Category: Blog

top summer essentials 2019

Happy Memorial Day! The unofficial start of Summer is here — the kids are almost out of school, travel plans are on the calendar, and trips to the beach or pool will be starting. Here’s our top 10 all-time summer essentials round-up:

#1 Eco-Friendly Sunscreen

Remember the days of putting baby oil on to tan – I remember my mom doing this?!  I’m relieved that we are being more careful when out in the sun by wearing good sunscreen, but think twice before putting your favorite sunscreen on your kids!  Many sunscreens have toxic chemicals that leach right into your kids skin and bloodstream. TheEveryGirl just released a great article of the best non-toxic sunscreens of 2019.

All three of my go-to sunscreens I put on my 3 year old made the list!

#1 Goddess Garden Baby Sunscreen – SPF 50

6oz – $17.99

#2 Thinkbaby Sunscreen – SPF 50+

3oz $12.99

#3 Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen Sport Stick SPF 30

$12.95 at

This makes it SUPER easy to apply to my kid’s face, neck, ears and I even use it on his body if I’m out and about and need to apply sunscreen quickly without any mess on my hands.

I use Babo Botanicals Daily Sheet Tinted Sunscreen on my face and I love it!

1.7 ounces – $20.95

#2 ZizzyBee Bags

It’s annoying to always be asking, “Where’s the sunscreen?” or digging in the beach bag trying to find it every time.

ZizzyBee Bags are the perfect solution to hold all your swim gear – sunscreen, goggles, arm swimmies, change of dry clothes, and I even put my son’s wet bathing suit in a ZizzyBee Bag when I leave the beach.

ZizzyBee Bags are awesome to use year-round:

  • Travel bag – awesome for toiletries or important items that you reach for often when traveling.
  • Toy bag for kids – we load up our ZizzyBee Bag with toys for the road when traveling. Makes clean up easy too!
  • Purse Clutter – the only things in my purse are my wallet, phone, keys and everything else goes inside my ZizzyBee Bag.
  • Grab and go back for walking, going to the park, etc. No need to lug a diaper bag – fits wipes, diapers, bottles and more.
  • I use at the gym to create an instant hang shower bag that holds all my stuff.
  • Awesome teacher gift
  • Stocking Stuffer gift.
  • AND so much more.

ZizzyBee Bags save 1000+ single use plastic ziplock bags a year! We will have more plastic in the ocean than fish by the year 2050 so don’t bring plastic to the beach and help save our oceans…

And there’s one more thing you can do and is another reason why I love ZizzyBee Bags because they launched this amazing initiative. You can Take The Plastic Pledge here to help save our oceans.

3-pack LARGE – $22.95

summer small beach bag#3 Protective Swimwear

Snapperrock UPF 50+ Protection Swimwear for kids and adults are my all-time favorite.

I love the designs plus they are fast drying, lightweight, and blocks 98% of the suns harmful rays.

Starting at $46 at

I also came across another company called Otterwings and they have UPF50+ swim shirts made of soft material that have a pair of connectable, fabric covered water wings.

Regular $49.95 – SALE $29.95 at

#4 Tillow Beach Towel

This is awesome! How many times do you lay on a beach towel and grab for your clothes, bunch them up and use as a pillow?

This beach towel has a built in pillow – hence the name Tillow (towel + pillow).

• Large Towel
• Removable Beach Chair Strap so towel does not fly off.
• Removable Orthopedic Foam Pillow
• Touchscreen Pocket and Headphone Hole
• Turns into a Bag to carry
• Water-resistant storage pocket

Starting at $19.95 at

#5 Bogg Bag

Lack of beach bags that could suit a family’s needs sparked the creation of the Bogg Bag. Needs were simple: a bag large enough to carry everything, that wouldn’t fall over and spill, and that could be rinsed at the end of the day. After coming up short, the founders decided to make their own.

  • Use at the beach, pool, gym, school, for shopping or play.
  • Three great sizes
  • Many great color options
  • Look great carrying anything where ever you go!
  • Option to customize and accessorize your Bogg Bag too.

$59.99 at

#6 Eco Water Bottle

Ditch the plastic whenever you go to the beach so make sure to bring eco water bottles for all.

A cool tip is fill the water bottles up with water and freeze them the night before, then take them to the beach and as ice melts you have cold water all day long.

For kids we LOVE Pacific Baby eco water bottles.

This water bottle is produced from food-grade stainless steel and reduces by 98% the amount of plastic in your child’s drinking bottle.

  • Leak-proof
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Keep liquids warm or cold for up to 10 hours!
  • BPA, BPS, PVC, Phthalates, and Lead Free
  • 98% less exposure to petroleum-based plastics.

$17.95 – Pacific Baby

For adults we love Hydroflask eco water bottles.

32 oz Tumbler – Hydroflask is $39.95.

