Dare I say that winter is over? Only two weeks ago, my husband and I took the patio furniture out of storage on a 65 degree day only to have it snow the following day. I thought we had jinxed the spring from ever coming back. But now the sun is shining, the weather is warm and it’s time to kick my kids outside to play where they belong. Here is a list of our favorite kids gear for fun in the sun:
Babiators are the best sunglasses for kids. They are virtually indestructible and totally adorable. I bought them for our trip to Disney and they really came in handy. I also bought the little case to protect them and my son keeps them clipped to his backpack.
I don’t leave home without their LL Bean Discovery Rain Jacket. These jackets are the best. They are small enough to roll up and pack. If it rains or they get chilly, it is the perfect light layer. If you are in a colder climate, they also make a fleece lined version. They last well enough for me to hand down to the next child.
I love Hatleys little wellies and matching kid sized umbrellas. Let them splash away in puddles to their little hearts content and don’t worry about wet socks. My son was so excited to have his own little umbrella that he stood outside and waited for it to rain.
Every summer I get them a new pair of crocs. They really live in these. Whether they get wet and muddy they are so easy to just hose off in the sink. They really are the perfect shoes for little kids… and they even have an infant size! I also love Keen sandals for the kids if we are going to be doing more walking. When you have little boys, you really just look for anything labeled waterproof and machine washable.
Fjallraven Kanken– Every kid needs a backpack- and not one for school, but a small one for packing up their favorite things to bring on a little hike or road trip. As soon as I tell my boys we are going somewhere, they yell that they are going to go pack up and grab their bags. It cracks me up to see what they feel their necessities are. They usually pack snacks, rocks, a marker and some very random small toys like a few puzzle pieces (?). Whatevs! I think they just like feeling responsible so I don’t question them. This backpack is very rugged and just the perfect size for them. (And yes he is pant-less under there).
A good sippy cup- I have tried them all and really they are all pretty much a pain to clean, but the one I like the most is the Thermos Funtainer. They can be found at Target or Amazon. They are stainless and keep water cold for 12 hours. They don’t leak and they have a nice little handle. The one thing I would warn against is buying them in their latest favorite movie characters. My four year old loved Finding Dory last year but this year he would not be caught dead drinking out of that cup at daycare (insert eye-roll).
Kids love buckets. It’s a necessity for every child. I love this little red bucket from Bella Luna. They walk around the yard collecting rocks and sticks or just carrying their little toys around.
Gonge Hilltops– these very sturdy “hilltops” have been a huge hit with my kids. They have been set up in the house and out in the yard. They can use them to make mountains for their little guys and set ups or they can be used as stepping stones and obstacle courses. They are great for open-ended play and developing gross motor skills. They are currently leading from my deck to their fort and you can’t fall off or you will land in the lava.
We love getting outside every chance we get and our rural town is covered in beautiful hiking trails. Osprey’s Poco Child Carrier allows me to hike with our little one comfortably. The waist strap helps distribute the weight so it does not hurt your back. It has a nice sun shade that pops up, loads of zippered pockets, a wide base with locking footbar and two large grab handles that help me get my baby on my back even if I am alone.
I wrote a whole post about our favorite bike gear, but when they are not on their bikes, the kids love their scooters. I did loads of research on this when I bought them and these these are the BEST. There is a mini for ages 2-5 and a maxi for ages 5-12. They are really easy to steer and brake and also do a great job of teaching kids balance. The handle bar lifts and lowers very easily so you can adjust it to the perfect height for whichever child is using it. My 18 month-old baby girl will hop on the mini and cruise around the driveway. If I even reach for the handle bar to help her, she hits my hand away.
Car Kit: each summer, I prep my car for roadtrips by throwing a car kit together. I use a 31 utility bag and fill it with essentials such as: snacks, wipes, diapers, tissues, a small blanket, a change of clothes, a towel, sunscreen, bugspray, a few small toys and activity packs from the dollar section at Target. Then we are ready for anything this beautiful summer has in store for us!
I hope this guide for the best summer kids gear was helpful. Please let me know in the comments if I missed anything!