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15 Summer Essential Favorites for Families

This summer break may look different than any we’ve ever experienced before, but despite the current global situation, we can still prepare for a summer of fun as a family.

We’ve gathered some of our favorite picks to keep your family learning, playing, exploring, while of course staying safe and stylish all summer long.

We received samples in exchange for this post. Affiliate links are used in this post. All opinions are our own.


Keep Learning This Summer

Give your readers and pre-readers a head start this summer with the fun HOMER Reading App designed for children ages 2-8. It’s built to scale to your child’s level to help them feel confident and engaged. It even personalizes the experience based on your child’s interests to help them want to play and learn as they go.

With HOMER your child progresses along a learning path as they learn letter recognition, tracing letters, phonic awareness, and on to sight words. Your HOMER membership also includes stories to fuel their love of learning and desire to continue forward on their learning journey. You can give the HOMER Reading app a try to see if it’s a good fit for your family with a free trial.


Let them explore with the fun of magnets with a STEM educational Magformers creative magnet set to build and play. Magformers use strong magnetics safely enclosed in a variety of shapes that let you build and create an endless combination of patterns and designs. My son loves stacking, twisting, and dangling his pieces to experiment with the strong magnetic hold.

We’ve been having fun with the Max’s Playground Magformers set. This darling set combines both magnetic construction pieces that can be combined in a variety of shapes and arrangements and additional accessories to bring the magnets to life as a playset. Max’s Playground includes a slide, balcony, bike, swing, Max character and more accessories along with classic Magformer magnet shapes for building unique scenes.


Beat summer boredom and the loss of critical educational skills this summer with LEGO Education WeDo 2.0. These Lego STEM kits are learning tools disguised as fun toys. Kids can spend hours using their imaginations to build and re-build new designs.

Each LEGO Education WeDo 2.0 kit comes with a storage bin with sorting trays, Smarthub, a Medium Motor, Motion Sensor, a Tilt Sensor, labels and of course LEGOS! With the desktop and tablet supported software, kids can build a variety of moving LEGO creations. LEGO Education WeDo 2.0 introduces them to easy-to-use programming, engineering and more, all while having a great time.


The kids won’t realize they are keeping their brains active with these fun sets from Thames & Kosmos. They’ll love setting up the Gumball Machine Maker which teaches them to use physics while they have gumballs doing stunts and tricks on the way down. Or try building a Solar-Powered Rovers. They can build 5 different motorized models that use electricity powered by the sun to move as they learn how solar cells work.

Maybe they want to learn more about phosphorescence and light with the Glow-In-The-Dark Science Lab. They’ll love creating Neon Chalk, glow-in-the-dark flowers, even their own glow sticks. These kits and so much more will keep your child thinking and exploring for days on end.


Summer Essentials for Families

You and your children will both appreciate an extended safety net with the help of Relay! The Relay device is a screen-free, kid-friendly device that works off cellphone towers to provide a 2-way walkie talkie style communication while recording messages that may have been missed. Your child can push to talk and the messages will come straight to your phone or device. Then, you can communicate back.

With Relay you’ll also be able to monitor location and set up geofencing alerts to keep them safe. The Relay device is smaller than a post-it note and can stash in a pocket, purse, attached with a lanyard or carabiner so its easy to take with them wherever this summer takes your children. Relay is the perfect first step before a cell phone that helps them stay in touch.


Transform your home with the use of color and lights with Nanoleaf! This flexible lighting solution can be assembled in endless configurations to fit your home and space and seamlessly fit within your home decor. Each panel can be set to a specific color or customize your panels with a scene to let them adjust through a series of colors.

One of our favorite thing about Nanoleaf light panels is making the experience unique to us. We loved setting up the panels in a unique configuration that fit our space and then playing with the colors and scenes to create the perfect combinations. With Nanoleaf Canvas you can even touch the panels for interactive light control and even fun games!


This summer may be like any our families have ever experience before with all that’s currently happening in the world. Prepare your family for whatever your summer may take you with Hoo-rag. They offer a more comfortable approach to a traditional bandana with a circular tube-shaped banana that’s easy to wear and slip over your nose and mouth as may be needed while out in public.

Hoo-rags are perfect for all sorts of outdoor adventures, beyond just the health applications for the current status. Use them while you workout, hike, play, fish, bike, hunt, and all the other ways you play. The Hoo-rags are versitale to be used as a face covering, pulled up as a headback, neck covering, hair cover, and other applications with ease.


