People are always saying, “You guys are pretty busy, huh?” It’s no secret that our family is always on the go. We have a pretty full schedule: my three kids each have their own activities, I’m usually busy with my blog, Creative Wife & Joyful Worker, and my husband has been working on growing our garden. Not to mention all the house chores and laundry that comes along with a family of five!
We are often on the go, exploring somewhere new and soaking up the sun outdoors, so it helps to find products that work well with our busy lifestyle. In anticipation of the warmer weather that’s to come, I’ve pulled together some of my personal favourites, sharing how each one is a life hack that makes our daily adventures easier. Lots of these products are from small shops or Canadian made, which is already a huge win in my books. Supporting local businesses and entrepreneur parents always makes me feel good about where my money is going.
There’s no doubt that these products make my summer days easier. Making sure our kids are protected from the sun and ensuring they are getting healthy food—in between the ice cream and freezies—is always a must! It’s my hope that you can pick up a hack or two (maybe even all six!) and incorporate them into your daily summer adventures make them easier and more enjoyable.
1. Store snacks in a bento-style box
We got this lunch kit from a local kids’ shop and have been using it endlessly. From school lunches to a weekend snack box, it’s got us covered. The kids love that the bento-style compartments let us pack an array of items for them to choose from, without any foods touching.
HACK: The bento-style box makes it easy to pack a diverse assortment of snacks when you’re out and about. Not only is there more variety, but your kids are also more likely to be excited about taking a break from playtime to eat when their lunch is filled with different, colourful foods.
2. Don’t forget to bring SunRype Fruit Plus Veggie Juice Boxes on the go
I call this a win-win right here. Our kids get juice boxes as a treat, so they get extra excited when they see them packed along for our adventures. As parents, we get excited that they are drinking up two servings of fruits and veggies, without any complaints!
HACK: Your kids think they are drinking a sweet treat, when really, they are enjoying the goodness of 100 percent juice with no sugar added. This is an easy way to get them eating extra fruits and veg while avoiding tantrum.
3. Wear all natural sunscreen daily
A couple years ago, we went for a family vacation in Hawaii and brought along K’Pure Naturals sunscreen to stay protected. As natural sunscreen works by physically blocking your skin from the sun, you do need to make sure you reapply throughout the day. I was blown away by how easy it is to apply the K’Pure naturals sunscreen.
HACK: Keep your kids protected from the harsh sun’s rays without losing out on that sweet vitamin D, or exposing them to chemicals.
4. Buy yourself a Gathre Mat
There’s no outdoor mat or blanket that I love more than our Gathre mat. Their products are made from vegan leather on top and flocked suede on the bottom. I first discovered Gathre on Instagram and instantly became a fan once I learned that it’s a mom-run business started by two friends. I now own two of my own Gathre mats: they’re super soft, amazingly easy to wash, and perfect to lounge on at sports games or on the beach!
HACK: They are the absolute easiest to clean, better than any other mat or towel. Wipe off water, hose off mud or shake off the sand: no matter what gets on them, it doesn’t take much to get them back in tip-top shape.
5. Pack it all in a multi-functional bag
My favorite bag is my Fawn Design, a multi-functional backpack that can be used as anything from a beach bag to a diaper bag. I got my first Fawn Design bag when Evelyn was a baby and used it as my daily diaper bag because the large opening on the top allowed me to fill it to the brim. And believe it or not, it continues to be our go-to on family adventures—you’ll find us using it to carry snacks, Fruit Plus Veggie juice boxes, toys, diapers, and more!
HACK: The bag converts from a backpack to a shoulder bag with the switch of a few clips, so it suits your every need. Plus, the husband doesn’t mind carrying it around!
6. Pick up a couple pairs of functional water shoes
Our girls live in their slip-on water shoes throughout the summer. We love that if we go to the lake or ocean, there’s no need to worry about rocks when kicking around in the water. The shoes dry super easily and have small holes for little feet to breath.
HACK: Not only do the kids find these shoes easy to put on themselves, but at the end of the day, you can hose them off and they’ll be as good as new
Now, let’s hope for a summer with amazing weather so that we can all make the most of these summer-ready tips and tricks! Stay lathered up in natural sunscreen and enjoy all the time with your families. I’d love to hear from you too! What’s one thing you can’t leave the house without when exploring with your family?
Stay in touch
Subscribe to Today's Parent's daily newsletter for our best parenting news, tips, essays and recipes.