Stuff We Like: Beach Ready
Summer is a time for sand, surf, tasty frozen treats, and plenty of activities with your kids. While your kids are on vacation from school, you don’t want them to suffer from the summer brain drain. Check out our list of must-have items to keep your kids thinking and their imaginations at work while you make the most of your beach days.
Promote creative play with affordable (under $10 each) European-crafted sand toys for kids ages 3 and older by HABA. Dig holes using the sand drill ($4.90), which has easy-to-grip handles for small hands, or get a quick physics lesson with the dual-toned sand shaker ($3.90). HABA also created a line of food-inspired sand toys, so kids can easily mold pizza, cake, or sand candies—see all the options, and tools to help you build a better sandcastle, on the company’s website.
Chew-Proof, Rip-Proof, and Beach-Ready
Made with a safe, non-toxic paper-like, waterproof material that cannot be ripped, torn, or punctured, Indestructibles are storybooks that hold true to their namesake, so you can tote the tales on any summer adventure without ruining them. Featuring bright, swirling colors, familiar stories like “Mary Had a Little Lamb” are depicted with only pictures, so that parents and children can use their imagination to drum up a creative tale each time. Created by Amy Pixton, a mother of triplets, and her mother-in-law, Kaarin Pixton, an artist and educator—who no doubt know how sticky and icky the pages of books might get in the hands of a child—Indestructibles (ages newborn-2) are even machine washable and dishwasher safe.
Ice-Cold Treats in a Snap
On the run? Quickly turn frozen fruit into a dessert similar to soft-serve ice cream without any additives such as milk, cream, or sugar. Earning a Good Housekeeping VIP (Very Innovative Product) Award in February, Yonanas Maker features safety stops so kids can’t put their fingers inside the machine ($49.99). A great summer fruit to use with Yonanas is watermelon. And, if watermelon is the must-have fruit in your house for the summer, check out ourlist of family-approved watermelon recipes.
Beyond Cute Beach Towels
Perfect for the beach, the pool, or even bath time, these hooded towels will keep your kids’ imaginations at work. With the hood pulled up as a shark ($39; rosenberryrooms.com), or the towel tied around their waist as a mermaid ($48; chasing-fireflies.com), your creative water-loving kid can pretend to live in the ocean. You can even have the towels personalized for an additional $10!
And if you’re tired of the beach (but really, who gets tired of the beach?), check out our parent’s guide to summer fun for a list of family-friendly activities in the NYC area, from hiking and fishing to indoor fun and a list of the best summer reads.