Make the most of summer break by learning a new language together as a family! With Drops app, for parents, and Droplets app, for kids, the whole family will be ready to find new ways to communicate. You can select from over 35 different languages including Spanish, Japanese, you can even start learning American Sign Language (ASL) in the Scripts app that introduces new alphabets!

The apps use visual clues and repetition to help you build vocabulary in at little as 5 minutes a day! I found the app easy to use and it made learning new words fun and interesting with a variety of practice methods mixed in. You can find Drops, Droplets, and Scripts for free in both the Apple App store and Google Play store or upgrade to premium to go ad-free and access the language learning lessons offline!


Fun for the Kids

Get outdoors and have some fun with a Razor Hovertrax 1.5 Hoverboard. It can last for up to 45 minutes per charge giving them space to navigate around the neighborhood. It uses self-balancing to help you stay upright and secure and a smooth ride to help you feel confident.

My boys love riding around on the Hovertrax. If they’re sent out to take out the trash cans to the curb or pick up the mail they’ll jump on the hoverboard first and make their chores just a little more fun. It’s been a great way to have them get outside and still have an enjoyable time even while under quarantine. It didn’t take my boys long at all to figure out how to get on, maneuver, and get off the hoverboard with ease.


We all need a hobby during summer break to keep us engaged and having an enjoyable break. Fun.com is the ultimate destination to find whatever you’re into — from games and toys to movies and pop culture, there’s something for everyone. We love strategy board games and are excited to try Mansions of Madness Board Game that has an immersive gameplay style with the use of an app.

There’s no better way to entertain the kids for hours than with LEGO’s like this fun themed LEGO Harry Potter Hagrid’s Hut set from Fun.com. My son was in heaven as he recreated scenes from his favorite book (and movie) as he put together the set. Fun.com can help tackle summer boredom with fun ideas for the whole family.


Buena Onda Games has a whole new approach on the traditional frisbee with their hand crocheted MayaFlya flying discs. These fun and colorful discs are soft but sturdy making them perfect for indoor and outdoor use. They fly like a dream and can be caught on the edge or try to land it on one finger through the center hole for more challenge.

You can also find fun hacky sack inspired games including an ultralight bocce ball game or their unique YippiYappa game set that has a variety of ways to play. Try making the colorful balls into the carrying basket or get the closest to the goal! We had so much fun playing with the MayaFlya discs and YippiYappa set. They’re both absolutely beautifully produced and high quality. Not only are they a blast, they’re fair trade and made by Mayan artisans.


Little collectible toys are all the rage, and now with SuperThings your child can play like a superhero with these fun mini toys to collect. With SuperThings your child can have creative and imaginative play while they come up with their own battles, stories, adventures, and rescues.

There are over 80 SuperThings characters to collect along with fun accessories including hideouts, disc launchers, and supercars! Plus, play with your SuperThings alongside the comic book to bring your heroes to life! There are a variety of fun packs to choose from to start collecting.


Summer Fashion Favorites

Your family will need footwear that can keep up with all your summer travel and adventures! We are huge fans of Keen Footwear as their shoes can actually take the beating our four boys give them as they jump in puddles, hike through the woods, and endlessly play.

Perfect for summer, try the Newport H2 Sandals that protect the toes and provide support while still giving ventilation and are perfect for wearing in and out of the water. Or turn to the Targhee Waterproof hiking shoes for your trail adventures that don’t mind getting wet. There are styles for adults, too, like these Women’s Whisper sandals that are lightweight and comfortable.


Update their wardrobe with the darling styles for kids babies through pre-teen ages at Giggle. You’ll be able to find styles you love along with toys, gear, and nursery essentials for your growing family. Get started at Giggle by browsing their selection of Summer Favorites styles.

Some of our favorite styles are the Munster Kids Flood Tee that incorporates the tie dye fad in a gorgeous way with the striking deep blue and white contrast. I also adore these Mayoral Khaki Shorts with Cord Details. They fit so well and look absolutely darling! The cord belt is a fun detail and they go with just about anything.


Be prepared for those quick summer storms that blew through with these adorable Holly and Beau color-changing raincoats and umbrellas! The raincoats start with a colorful jacket color and white accent characters and is cute even when dry, but add a splash of water and the jacket really comes to life!

Holly and Beau also has coordinating color changing umbrellas if your child wants to hide from the rain! They’re just as darling changing colors as well with a variety of fun prints and themes including dinosaurs, monsters, outer space, unicorns, cupcakes and more! The umbrella will transform right before your child’s eyes as they delight in the color changes.


What are your summer must-haves?

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