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Isn’t summer the best?  Swimming, barbecues, travel, and lots of time outside.  As a teacher, I’m on summer vacation, so I get to spend 10 wonderful weeks with my family.  Of course, without our normal schedule, things can get a little chaotic!  And with two year old twins, I’ve found that things are always a little easier if I have everything I need.  Here are my top ten summer must haves for toddlers.

Sweet Maple Lane's top ten summer must haves for toddlers.


Obviously, sunscreen is a must.  I like to have multiple bottles in different places, to make sure I always have it when I need it!  I usually keep one in the diaper bag, one on the entryway table (to grab right before we go outside), and a travel size in my purse.  I’ve used all different kinds, and I’m really not that picky, but this summer I’m loving this sunscreen stick.  I use it on faces, necks, ears, and arms, and then spray my kids’ legs.  I think it’s supposed to be for faces, but it is so much easier to use this stick than a lotion or spray on their faces and arms.


Besides being adorable, hats provide another layer of protection against the sun.  We use both the bucket hat style and baseball caps.  I like the bucket hats a little more because they provide more sun protection.  This is the one my daughter has this year.

Sprinkler and Kiddie Pool

While it’s fun to go out and have adventures, sometimes you just want to stay home. And summer is hot.  A sprinkler and a kiddie pool will provide hours of entertainment for toddlers while keeping them cool.  We have a cheapo plastic kiddie pool from Walmart (I think it was 9 dollars!) and a sprinkler that has a few different spray options like this one.  My kids are fond of filling the kiddie pool with dirt to make mud.  Messy is normal with twin two year olds running around!

Multiple Bathing Suits and Swim Diapers

I like to have a few swimsuits for each kid so I don’t have to worry if one is wet or dirty.  I usually keep one in the diaper bag with a few swim diapers for impromptu swimming or sprinkler sessions if we’re out.  I’m a big fan of the sets with a rash guard top like this one because that’s less sunscreen I have to slather on a wiggling toddler.

Hooded Towels

I love hooded towels for little ones.  Not only are they super cute, but the hood helps keep the towel on and keeps their little heads warm.  There are so many adorable versions of hooded towels, but right now we have this one in a shark and a kitty.

Insulated Water Bottles

I just bought two of these fantastic insulated water bottles from Target, and I love, love, love them.  I can fill them in the morning with a few ice cubes, and it stays cold for 12 hours!  Perfect for summer days out.  Also, we’re trying to get rid of the binkies, so having water bottles instead is a good distraction.

Snack Cups

I know every mom probably already has one or two of these snack cups, but I think they’re amazing so I’m adding them to my list.  The tops allow little hands in, but stop the contents from spilling out!  Genius.  I fill them with Goldfish, Pirates Booty, pretzels, or other dry snacks for days out.  Just throw them in the diaper bag, and you’re all ready with a snack to perk up a hungry kiddo!

Mini Popsicles 

My mother discovered these mini Frozen popsicles, and they are awesome.  The perfect, mini size for a two year old!  My kids love popsicles, but they melt fast and the big ones are just too big!  These are perfect.  Also, they come in blue, white, purple, and pink–the perfect colors for my son and daughter (he loves blue, she loves pink — go figure)!

Multiple Changes of Clothes

Let’s be honest, with toddlers, back ups are a necessity.  I like to have at least two full changes of clothes all the time, but in the summer time, things just seem to get a little messier!  Watermelon, popsicles, icecream, mud, water, you name it!  I like to stock up on Garanimals separates at Walmart at the beginning of the season.  They go for $2.88 a piece (score!), and they come in super cute colors and styles.  Perfect for getting messy!  And when they get completely ruined (it’s inevitable, people), I don’t sweat it because of the price.  Here is a similar Gerber set.

Go Everywhere Shoes

Shoes that can be worn for wet and dry activities are the best.  One pair of shoes for the whole summer?  Yes, please! I just got these Stride Rite Phibians for my kids this summer.  They have a rubber base (kind of like Crocs) and a mesh part around the top to prevent chafing.  Also, they’re non-slip, so kiddos won’t fall down when running around on a splash pad or wherever.  Another plus: my kids can put them on and secure the velcro closure themselves.  They are amazing and I love them!

There it is–my top ten summer must haves for toddlers!  What would you add?  Let me know in the comments!









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