Here is the roundup of things we use the most in the summer to maximize these sweet days.
Hydroflask: We’re years into loving our hydroflasks. They keep the kids water ice cold for hours which I’m doubly thankful for in Texas summers.
Matching Pajamas: Okay, so the word ‘essential’ here is a bit of a stretch. But two times of year I pick up matching pajamas for the kids are Christmas and Summer.I have a whole post on matching pajamas here, but some of my favorite brands to splurge on are Little Sleepies and Petite Plume while my favorite brand to save on is Amazon Prime friendly.
Denim Jacket: Despite living in the South where it tends to feel like the surface of the sun most summer days, stores and restaurants tend to keep their AC on ‘igloo mode.’ I try to always have a denim jacket on hand for the kids which feels lighter than a sweater and still gets the job done.
OK to Wake Clock: I’ve received many questions on how we implement this clock. I first started using it when Oshiolema was 2 and had had a hard time transitioning to his big-boy room. He actually thrived on the structure and O and I were able to add some more structure to our mornings again. Recently the kids have both been waking up early again and we decided it was time to reinstate “the clock.” This clock can be set to night-light mode in whatever color you choose (we chose ‘red’ because they know red means stop) and will change to yellow at the time you set as “Ok to Wake.” Yellow means they are allowed to leave their bed and begin quietly playing or reading in their room. The light will turn green 30 minutes later which means they are allowed to leave their room. Both kids (2 and 4) have thrived with this structure and O and I love having some predictability to our mornings again. A quick tip: At first introduction we keep it earlier than we’d ideally like them to be leaving their bed and room. This way they aren’t discouraged and get used to the “I can do this” feeling of the clock. Once they get the hang of it, we begin pushing it back. Right now the clock turns yellow at 6:45 and green at 7:15.
Magnetic Book: The options with these magnet books are endless. We have the ‘faces’ version and they come with cards showing various combinations of faces to choose from or they can use their own imagination. For whatever reason, these magnet books entertain them for hours and the fact that they’re contained in a box makes them perfect for laps on road trips and plane rides.
Wet Bags: Splash pads and swimming pools are the name of the game in summer. We don’t have a pool (okay, except this one in our backyard which is a LIFE SAVER) so we’re often at the neighborhood pool or at my parents house. Wet bags make switching back into cozy clothes simple as can be while still keeping the rest of the things in my bag dry. When we get home from all the fun in the sun, I just dump it into the dryer or hang things up when we get home.
Natural Play-Doh: let’s be real- any play doh will do the trick and we have buckets and buckets of both. We were kindly sent this kit from The Tot and I am about to purchase 5 more colors because they’ve been such a joy in our home. You may have a hard time convincing your kids these aren’t dessert though- they smell that good.
Easy On Shoe: our go-to shoe for warm weather will always be a pair of Natives. There are some occasions, though, when only a sneaker will do and in summertime velcro or tieless sneakers are always the answer.
Rash Guards: this isn’t pictured but is extremely important to me. I put a rash guard on the kids nearly every time they’re swimming just to be as diligent with sun safety as I can. I’m mixed and O is Nigerian so our babes draw the sun like none other- rash guards help. I typically go with the hooded version from Gap or the sunblock version from Hanna Andersson.