22 oz Tumbler – Hydroflask is $29.95.

tumbler eco water cup

We love Life Factory bottles because they are reusable glass instead of plastic.

Starting at $14.99 at

What are your favorite summer essentials?

#7 Lock & Lock Insulated Cooler Bag

My mom LOVES QVC so I often get surprise packages in the mail and the most recent one was this awesome cooler!  We bought a couple soft coolers at the grocery store and one was too small and the other one leaks when ice melted, but this one is AWESOME!

best cooler for beachIt’s very roomy, yet still lightweight and compact enough to lug to the beach, pool, or on the boat. Fits a whole bag of ice in there easily and can fit a ton of foods and drinks too.

  • Flat top opening, zip closure, long shoulder strap
  • Insulated interior with leak-proof lining
  • Measures approximately 14-1/2″ x 10-1/4″ x 9-3/4″
  • Outer cover 100% polyester
  • Wipe clean with damp cloth
  • Trendy looking!

Here’s my husband holding it in the boat marina over the 4th of July:

best summer insulated cooler

$21.50 at QVC

#8 Two Elephants Summer’s Essential Beach Vault

Wouldn’t it be so much more relaxing to not have to worry about valuables getting taken or wet/sandy when at the beach?

The Beach Vault by Two Elephants is an amazing gadget that is a must for summer. This unique, cork-screw safe holds your phone, wallet, keys and other valuables with an air-tight, water proof lid. Once closed, just screw into the sand and cover with your towel!

$34.99 on Amazonbeach safe for sand

#9 Sturdy Sand Coasters

These are genius!  Turtlebacks all-terrain drink holders prevent drink spills and dirty drink bottoms at the beach, picnics, camping, tailgating, backyards and everywhere else.

They speak for themselves and are so awesome.

$5 each at

#10 Non-Toxic Nail Polish + Non-Toxic Jewelry

Summer is the perfect time to paint those little piggies and where some adorable non-toxic jewelry!

Did you know regular nail polish eats a hole right through a Styrofoam plate within minutes? Say bye-bye to toxic nail polish and use Piggy Paint this summer instead!

  • natural, eco-friendly nail polish for kids. SOPHi is its sister brand for adults!
  • non-toxic & hypoallergenic
  • dries to a hard, durable finish that can easily be removed (use eco-friendly, low odor Piggy Paint nail polish remover!).
  • made in the USA! Invented by a mom 🙂
  • Available in an assortment of gift sets perfect for Holidays and other special occasions.

$7.99 at

Did you also know that most kids jewelry has toxic chemicals like lead?  We wouldn’t let our kids play with lead paint, so ditch the lead jewelry too!

Chanteur Designs not only has adorable summer jewelry for kids, but that have an amazing mission.

As a father of two daughters in the age of likes; selfies; and technology, Chanteur is a family where we remind our girls that beauty starts from within and radiates out. Chanteur is on a mission to teach young kids to embrace their unique differences and authentic selves (which builds confidence!) and to be kind every day (especially when no one is looking). If we are all beautiful on the inside, then we can shine bright on the outside.

Here are some of our summer kids jewelry favorites:

Crystal Ice Cream Leverback Earrings


Type : Leverback Earring

Material : Sterling Silver with Rhodium

Stone : made with Swarovski elements

Heart Size : 8mm

Age : young child-teen


Use code SUMMER to get a free necklace with your order of $50+.

Crystal Strawberry Leverback Earring


  • Type : Screwback Earrings
  • Material : 925 Silver, White Gold plated
  • Stone : Made With Swarovski Elements
  • Strawberry Size : 10 MM
  • Age : Young Child-7


Use code SUMMER to get a free necklace with your order of $50+.

Life is out of the norm right now – usually families would be jet setting to different destinations around the world, kids in summer camp, pools open, beaches packed, fairs and festivals, and more summer fun but many of this has come to a screeching halt leaving parents at home with their kids.

Instead of one or two big trips like families may usually do that cost thousands of dollars, enjoy the rest of August and even September doing smaller 2 day getaways nearby where you can drive to.

Here are 10 ideas for cheap, getaways with kids this summer 2020:

#1 Groupon Deals

Groupon has some amazing travel deals right now. With many pools closed kids right now would be happy with a hotel with a pool they can use.

Some deals on 7.21.20:

$123/night at The Villages at Ocean Edge in The Cape. Beautiful resort-style hotel with restaurants, pool, and more.

The Glen House near Mount Washington in New Hampshire is only $84/night. Beautiful rooms, pool, gym, and outside seating with fire pits. North Conway has amazing hiking trails and swimming holes with waterfalls – safe enough for kids (and most swimming holes are FREE!). One has a $3 Parking Fee but that’s cheap. Here are some of the best swimming holes:

The Ramada by Wyndham near Niagra Falls is only $36/night!

Crown Reef Beach Resort and Waterpark in Myrtle Beach is only $69 per night.

