Top Summer Essentials for Families

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+.