc. The best part is, the sun handles all the clean-up for you!
Ice cream maker
What’s summer without ice cream? And nothing beats the simple tastes of homemade ice cream.
We have an old Rival ice cream maker that we’ve used in the past, and it works fine. But we LOVE our Kitchen Aid ice cream maker attachment for our stand mixer. It whips up a tasty treat at lightning speed, plus it’s heavier duty and makes a much larger batch than our old machine.
Whatever brand or style you go with, an ice cream maker is a great investment in your family’s summer fun!
Whether for picnics, days at the beach, or simple grocery runs, insulated bags are a must in the summer. I use mine every single week on errand/grocery days to protect my cold food until we get home. And they’re perfect for any kind of family outing, as well.
Another summer staple is popsicles! Making your own popsicles is fun and easy with these popsicle molds. I love making my own popsicles because I can control the ingredients. Plain yogurt, pulverized fruit, and a little drizzle of honey or maple syrup is all I use, and the boys devour them!
S’mores + hot dog sticks
Last, but certainly not least – campfires and s’mores. I avoid hot dogs most of the year, but I have to make an exception for hot dogs roasted over a campfire. The memory-making experience trumps their lack of nutritional value. 😉 And s’mores? Yes, please! They’re a family favorite!
Both of these require a nice long stick, and we like double-pronged ones like these for efficient roasting. Double roasting power means less waiting time (which means less fussing!). Whatever kind you get, or if you make your own (wire hangers work in a pinch), roasting sticks are definitely a summertime essential!
Those are my top 10 ten summertime essentials for moms and kids. Of course, I could have included many other things, so just for fun, here’s a quick list of 10 more of our family’s favorites:
- Life jackets — these are our favorites for maximum protection and minimal chafing.
- Sidewalk chalk
- Bubbles — these bubble buckets are genius!
- Sun hats
- Ball & bat
- Wagon (We also LOVE our Gator we were so blessed to receive as a hand-me-down gift.)
- Lawn chairs — I’ve heard great things about these chairs for little ones!
- Tent – this is the one we own
- Slip-on sandals (also – water shoes)
- Sunglasses — these are great for babies (if they’ll tolerate them)
YOUR TURN: What are a few of your family’s summertime essentials? Tell us about them in the comments below!
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