#2 Camping

Camping is super affordable and we were able to find openings just two weeks before going. You can even choose an RV or cabin in case you don’t have tent equipment. Odetah Camping Resort in Connecticut has cabins for $96 a night.

#3 Seaside Inn with a Pool

There are a ton of seaside towns that have the ocean beach only a mile or two away and the inns have outside pools. Bring the kids between the beach and the pool for a fun and relaxing getaway.

#4 Air B n B

Pick a place where there are hiking trails, lakes to swim in and other outdoor fun and then search on Air b n b for a place to stay. You can find really great deals in lesser visited areas but still just as much fun – perhaps more fun with less crowds!

#5 River Trip

Riding a bunch of tubes down the river tied together is very fun. Make sure the river is calm and safe for your kiddos. Bring tents to camp or book motels at the end of the river once done to make a night of it. Floating the Saco River in Maine is iconic.

There’s this amazing place called Saco River Tubing that provides life jackets, your tubes, floating coolers, and more for your float down the river. You park your car there, the shuttle brings you and your gear up the river, and you float back down to your car. Along the way stop at sandy beaches with rope swings – the crystal clear water is beautiful and about 3 feet deep depending on river levels. The 1.5 mile float is calm and great for kids.

A two night, three day trip really is the perfect getaway. It’s long enough to feel like a vacation yet short enough to not spend a ton of time or money. Have fun!

We recently went camping and it was super fun! Instead of flying to a destination this year, we are planning fun roadtrips. Check out these 12 roadtrip ideas with kids for summer.

Now, I don’t mind roughing it a bit, but I do like my camping to have comforts like a pool and/or a lake for swimming, clean bathrooms, and a cabin instead of a tent. My husband is from Europe and it was his first time going camping in America. As we pulled up to the campground he said, “This is like a resort! Nothing like camping where I’m from.” So yeah, Americans are guilty of glamping but when you’re more comfortable and have a variety of activities to do, it’s much more fun and easier when you have kids.

It was also our four year old’s first time camping and he loved it! Everything went smoothly except for the one time we just had showered in the bathhouse 100 feet from our cabin and as I was holding all the toiletries — in our ZizzyBee Bag of course (best eco travel bag to hold toiletries and more) — my son dropped his towel, booked it out the door, and ran butt naked all the way up the hill to our campsite. I freaked out at first but then as I looked up towards our cabin I saw a naked toddler running to Papa so I had to laugh about it after. All that quarantine hiking truly paid off!

We ended up packing everything we needed and did not forget anything so here’s the ultimate camping packing list for families if you are staying in an RV or Cabin like we did. If you are tenting it, of course you would need to bring your tent and inflatable mattress for comfort.

Keep in mind, this was also for two nights only so adjust the items according to how long you will stay:

