News: chewable kids sunglasses

10 Summer Activities For Kids Under $10

By Gen Cohen

Finding enough activities to keep kiddos busy throughout the whole Summer can become exhausting — and expensive. Save some money (and your sanity) with a few fun activities that cost almost nothing to set up and carry out. But remember! Sun protection for your kids' eyes don't have to be expensive either. Browse our baby and junior sunglasses to learn more!

Read through for 10 inexpensive summer activities for kids under $10 that they — and your wallet — will love.

  1. Berry picking. Rather than picking up overpriced berries from the grocery store, visit a local farm to pick your own to give your kids something fun to do.
  2. Fly a kite. A cheap kite won't cost you an arm and a leg, but it will definitely lead to hours of fun. There's nothing more exciting for kids than watching it fly in the sky!
  3. Water balloon fight. Grab a big bag of water balloons, spend an hour frustratingly filling them up, and watch as your children's smiling faces getting hit by balloons makes it worth the trouble.
  4. Paint pet rocks. Instead of using expensive arts and crafts kits, grab cheap paints and have your kids collect a bunch of rocks in the yard to decorate as their "pets."
  5. S'mores party. Buy some graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows, and start a fire in the backyard pit to make a delicious Summer snack.
  6. Pool noodle racing. For a fun indoor game, cut a pool noodle in half, lay the halves next to each other with the opening up, and use them as a racetrack for marbles.
  7. Build a moat. Using a roll of aluminum foil to hold the water in, let your kids go crazy designing a moat with the foil all around the outside perimeter of your house.
  8. Tarp 'n' slide. Slip 'N Slides can be expensive (and get ripped by the end of Summer anyway). Purchase a big tarp and pair it with a hose to give your children the gifts of slipping and sliding.
  9. Colored tape racetrack. Using colored tape on any floor, create a racetrack for your kids' cars (older kids can design the track themselves!).
  10. Make a soap cloud. Grab a bar of soap, throw it in the microwave to make it expand, and use cookie cutters and food coloring to make fun soaps to play with in the bathtub.
Image Source: Shutterstock

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36 of the Best Gifts For Infants (besides our shades)

By Gen Cohen

Baby's first holiday or birthday can't pass unnoticed. Though they may have more fun with the box than anything in it, there are still plenty of fun gift ideas to add to their toy chest. From activity gyms and bead toys to an adorable rocker and the softest play mat ever, here are our 36 favorite baby gifts for this year!

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Skip the Gas Station With These Healthy Road Trip Snacks For Kids

By Gen Cohen

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7 Carriers to Make Bike Riding With Tiny Ones Fun For the Whole Family

By Gen Cohen

Before we dive into this awesome list of 7 bike trailers for kids, it's important to remember to protect those baby blues with our kids' rubber sunglasses. They're light, comfortable, and they keep your junior's eyes safe from harmful UV rays!

 

 

Going for a bike ride as a family is a fun and fit bonding activity, but if you have a tiny one who isn't quite riding a bike on their own yet or can't keep up the same pace as older children, it could be difficult to execute. Don't skip the ride or have anyone stay behind — with one of these accessories, you can bring the entire family to the bike trail with ease.

Read on for seven bike accessories that will change your family's bike rides this Spring and Summer.

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How This Mom's Morning Routine Sets Her Up for Success

By Gen Cohen

 

There's no denying that family mornings are hectic. Parents and kids need to eat breakfast, get dressed, gather belongings… there are lots of moving parts, and an ill-fitting sock, a missing glove, or spilled orange juice can derail the schedule in an instant. But busy mornings don't have to be stressful, and there are ways to find moments of bliss within the chaos. Here are a few methods that work for my (mostly functional) family of four.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / THEM TOO

Wake Up Early. I set my alarm for 20 minutes before my youngest child usually yells, "Mama!" What do I do in this time? I stretch, freshen up, pull on a robe, and page through the newspaper or listen to morning news radio for a few minutes — by myself. That alone time is the perfect way to create a calm front to meet the whirlwind of energy that my kids create when they literally jump out of bed. Not a morning person? Try 10 minutes early at first and I'll bet you'll find this change helps you feel more rested overall. Bonus: This practice gives me a jump on the day when I sit down to my desk, too. No need to scroll through headlines, I've already had my morning news fix, so I can get right to work. That means the whole day is more productive.

Cue the Music. When my children bound down the stairs with requests for everything from clean shirts to buttermilk pancakes (not likely on a weekday, kid!), I put on some music. As a family, we created a "Morning Mix," which includes a little Beach Boys, a few Adele songs, and yes, one favorite Alvin and the Chipmunks number. The music creates a sense of ease that helps the morning flow, plus it's a mood booster that lifts their—and my—spirits well into the afternoon hours.

Savor a Taste. As the rush to brush teeth and put on shoes and tie ponytails swirls around me, I keep my sanity by focusing on the steaming cup of coffee I'll pick up after school drop-off. Each warm, rich sip reminds me to take things slow and steady as I begin the part of the day that is my own.

