Tag Archives: Summer Products for Children

Beach-Ready: Top Picks for the Best Beach Day

[Note:  This post was written by KFDC Contributor Emily Moise, a local writer and mom of two young children.   She always has excellent recommendations for kids’ items as well as local explorations with little ones.  View more of them here, hereherehere, here. And this one about summertime must-haves is a must-see for the upcoming season. ]

 

It’s that time of year again when the post-Spring Break “are we ready for summer” mental checklist begins. For me, it was a recent day trip to a local beach that made me realize how underprepared I am. We had the basics for a four-hour stretch, but I know our upcoming weekend and week-long beach trips will require more strategic gear.

My almost five-year-old and three-year-old are at the playful ages where they can spend hours doing whatever the repetitive things are that little kids do at the beach. If you’re looking to build on that childhood joy, and mostly relax and “sittervise,” these picks for the best beach day are for you…

 

Are We There Yet?
There will inevitably be iPads, but you’ll want a few things in your back car seat pocket to delay screen time en route to the beach. Tablet drawing boards have been on my list since using them at a recent pediatric dentist visit, and a friend suggested these, which are more preschool age-appropriate. I am also stocking up on Magic Pattern coloring pads.

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Organized Chaos
You’re gonna need a better bag. A wide mesh tote is a lifesaver for sandy beach toys, and these smaller mesh cross-body bags are perfect for your seashell collectors. I’m also a fan of insulated backpacks, and use this small one daily. This larger one with a cooler at the base may be better-suited for a long beach day.

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Strategic Sunscreen
The hunt for the best thing to ease sunscreen resistance continues. This year, I’m testing out foaming lotion. This mineral foam sunscreen with “vanishing color” looks like a sure-fire hit. An option for both kids and parents is this one from rising brand Supergoop!. Don’t forget a sensitive, tear-free lotion just for the face.

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The Big Dig
Let’s talk digging — because kids love to do that at the beach. My favorite shovels are the large wooden ones, but we have had bad luck with the spades breaking after just a few uses. These large ones with shorter handles look much more durable. For the smaller variety, these scoop shovels are way more efficient than your standard plastic shovel.

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Water Play
If your kids simply dig a big hole and fill it with water, add spouted watering cans to your beach bag (one for each kid). On our recent beach day, my three-year-old stood in awe of another kids’ similar spouted pitcher. Another summer staple is water blasters, and the beach is a perfect, wider space to use them.

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Toys-R-Useful
If your kid fills a big hole with water, you’re gonna want a water toy to go with it. Turn it into a mermaid lagoon with these dolls, a superhero cave with Marvel dive toys,  or play a game of Finding Dory. Vehicle lovers will enjoy a just-for-the-beach dump truck. And when your kids want you to play with them, ultra-lightweight frisbees are entertaining for everyone.

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Cover Up
For the hottest beach days, a small tent may be essential for a shaded break. They can also be used for discreet outfit changes or portable potty breaks. If you’ve ever seen a three-year-old try to hold up a towel around them, you’ll appreciate poncho towels. And try these headbands if your child won’t keep a hat on, but you still want some scalp coverage.

 

What’s in your beach bag? Tell us in the comments!  

 

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on one and make a purchase, I may get a small commission. This helps me continue to bring you KFDC. Thanks so much for the support!

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Filed under 2022, Product, Shop, Summer

Summertime Must-Haves for Little Ones

[Note:  This post was written by KFDC Contributor Emily Moise, a local writer and mom of two young children.   Along with being a great writer, she always has excellent recommendations for toys, books, and local explorations for little ones. See more of them here, here, and here.]

 

Summertime and the livin’s eas…ier. This weekend marks the official start of summer, and pandemic-era parents rejoice as the season brings infinitely more room to roam and water to splash in. But the muggy, buggy DC area climate can quickly damper even your greatest plans if you are not well-equipped.

Whether you are bringing your little ones to the local zoo and animal parks, the area’s best playgrounds and splash pads, your community pool, or the Maryland and Delaware beaches, it’s time to make sure your bases are covered with some summer staples.

I almost always venture out solo with my four- and two-year-olds sans stroller (read: no storage space). Given this, my summer must-have list for little ones must be edited. These are my “deserted island items” — the essentials for summer survival!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooler Backpack

I recently invested in some better warm-weather equipment for my role as “snack lady.” I replaced the traditional diaper bag with a backpack that was entirely insulated, because what else is even in there besides food? This small one fit the bill perfectly, and here’s a similar style with more pockets. I love this larger sized one too.

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Thermos Water Bottles

While we’re talking food and insulation, these thermos bottles are hands-down my favorite. The stainless steel is safer and cooler in the sun, and impossibly, ours still look like new after four months of use. There are lots of fun colors and character designs to choose from.

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Sunscreen (+Bug Spray)

The trick is finding one that little ones will let you near them with — because hell hath no fury like a child resisting sunscreen! A few ideas: 1) find one with appealing branding like this, 2) find one that includes insect repellent like this to kill two birds with one stone. Also consider a separate, no-tears option for the face.

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Compact Portable Potty

Admittedly, I haven’t purchased one—yet. But I have had to borrow one from a friend twice in the past month. I’m generally that parent finding the nearest bush for my child to pee behind, but sometimes nature is less squat-friendly. These potties are incredibly compact, and perfect for the more discerning parent and child.

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Water Shoes

The shoe of the season! Natives are the gold standard, but there are other more budget-friendly options like this and this that are suitable for all-purpose play. Crocs (and similar styles) are even better for quick on and off during backyard play.

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Strategic Swimwear

Kids bathing suits are not all created equal. For girls, nothing beats a two-piece suit like this or this for potty time and quick changes. For boys that aren’t potty trained, this one is a recent find and new favorite (similar to baby swim diaper suits you may be familiar with). Top it all off with towels that double as cover-ups.

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Sun Hats

Like sunscreen, the key is finding one that your little ones won’t resist with all their might. These bucket hats set the record for longest amount of time on my kids’ heads during a recent beach trip. They are breathable, secured with drawstrings, and come in a variety of colors and sizes.

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Portable Fans

Kids can go from playing contently one minute to unbearably hot the next. Portable fans come in hand-held designs like this and this that will appeal to little ones, and I’ve seen this one on many must-have lists for new moms. Added perk: fans are one of the best mosquito repellents.

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Buckets & Shovels

A good ol’ pail and shovel can get you far. On a recent beach trip, we brought everything—you name it, we had it. My little ones used small-sized shovels for 99% of our beach time. A set like this or this one (with collapsible buckets!) is perfect for the minimalist beach-goer.

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What’s on your summer must-have list? Tell us in the comments below!

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Filed under DC, Product, Product Review, Shop, Summer