Ultimate Family Camping List – What to Pack

  • Medicines (we are a holistic family but I have asthma so I always put my inhaler first on the list)
  • Paper towels, wipes, and cleaning spray 
  • Backpack / Beach Bag
  • Small Beach Cooler (we love this beach cooler by Lock N Lock although the turquoise color we have is sold out)
  • Large 70 quart cooler – we got this one at Home Depot and love it.
  • 1 big water jug (the Poland Spring one with the spout or three gallons should be enough for a few days)
  • Food (see food list below)
  • Bottle Option or Bottle Keeper with bottle opener (this was a gift for Father’s Day – bottle holder that keeps beers cold for 4 hours and protects glass beer bottles from breaking – plus has a built in bottle opener)
  • Wine opener (or get twist off wine bottles)
  • First aid kit (peroxide spray and band-aids)
  • Tick spray / Bug Spray (Ya-Ya Tick Repellent is the best eco tick repellent and is AMAZING – we use it for hiking and never have a tick (We got it because we had three ticks on us beginning this spring — not one issue after we used it and we hike deep in the woods. AND it keeps mosquitoes away, too!)
  • Bug candle (we grabbed our patio bug candle)
  • Sunscreen (click to see the best eco sunscreens for kids and adults – we will say that our all-time favorite is ThinkBaby eco sunscreen – cool tip: put a tiny, tiny dab on your fingers, rub together and use to style and spike your son’s hair!)
  • Goggles (adult pair and kids pair)
  • Dino float – we got this huge dino float from Grammie and it was a huge it – all the kids wanted to try it!
    giant kids trex float
  • Air pump for float – we ordered one off Amazon with a car adapter – it’s easier than blowing it up manually!
  • Wearable swim tube for toddlers and babies – our son cannot quite swim yet so he wears his swim tube and this keeps him safe near water. He cannot take it off and if he jumps in, he doesn’t go under.
  • Flip flops for shower – any public shower you must wear flip flops!
  • Big lighter to light grill and campfire.
  • Paper – newspaper or printer paper to help start fire.
  • Bathing suits – I bring two for me and two for my son but my husband just brings one.
  • Towels – bring a lot! We brought 5 beach towels and three bath towels.
  • Pillows – our cabin required bedding
  • Sheets
  • Blankets
  • Water bottles
  • 3 beach chairs (great to sit around the fire too)
  • Table cloth
  • Lanterns/flashlights (make sure new batteries and everything charged up)
  • Hoodies
  • Grill basket (we cooked shishkabobs in this on the camp grill)
  • Regular Cards (we played cards during naptime)
  • UNO (we played as a family)
  • Olive Oil spray (for grill and burgers not to stick)
  • Paper plates, cups, silverware, sharp knife, aerated knife, big spoon 
  • Tin foil
  • Clothes, pants, socks (a ton of extra socks for kids – they get wet and dirty quick), sneakers, undies, shirts, tanks, dresses, shorts, PJs, sneakers, extra sandals – mine broke while I was camping…tripped on a rock.
  • Wood chips and coal
  • Printed spooky stories to read around campfire (our 4 year old’s idea)
  • Roasting sticks (those long marshmallow ones – great for hot dogs too)
  • Marshmallows (we get the healthier ones in the organic section – check out Dandies – organic healthy marshmallows)
  • Graham crackers – I get these healthy, gluten-free graham crackers
  • Chocolate (I get organic dark chocolate – Endangered Species Chocolate is so good!)
  • Napkins
  • Toilet Paper
  • Tiny fan – in cabins with electricity and no A/C this helped a ton to circulate the air at night while sleeping and during naps – we used as white noise for our son)
  • Toys – so we always pack our ZizzyBee Bag with travel toys – these are the best eco travel bags.
  • Water shoes – it’s easier to put kids in water shoes – we bring crocs and then these other pair that are like sneakers
  • Dish soap
  • Sponge
  • Old pan for fire cooking (if you plan on cooking breakfast on the fire – we made blueberry muffins and had these instead)
  • Plastic ziplock bags (large) – We don’t use plastic as a rule but to put food in and protect against critters these were a big help. For non food storage we use ZizzyBee Bags – cords/chargers, toys, toiletries, etc.
  • Phone charger
  • iPad (our campground had free wifi throughout)
  • iPad charger
  • Toothbrushes + toothpastes (our son has his own)
  • Toiletries including kids bath soap (bring a cup to wash your kids hair in the stand up shower) – makeup, deodorant, comb, shampoo, conditioner, soap, hair styling products, shaver
  • Face Masks
  • Sanitizer spray  – we stay away from the toxic stuff and instead use this natural hand sanitizer spray called Everyone Hand Sanitizer – the lemon coconut is my favorite. They are sold out but they have the wipes right now and hopefully back in stock soon. You can also make an essential oils sanitizer -here is a DIY recipe for a non-toxic natural hand sanitizer.
  • Trash bags – we used four in two nights so bring a lot.
  • Big ice packets from freezer – so we use EveryPlate to get affordable dinners 3x a week – only $30! Saves us $100+ a week from not making an extra grocery store trip. They ship food with these giant freezer packs – eco and reusbale! So we keep them in the freezer for our cooler. Try EveryPlate for just $10 using this link. (3 dinners for two for $10!)
  • Little skewers – if you want to skewer veggies these are nice to have
  • JBL speaker – we have a splash resistant portable speaker that works via bluetooth so we can play music.
  • Beach bucket and shovel for kid
  • Raincoats just in case
  • Metal spatula for flipping burgers
  • Tongs for grabbing corn or hot dogs
  • Big grill fork
  • Grill brush to clean grill
  • Cutting board
  • Vitamins

Food and Drink

  • Booze: Bon & Viv spiked selters (I love these – no carbs and no sugar), beer, and wine.
  • Water was on the list above and we brought fizzy water too – water is all we drink in our house.
  • Chicken – marinated the day of
  • Pork for kebobs – marinated the day of
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Bell Peppers
  • Mushrooms (for skewered veggies)
  • Cucumbers
  • Mayo
  • Ketchup – we use this agave based gluten-free ketchup – it’s amazing! Corn Syrup ketchup is the worst especially for kids.
  • Graham crackers – gluten free
  • Chocolate – organic dark chocolate
  • Marshmallows – Dandies organic healthy ones
  • Butter – we use Ghee!
  • Snacks (veggie straws, chips, pretzels, chips and salsa)
  • Turkey Hot dogs
  • Burgers
  • Chicken burgers
  • Rolls (hot dogs and burger)
  • Cheese slices
  • Vegan cheese slices (my husband eats cheese and I eat no dairy so I love these Go Veggie dairy-free cheese slices that melts well)
  • Mayo
  • Red onion
  • Lettuce
  • Potato salad (I made before and brought with us)
  • Broccoli Crunch Salad (I picked up from the deli – so good!)
  • Berries
  • Apples
  • Watermelon – cut up ahead of time so it’s easy
  • Blueberry muffins – I made these delicious, moist paleo blueberry muffins with no wheat and no sugar. Came out great!