Bag the Accessories. Winter comes with… stuff. We stay organized by keeping child hats, gloves, and scarves in a bag in the entry closet. When the kids come home, they know the accessories go right into the bag. As we head out the door, the bag gets dumped and everyone grabs their respective items. It's messy but it works, which is pretty much our family motto.

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22 Outdoor Activities Perfect For Fall Weekends

By Gen Cohen

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4 essentials for a second baby

By Gen Cohen

4 essentials for a second baby

We’ve chatted SECOND BABY REGISTRY GUIDE already, but today I’m here to cover the four essentials you absolutely need when you’re expecting baby #2. Sure, everything on the registry guide will make your life easier, but I’m talking about the down and dirty four things you absolutely cannot live without if you value your sanity and your baby’s happiness. Ready?

 

 

1. A swing, bouncer, baby chair, etc.: If this is your second baby, chances are you’re already chasing around another child–washing hands, making snacks, general “parent-of-a-toddler” stuff. You’re going to want a swing or rocker to put your baby down in. Somewhere safe and off the ground (so said first child can’t accidentally step on the baby) and somewhere that will entertain or soothe her. With Oscar I had the 4MOMS MAMAROO and I found it to be far superior to any chair or swing I used with Harry. That little contraption bought me tens of minutes at a time when I needed to put Oscar down to tend to Harry stuff.

2. A good wrap or carrier: Going off that thread, you’re going to find there are times when your baby just wants to be held. Remember that from baby #1? I remember working through Harry’s late nap with him laying on my shoulder. But the second time around, things are a little different. A good wrap or carrier is worth it’s weight in gold (and then some because if it’s really good it won’t weigh much). My favorites are our SOLLY BABY WRAP and our WILDBIRD SLING.

3.A double stroller: You’ve got two kids now, so it’s might be time to upgrade your stroller. A good double stroller will make your trips to the store, your jogs, your zoo field trips, etc. easier. We actually have two different double strollers, but that may not be necessary based on the ages of your children and your lifestyle. I use a BOB SE REVOLUTION DOULIE for my runs and our walks around town and I keep ourUPPABABY VISTA in the car and take it anytime we travel. I love them both!

4. Diapers: If it seems obvious, that’s because it is. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need diapers! If your older child is already potty trained, you’ll want to get back into the habit of picking up a pack or two of diapers when you’re shopping–or you can bust out the old CLOTH DIAPERS. If you’re still changing older sibling’s diapers, you’re going to want to think about doubling up and what that means for you in terms of gear. Definitely more diapers, wipes, and maybe even a second changing station?

It’s kind of surprising both A) how much you have everything you already need for baby #2 and B) how little you actually need! What do you think–did we cover everything? Anything else you would add to the “essential” list?

 

 

...and of course, our ro•sham•bo baby sunglasses ;)

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how to stay cool with baby this summer!

By Gen Cohen

17 Items for Keeping Cool This Summer

Nursery Items

HALO Cotton Muslin Sleepsack ~ $20

For hot summer nights, a lightweight wearable blanket (or swaddle) is a must for little ones who still need something to cover them. 100% cotton muslin fabric is breathable and very lightweight.

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Lasko Baby-Safe Tower Fan  ~ $61

Tower FanIf your nursery doesn’t have an overhead fan, we recommend this blade-less tower fan.

Safe for little fingers, an oscillating fan is also great because it circulates air without concentrating it in one spot. We also love that it helps with air quality. Remote included.

*Note this is just a fan, not an air conditioner.

 

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Baby Carriers

Just because it’s hotter than h*ll outside, doesn’t mean you should stop babywearing. Here are the carriers that we love for summer —

ventus-baby-carrier

Ergobaby Ventus

Ergobaby Cool Air Mesh/Performance Carriers ~ $120+

For babywearing in a warm/hot climate, I highly recommend the Ergo Performance line. They offer the “Cool Air Mesh Performance” carrier ($120), the “Performance Ventus” carrier (for ultimate ventilation) ($123) and the “360 Cool Air,” which is the regular 360 (which allows outward facing), but mo’ meshy ($180).

These carriers are all moisture-wicking and super breathable. The fabric is machine washable and fast drying. *Read more about why we love Ergobaby carriers here.

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Lillebaby Complete All Seasons ~ $140

Get more bang for your buck with the Lillebaby All Seasons carrier. In hot weather, zip down the front flap to allow air through the meshy back area. In the wintertime, zip it back up to keep baby warm in cold weather. For year-round warm climates, check out their new line of Airflow carriers.

Options, people!!

*Read in-depth review of this carrier here.

Lillebaby All Seasons Carrier

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Beachfront Baby Wrap ~ $40

This super light and stretchy infant wrap is made of performance athletic mesh, which is extremely breathable, lightweight and fast-drying – you can even babywear in the water. These are SO cool, I wish I knew about them when my littles were little!!

beachfront baby wraps

It’s also great for moms with older kid(s) that need an extra hand in the water. Perfect for everyday use as well. Comes in wrap and ring sling versions.

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Car Seat & Stroller Accessories

The interior of a car can get up to 170° on a hot day, which leaves every surface as hot as lava. The darker your car seats, the hotter they will get. Here are some tools for keeping your little ones cool(er) in the car and stroller.

