i have summer on the brain. i can’t stop thinking about warm weather, and sun, and sand, and water, flip-flops, the smell of sunscreen. last summer, we kept it low key, and didn’t vacation very far. we called it our adventure summer, and did a lot of camping, and mini vacations. i look back on those pictures every so often, and think, “i have no idea how it could get any better!” and, then i think, “it will!!” and i get even more excited about summer than i was before.

here are 10 summer must-haves for fun-seeking families

10 summer must-haves for fun-seeking families

1. the sport-brella.  last year, we had an infant, and i was convinced she wouldn’t survive the pool, soccer games, the beach, or countless other places without a shady place to chill.  we have 4 kids though, and carrying an umbrella seemed unreasonable.  the sport-brella was the perfect solution!  it comes in a bag and slings over your shoulder.  it’s lightweight and easy to set up.  here is the bonus, i thought we may only use it a couple of times, and i feel it was a wasted purchase once the baby was older, but everyone used it!!  it gave everyone a cool place to hang out when they needed a break.  it gave us all a dry place to sit when it rained at soccer games.  awesome purchase for any family!!

2.  a good ol’ camping chair.  we literally have one for every person in our family.  we take them to soccer, games, to the pool, to the beach, camping, picnics- pretty much anywhere outside that we would want a seat.  they fold up, they’re lightweight, and they fit into a bag with a handle.  i’m going to go out on a limb, and say we have had them for a good 6+ years (they have had to be replaced because we use the heck out of them), and if we were down a chair, we would most likely feel like we couldn’t survive without it!  side note: nursing a baby at any of the above mentioned locations, is just more comfortable with a chair–  and the umbrella for that matter.

3. kanjam.  if you haven’t played it, and don’t know what it is, you’re missing out!!  we have all become obsessed.  the game is played by two teams, and you take turns throwing a frisbee at a “can” with a slot in it.  you can youtube it.  let me just say though…  this game is fun for everyone–  adults, teenagers, kids.  i am not even a little athletic, and a whole lot of competitive, and i love this game!!  we have tournaments in our backyard, and while camping, and we will definitely take it to the beach this year,  kanjam.  if you don’t have it, get it.  and then, come back here and tell me how much fun you are having with it!

4.  marshmallow roasting forks.  i just drooled a little…  i haven’t had sweets in over a month.  sorry…  anyhow, you could always search for sticks, but these are so much easier, and we all fight over them.

5.  an ergo.  if you have a baby or toddler up to 45 pounds, this carrier is a must.  it can carry a newborn or toddler up to 45 pounds.   my kids have never been huge fans of the stroller when they were babies, the ergo has made my life more manageable.  i love that it is adjustable and i don’t have to worry about my baby growing out of it.  i also love that my baby sits right up against me, and there isn’t fabric between myself and the baby.  one more selling point for me was that i could loosen the carrier in order to feed my babies, and then tighten it when they are sleeping.  i like my carriers extra snug, so i had a hard time finding a carrier that would give me both options.

6.  THIS igloo cooler with wheels.  we have been through quite a few coolers.  which means we have several of them in our basement.  if we are going anywhere as a family, a large cooler with wheels is a must!  we have room for everything we need, AND we can stack anything extra on the cooler and drag it to our landing spot.  once we get there, one of the kids has an extra seat, if they forgot their camping chair.  ;)

7.  tervis cups.  you can’t be surprised..  i need a cup that will keep my drink nice and cold!!  these are perfect, they don’t sweat, and they have lids.  plus, i love drinking out of a straw in the summer.  i know i’m weird.

8.  a gopro.  when i asked for my gopro for christmas, i can’t tell you how many people asked me if i was planning on going skydiving.  now, clearly, i am not going skydiving, but i have used my gopro so much already, and i cannot wait to carry it on all of our adventures this year!  it’s so much tinier than my “big” camera, it can get wet, it can be attached to almost anything, and i love it’s wide angle view.  i think it’s an awesome little camera for fun-seeking families like ours!

9.  ion job rocker.  this is seriously the coolest “boom box” EVER!  it’s bluetooth so you can set your iphone up to it, or just listen to the radio!!  it’s pretty heavy duty, so no worries about it breaking.  it has a rechargeable battery, and extra outlets so you can plug other stuff into it too!  it’s loud too!  we use it in our backyard, or take it with us.

10.   foam water guns.  what kid doesn’t like a water gun??  the only problem is, filling them up.  these foam guns are easy, even for the littlest kiddos to fill.  just fill a bucket, and let them go to town!

i can’t wait for summer!!

what are your summer must-haves?


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