So our menu consisted of blueberry muffins and fruit for breakfast (one day we ate at the diner close by), and for lunch hot dogs or burgers, and for dinner we had chicken with potato salad; pork kebobs with fresh cut up veggies; and burgers to choose from. Plus snacks and s’mores (guilt-free because of the healthy substitutions).

Even though we had a cabin we had to walk to the bathroom – not too far away and the facilities were clean enough. Next time however, we will go camping at a place that has cabins with bathrooms and kitchens inside. The cabin we stayed in was $96 a night and the cabins at other places with a bathroom and kitchen inside are only $140 to $150 a night so it’s worth the extra luxury.

Having a travel toy bag is a must for parents with kids starting out even as babies. Kids have very short attention spans and there’s nothing less fun that a crying baby or toddler while at a restaurant or even worse on a plane while the “buckle your seat belt” sign is on.Travel toy bags are fun and keep kids entertained without having to always divert to using technology devices. (Don’t get me wrong…we have also used a cell phone and iPad to entertain our toddler, but we try to make it a last resort option).

Instead of screen time, encourage kids to play, learn, and explore as they eat at a restaurant, fly on a plane, ride in the car or on a train, or even when visiting places outside of the home like Grandma’s house.

I remember when flying with our three year old 9+ hours overseas – it’s not easy to say the least and I remember having to walk the aisles up and down just so our son would not cry, but then we started to bring the travel toy bag with us and it completely changed everything.

We of course always brought toys for him before, but a travel toy bag is different. It’s more thought out and is like a bag full of surprises.

Here are six tips to create the Ultimate Travel Toy Bag:

Tip #1: Use a sturdy, long-lasting toy bag.

Avoid using plastic Ziplock bags for your toy bag. Not only do they not last or hold up well, they are bad for the environment (1 million marine animals are killed each year from plastic trash entering our oceans and by the year 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish…oh and by the way, we have 3.5 trillion fish in our world oceans).

Our go-to – ZizzyBee Bags!  ZizzyBee Bags were first invented by a mom who needed a better toy storage/organization bag other than plastic, zip-style bags that posed a danger to her small kids and were not environmentally friendly.

best eco toy travel storage bagZizzyBee Bags are reusable, washable, see-through bags that have an easy hang or hold loop and zipper. They last FOREVER! My ZizzyBee Bags have gone so many places and look like new (machine-washable which I love).

The coolest part is by using a 3-Pack of ZizzyBee Bags, you save 1000+ single use plastic zip-style bags a year per household!

I use ZizzyBee Bags for so many things:

  1. I keep one in my purse to hold purse clutter – so only my wallet, phone and keys are in the bottom of my purse when I reach down in – and the ZizzyBee bag too which holds everything else.
  2. I use when traveling to hold toiletries and when I get to my destination, I usually hang my ZizzyBee bag in the bathroom to keep my things organized and clean.
  3. When I go for a walk, quick trip to the store or playground, I don’t grab the bulky diaper bag. I grab a ZizzyBee Bag with diapers, wipes, bottle / snack. My son is potty trained now though 🙂
  4. I keep a ZizzyBee bag with a change of clothes in my son’s backpack – when he’s in preschool his teachers don’t have to dig around to find a change of clothes – they just need to grab the ZizzyBee Bag!
  5. I also put all our sunscreen, goggles, etc. in one bag so every year, we know exactly where all the sunscreen is when we need it. Awesome to keep everything organized while at the beach or pool too.

I literally could go on and on with how I use ZizzyBee Bags, but one of my all-time favorite ways is a travel toy bag!

We always have one ready to bring to restaurants and bigger travel trips.

Tip #2: Add toys that your kids get access to only when traveling.

This makes a travel toy bag much more effective when the toys are just for traveling. Kids will want to play with them longer because they know upon arrival at the destination, the toys go back in the bag and are put away until next time.

I like to also rotate some new, surprise toys so there are new items in the toy bag, too.

Tip #3: Add the right toys.

This is very important. Once I bought a bunch of cheap toys at the Dollar Store and made a toy bag. When I was trying to save money, I ended wasting money because my toddler lost interest within minutes or totally ignored the toys all together.

The small plastic dinosaurs, slinky, koosh balls, spin tops, and other cheap toys were not engaging (not to mention probably made from unhealthy plastic!) — so from then on I added better toys, and they actually did not cost an arm and a leg either.

My favorite go-to store to get the best developmental toys for babies and toddlers is People Toy Company.

best developmental toys for babies toddlers
Kids end up with piles of toys –even if you don’t buy toys often. We buy toys only on holidays and even then it’s just one or two tops, but then factor in our families and our son ends up with so many toys!

90% of toys don’t get played with as kids tend to gravitate towards their favorite toys over and over again. People Toy Company has these kinds of toys. My son plays with their toys for an hour or more!

