Regardless of whether you consider Memorial Day or the Solstice as the official kick-off of summer, chances are you’re busy this week stocking up on hot-weather essentials. To that end, here are a few of our favorite things for summer 2014.
1. MLB toddler bucket hats ($16.95). Because they’re cooler than the usual mini baseball caps—and they come in fun camo prints.
2. Pottery Barn Kids’ flippingly adorable poncho-style beach cover ($34.50).
4. Infant stroller flops. You just have to. Ugg’s Yia Yia flip flops ($25) get bonus points for the cozy sheepskin strap, too.
5. Non-toxic sunscreen that satisfies the FDA’s current labeling requirements.
6. Green Toys’ Sand Play Set ($18): a bucket, sand castle mold, shovel, rake—all made with recycled plastic.
7. A lead-free garden hose ($39.99), for backyard splashing. And guzzling.
8. J.Crew Baby’s full-cover rash guards (from $29.50). Pair one with bloomers or swim shorts.
9. Hape’s pretend-play grill ($133) trumps a pretend kitchen set in summer time.
10. Anything with pineapples on it. It’s the season’s trendiest print, and we love it on Mini Rodini’s summer suit ($75), Scotch R’Belle’s twofer tank ($43.40), and these munster kids board shorts ($62).
12. TOMS new baby sandals (from $34).
13. A copy of Jennifer Senior’s All Joy And No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood—for some poolside perspective.
14. A back-seat window shade. UPPAbaby’s Easy-Fit Car & SUV shade ($9.99) fits well, stays on, and is your best shot at a road-trip nap.
15. And a stroller shade. The SnoozeShade (from $39.99) blocks out sun, as well as wind, bugs, and sprinkles.
16. Zoku’s new Mini Pop Molds ($16.99) freeze just as quickly as their original DIY popsicle molds, but are perfectly sized for toddler hands (and tummies).
18. A Coast Guard-approved swim vest. The ones from Super Soft (from $54) are super-comfortable and super-safe, albeit coated in vinyl (ugh).
19. Honest Co.’s Knockaround kids’ sunglasses are shatterproof, UV protective, and priced quite nicely ($12.95 or $9.71 for members).
20. The FEED Dipped Beach Bag ($110). Love the nautical flair, but more to the point: one purchase provides 100 school meals to children in need.
22. Bubbles. The ones from Gymboree ($6) come out of the wand by the oodle-load, and are easier for kids to catch/pop.
23. A sturdy pair of sprinkler shoes. Pediped’s Sahara style ($42) is comfy, washing-machine friendly, and made with eco-friendly material. Plus it’s 30% off through June 10 with code STROLLER30.
25. Wood Designs’ Deluxe Sand and Water Table ($372.31) is Greenguard certified—and much nicer looking than the usual plastic junk.