Newbie Shade ~ $25

Don’t let the sun get between your baby and a much-needed car nap (right??).

The Newbie shade is low-profile, low-tech and easy to attach to the front and rear headrests. Made of 100% cotton, it blocks UV rays, works in nearly any vehicle and doesn’t interfere with the driver’s line of sight.

Enter promo code LUCIESLIST for 20% off at checkout through 9/22/16.

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Muslin Car Seat Cover ~ $15+

For infant car seats: muslin car seat covers are airy, breathable, and keep direct sun out of baby’s eyes. There are so many out there, it’s hard to pick just one. Check out the many options that are available at various price points.

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Brica Infant Car Seat Cover ~ $23

The highly-rated Brica infant car seat cover does double duty: it has mesh (to keep the bugs away) and a retractable sun & rain cover that blocks all UV rays. Oh, and it protects baby from unwanted touching 😉  *Fits all major car seat brands.

Brica Car Seat Cover

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Protect-A-Bub Convertible Car Seat Shade

And for the convertible car seat, Protect-A-Bub makes a cover for your older kiddo. Rated UPF 50+ and doesn’t retain heat.

*Click here to find a retailer in your area. Not so easy to find…

Protect a bub car seat shade

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Jolly Jumper Stroller Sunshade ~ $15

Strollers come with a built-in canopy, but most of them don’t cover your entire kiddo. We like the Jolly Jumper sunshade because it fits most strollers, play yards and protects against UV rays. Keeps bugs out too!

Jolly Jumper Stroller Sunshade

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Cool Mee Seat Liner by Meeno Babies

Cool Mee Seat LinerTypical car seats have a solid back surface or a cushion with material that isn’t vented, so setting a layer of vented material between the car seat or stroller and the child reduces sweating and overheating. In a hot, hot car, it may not guarantee against any sweating, but it sure does help.

One user noted that Meeno Babies car seat liner reduced surface temperature by about 18 degrees in the shade and 15 degrees in direct light (yes, he measured with a thermometer).

*Universal size fits most. Be sure this liner (or any other item) doesn’t interfere with harness placement and tightness. Harnesses should always be snug enough that you can’t pinch any material (95% of parents don’t have their kids harnessed tightly enough anyway — just saying).

Enter code staycool at checkout to get 20% off MSRP each unit until July 31st. Includes free shipping in the USA!

Dreambaby Stroller Fan ~ $13

Stroller fans don’t give off a ton of air, but it’s just the right amount for little ones. Bonus: it doubles as a sound machine 😉

*Another option is a handheld spray bottle fan; check out this one by 02cool. For the heavy duty user, check out this pump mister.

Dreambaby Stroller Fan

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Car Sunshades by Veneev ~ $12 (2-pack)

Window clings keep direct sun out of eyes and help keep the temperature down. *Be sure they don’t interfere with the driver’s line of sight.

These are the highest-rated shades on the market and use static to stick to your window without leaving residue. They protect from UV rays and provide a SPF 30+ protection. Note that you have to remove the cling in order to roll the window down.

*Check out Enovoe for larger cars.

Window Cling

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The Noggle Air Conditioner Extender ~ $46

These funny-looking air hoses are called Noggles and parents swear by them. They deliver air to anywhere in your car, especially to rear-facing kiddos who don’t get direct ventilation.  Works with a/c in the summer and heat in the winter, huzzah! Great for older cars that don’t have back seat vents.

*Note: You’ll need the 6′ for forward-facing in the backseat, the 8′ for rear-facing, and the 10′ for a car seat in the 3rd row.

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Cooling Garment

Cooling Towel by Ergodyne ~ $8

More tools for keeping cool: the best-selling Cooling Towel by Ergodyne. All you need to do is wet it (run it under the tap for one minute), and you can re-use it throughout the day. Bring this one to Disney in August, you won’t regret it.

Cooling Towel

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Insulated Cups

Polar Bottle Kids Insulated Bottle ~ $7.99

This affordable plastic bottle uses special insulated foil to keep liquids cold. Unlike heavy stainless steel water bottles, this one’s easy for little ones to drink from and the opening is large enough to fit ice. We have 3 and use them almost daily.

      • BPA and Phthalate free, dishwasher and freezer safe

polar bottle insulated

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Thermos Funtainer 12 oz ~ $15

Drinking lukewarm water in the heat is no fun. The Thermos Funtainer is highly-rated and for good reason — it’s vacuum insulated for up to 12 hours (for cooling only).

*Thermos also makes a Foogo 10 oz for $16 (similar) and a Foogo 7 oz spouted with handles ($19) for little ones. [Related: Favorite Sippy Cups]

Thermos Funtainer

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Hydro Flask Insulated Water Bottle ~ $50

Another very highly-rated insulated bottle (but for triple the cost), is the Hydro Flask. It keeps drinks cold for up to 24 hours AND it keeps drinks hot for up to 6 hours.

      • For every bottle purchased, Hydro Flask donates 5% back to a charity of your choice.

Hydro Flask

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That is all — enjoy!!

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