People Toy has three toy collections:


#1 Brain Builders:

These are the most unique and well-thought out toys I have ever come across. Each toy is tested my moms and babies before going to market and the final product includes feedback from real moms. I love this!

Brain Builders are toys tailored to your baby’s monthly developmental milestones to help babies achieve cognitive and physical skills within their first year.

I have many favorites but if I had to share two of my go-to baby toys for travel, I would have to choose the Magic Reflection Ball and the Cry No More Baby Rattle.

Magic Reflection Ball

best toy to keep baby entertained at restaurantThis is a great toy to keep babies well entertained:

  • 6 Months+
  • The convex shape sparks your child’s curiosity as their reflection constantly changes.
  • Suction cup mount affixes to most flat surfaces and holds the Magic Reflection Ball in place while your child holds, pulls, and climbs around to create added visual stimulation.
  • Perfect for restaurants!
  • Only $8.99!

Best toy for baby to keep entertained at restaurants – BUY HERE>>

Cry No More Baby Rattle:

best baby rattle that soothes babySound machines are amazing and this rattle gives you white noise on the go with a push of a button. Genius!
For newborns+:

  • Helps calms fussy babies
  • Helps baby fall asleep while traveling.
  • Dancing beads offer a visual and auditory symphony of cognitive stimulation.
  • At 8 months+ babies will grip rattle on their own.
  • Only $9.99!

Travel rattle for baby – BUY HERE>>

#2 Mochi Toys

best baby teething necklaceThese are awesome for traveling with babies too! My go-to Mochi toy is the teething necklace. Babies can remain calm and at ease when they know a teether is always in reach.

  • Eco-friendly and made with rice!
  • Built in jingling beads so baby hears a calming sound while chewing.
  • Removable and washable strap.
  • Chunky texture babies love.
  • $15.99 and worth every penny!


#3 People Blocks

magnetic blocks for toddlers
For my toddler, he still likes to play with these baby toys, but his all-time favorite travel toy is People Blocks!

People blocks are magnetic so they are easy to play with while traveling and keep my toddler entertained for a LONG time.

With so many fun shapes, sizes, and colors – he can build and rebuild over and over. The blocks fit perfectly in our ZizzyBee Bag.

Magnetic Blocks for Toddlers – BUY NOW>>

Tip #3: Think outside the box.

The travel toy bag does not have to have all toys in it – remember this bag is designed to keep kids busy and as parents we know our kids are fascinated by the simplest things and also interactive items:

  • Post-it notes
  • Small tin box (Altoids box) and add magnetic letters inside.
  • Discovery boxes – a snack or surprise hidden in a tiny box or bag, then wrapped in tissue paper. Kids love to open and unwrap things.
  • Mini felt board with felt shapes that have Velcro on the back. Kids can unstick and rearrange for a long while.
  • Little mini notepad and crayons.
  • Stickers (and something to stick them too – mini notebook works for this too)
  • Create a shape like an elephant on thick paper or cardboard, add holes with a hole punch around the edges, and provide string for kid to fish through the holes.
  • A calculator.
  • Cut up colored sponges – great for stacking like blocks but are light-weight.
  • Little containers with easy off lids.

Tip #4: Add some essentials.

Add some essentials in there as well:

  • Tissues
  • Crayons
  • Headphones – the ones made for kids with the big round speakers that stay on their ears. Lil’ Gadgets are one of our favorites! They limit the volume, are safe, durable and trendy. Only $17!
  • Snacks like raisins, bars, or other easy to eat yet nutritious foods. Make sure your child cannot get into the snacks so you can supervise their eating 🙂
  • Band-Aids

headphones for kids travel toddlersTip

#5: Clean the toys well after traveling.

I like to clean the toys when we arrive at our destination so any germs are removed as best as possible. Then I organize the toy bag so it’s ready to go when we travel back home.

A travel toy bag is a must when you leave the house for small errands, eating at a restaurant, and for bigger trips involving planes, trains, long car rides, or boats. What is your go-to travel toy that keeps your child entertained? Comment below!

If you enjoy dressing up in costumes for Halloween, you’re probably aware of the growing trend for groups of family members or friends is to wear complimentary costumes. People are choosing group costumes from their favorite movies, TV shows, and books. Most of the entertainment options geared toward children make great Halloween costumes, so look at these ideas for enlightenment when you decide on one for your family. Here are some of my favorites.

1. The cast of Despicable Me

Your kids have probably seen this movie and will love playing their part. (Credit)


2. Batman and his villains

The cool part about this idea is that there are dozens of characters in the Batman universe to dress up as, so everyone in your family can be included (grandma, grandpa, etc.) no matter the size of your family. (Credit)


3. The cast of Nintendo’s Mario

Every kid old enough to understand Halloween has probably played one of the Mario games. There’s a large selection of characters to choose from, so invite your friends as well. Also, that bomb costume is the cutest thing ever. (Credit)


4. Aliens from Toy Story

This is another great costume because everyone can be included. It doesn’t matter if your family has four people or ten, everyone can play one of the aliens from the claw game. If you’re really crafty, mom or dad can play their godlike “claw.” (Credit)


5. The cast of The Hunger Games

This costume is best if you have older children who have read the books or seen the movies (and understand them well enough – they’re made for preteens and teens). Plus the costumes aren’t immediately distinguishable, so you’ll have to stay together for other people to understand, but it’s still a great group costume. (Credit)


6. The Lord of the Rings cast.

If you have toddlers with you, this is the perfect group costume. Dress them up as little hobbits with hairy feet and short tunics. Mom and dad can play the heroes (the rugged adventurers or elegant elves), and anyone else you bring along can play a devilish orc. (Credit)


7. The Star Wars cast.

Star Wars is a staple franchise of anyone’s childhood. Whether you’re seven or forty-seven, you probably saw one of the films in the theater, played with the toys, or read some of the books. Everyone can relate, so it’s the perfect Halloween costume with plenty of characters to choose from. (Credit)


Written By Lisa Paul Heydet of ZizzyBee Bags

At ZizzyBee, we believe children bring fun and whimsy to our lives…along with the need for organization of hundreds of teeny, tiny little toy parts. And like most moms, we believe it is important to keep organized while using products for our children that are safe, washable, well designed, and practical. With this in mind, full-time single mom and entrepreneur Lisa Paul Heydet, saw a need and created ZizzyBee Bags.™

ZizzyBee Bags eliminate the need for baskets and bins and makes toys portable and travel a snap. The attractive see-through, reusable storage bags look good hanging from a hook or stacked in a diaper bag or suitcase. Keep children’s rooms organized by storing toys and clothes in ZizzyBee Bags. With two different sizes to choose from, you can use ZizzyBee Bags to keep items organized in desks, closets and more. They are easily packable and transportable for vacations, gym and work, road trips, school, grandparent’s house, playdates, strollers and so much more.

Interested in writing a guest blog for ZizzyBee? Send your topic idea to

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. ZizzyBee makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

October is SIDS Awareness Month and parents are encouraged to learn more about the risk factors involved in SIDS and what steps they can take to prevent it. SIDS is defined as the death of an infant, less than 1 year of age that occurs suddenly and unexpectedly and cannot be explained after a thorough investigation is conducted. Scientists have learned a great deal about SIDS over the last years and SIDS cases have decreased drastically, but there are still over 4,000 kids that die unexpectedly each year with no known cause.

The leading theory is that SIDS affects babies with an undetected condition (such as a respiratory or heart vulnerability) combined with an environmental stressor (such as an obstructed airway). Babies born prematurely, have a young mother (under 20 years old), or experience a life-threatening event early in life are at a higher risk for SIDS. There’s no way to prevent SIDS entirely, but you can work to make your baby’s chances of avoiding the syndrome as low as possible.

When parents better understand the risks involved with SIDS, this can help to reduce future infant deaths.  Here are five tips on how to help reduce the risk of SIDS along with how to make sure you are swaddling baby correctly and safely.

1. Always place baby on his back to sleep.

Many studies have found that there is a higher incidence of SIDS among babies who are placed to sleep on their stomachs. It is thought that sleeping on the stomach narrows the baby’s airway and causes difficulty breathing. There is also a possibility that an infant sleeping on his stomach is “rebreathing” his own exhaled carbon dioxide. Baby must be put to sleep on his back throughout the first year of life. Swaddling helps baby sleep on their backs and helps prevent sleep-deprived parents from placing baby on their stomach to sleep.

2. Keep baby’s crib clear of blankets and toys.

You never want to put blankets, comforters, bumpers, stuffed toys or pillows anywhere near the baby while he is sleeping. Baby’s head and face must remain free of any blankets or coverings. If using a blanket, make sure it gets tucked around the mattress but a tight fitted sheet is best. By keeping the crib clear it can prevent rebreathing and suffocation. Bumper pads should also be avoided as they can be a potential risk of suffocation or strangulation.

3. Practice safe swaddling.

Pediatrics study suggests that babies who are swaddled experience a more restful sleep than unswaddled babies and can awaken more easily in response to noise, potentially decreasing the risk of SIDS.

For safe swaddling parents should always:

  • Use a swaddle where baby can have good hip range of motion; swaddling too tightly can cause hip dysplasia.
  • The preferred sleeping position for babies is the “hands over heart” position; use a swaddle that does not pin baby’s arms to the side. Babies (and especially babies with colic) can self-sooth and settle by using their hands and fingers in the natural “hands to heart” position just like babies do in the womb.
  • Use a swaddle that will not unravel- this prevents blankets from becoming lose and covering baby’s face. There are swaddles that do not even require wrapping!
  • Don’t over-swaddle baby or double swaddle- overheating baby is linked to SIDS. The new Woombie Air is the first breathable swaddle that regulates baby’s body temperature by allowing excess heat to escape. (Another tip, use a fan in baby’s room to maintain airflow. Plus, the white noise sound the fan creates will help baby sleep!)
  • When baby begins to roll, it’s no longer safe to swaddle. To transition baby to arms-free sleep, take one arm out of the swaddle at nap time and then when baby is used to it, try it at night time.  Take out the other arm and remove the swaddle completely gradually.

4. Keep baby at a comfortable temperature.

You don’t want baby to get too warm while sleeping so it’s best to keep them somewhere that’s room-temperature and don’t excessively clothe them. It has been suggested that babies who get too warm go into a deeper sleep making it more difficult for them to awaken. suggests keep the room at a temperature that feels comfortable for an adult in a short-sleeve shirt.

First Candle, a national nonprofit health organization uniting parents, caregivers and researchers nationwide with government, business and community service groups to advance infant health and survival, says, “When a healthy baby becomes overheated their brain recognizes the problem and attempts to correct it. When a baby predisposed to SIDS overheats, nothing happens to correct the situation.”

5. Place baby on a firm sleep surface.

According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, SIDS is sometimes called “crib death” and while cribs themselves don’t cause SIDS, the baby’s sleep environment can influence sleep-related causes of deaths. It’s important to use a safety-approved, firm mattress covered with a fitted sheet and avoid placing baby on a pillow, waterbed, couch, chair or other soft surface. This can help prevent smothering or suffocation. You can check the safety of your baby’s mattress or crib by contacting the Consumer Product Safety Commission at

While the exact cause of SIDS remains a mystery, we’re closing in on a solution. The number of SIDS deaths has declined by 50% since 1990, but more work is needed. You can help by donating to the American SIDS Institute and helping us share these tips.


Most families will benefit from having a playroom. If you have the space, they’re worth setting up. I’ve met some families that prefer to let the kids share a room, and use the other spare room as a playroom. It’s a great arrangement if your family is on bored – until the kids become a certain age, that is. If you’re unsure about whether you’d like a playroom, here’s why you need one.

1. Kids learn to share.

When you have multiple kids, they will inevitably receive toys for gifts. But as we know, kids will play with whatever they feel like, regardless of who it belongs to or archaic ideas of what’s “normal.” By storing all the toys in one room, kids learn to share their belongings with their siblings.

2. Playrooms encourage cooperative play.

When children play side-by-side, they’ll naturally play together. Their games will merge into a single storyline and they will naturally include one another. It’s actually quite lovely to see two kids of different ages interact fluidly simply because they were near one another.

3. Playrooms make for a tidier home.

By having a room dedicated to play, you keep all those play-things out of the rest of your house. Sure, the room might look like a disaster every day, but at least the mess is confined to a small area. Besides, kids play better when their toys are accessible. Surprise guests? Just close the door…

4. Playrooms make playdates easy.

When friends of your little guy or gal come over for a visit, a playroom is a convenient spot to plant them for the duration. Adults can remain in the living room or kitchen and have an actual conversation without being interrupted by screams and “Watch this, mommy!”

5. Playrooms leave bedrooms for sleeping.

When you perform a certain activity in a room often, a pattern is created in your brain. Bedrooms should be for sleeping so your mind naturally falls into that rhythm after some time in the room. If your child sleeps and plays in the same room, those modes in their brain will blend together. Let them play in the playroom and sleep in the bedroom so they do both of those activities well.

6. Playrooms are easier to organize.

When you keep all the toys, games, and art supplies in the same room, you actually make them easier to contain and organize. Keep all the board games in a neat stack on a shelf. Wrangle all the arts and crafts equipment into clear plastic boxes, neatly labeled with what’s inside. Keep the play cups, plates and spoons with the kitchen set. This way your kids will know where to go for their toys, rather than hunting around the house.

7. Play should be taken seriously (by adults).

During open-ended unstructured playtime, children practice verbal and nonverbal communication skills by negotiating roles and expressing their thoughts and opinions. In addition, pretend play helps children think out loud about their own experiences, which helps children to gain self-control of their emotions. Play is vital to healthy social development and a dedicated playroom is a great way to give your children these important life skills.

Guest Blog by Karri Bowen-Poole, Founder of Smart Playrooms

Smart Playrooms is owned and operated by teachers with many years of classroom experience and expertise. They bring the most effective classroom organization techniques and learning strategies into your home.

Smart Playrooms works to encourage kids to get back to the basics of play, using their creative side for art projects and imaginary play. Stressing that less is more, they help moms focus on the toys that will add to the experience. Some moms ask them to help organize their home, but Karri and Chris really like the idea of using their educational backgrounds to create custom designed playrooms. Plus, this gives them a niche in the market. Former teachers setting up your playroom – what could be better!