12 Summer Vacation Essentials Real Moms Swear By

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The sun is shining, the birds are chirping…and the kids are off of school for two whole months. If you thought they were stir-crazy over winter break, summer is a whole other ball game. You’re going to need reinforcements (and maybe definitely some rosé). So we polled real moms for their top summer vacation must-haves and we’re buying all of them, stat. 

50 Awesome Things to Do with Your Kids This Summer

neutrogena sunscreen

Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Water Resistant Sunscreen Stick For Face And Body, Broad Spectrum Spf 70

“This is the only face sunscreen that doesn't make my daughter cry.” — Meghan

water beads

Li’l Gen Water Beads Toy Set

“Fill a kiddie pool up with these expanding water beads and behold as you are actually able to get some yardwork done.” — Sabrina

Buy It ($10)


Contigo Kids Flip Chill Stainless Steel Autospout Water Bottle

“I live for this Contigo water bottle! It literally keeps water cold (with ice) all day, because what kid wants to drink warm water?” — Dabee


Tickkit At-home Tick Removal Kit

“Normally I would panic if my child got bit by a tick without a doctor’s office close by. But this tick removal kit is really handy for getting the job done safely and comfortably no matter where you are.”— Michelle

Buy It ($34)

bug catcher

Carson Bugview Quick-release Bug Catching Tool And Magnifier

“My kids are obsessed with this bug catcher. It provides hours of good, clean outdoor kid fun.” — Jillian

bubble blower

Toysery Dinosaur Bubble Blower With Led Flashing Lights And Sounds

“Bubbles are such an easy way to entertain my son while we’re outdoors. You can screw an entire cartridge of bubbles onto this blower for way less mess and nonstop fun.” — Rachel

Buy It ($18)

blow up pool

Intex Rainbow Ring Inflatable Play Center

“To think that I only had a flimsy plastic kiddie pool when I was a toddler. This inflatable play center is 1,000 times more entertaining (and cushioned!).” — Lindsey


Lovelion Beach Toy Set With Activity Table

“We may not make it to the shore every weekend, but this play table brings the beach to us. (Which is even better in my opinion, because…bathroom.)” — Emma

Buy It ($20)

life jacket

Stearns Puddle Jumper Kids Deluxe 3d Life Jacket

“My kids love wearing this life jacket and it gives me peace of mind when they’re running around the pool.”—Kate

splash pad

Kkones Sprinkler And Splash Pad

“Smaller and easier to pack up than a slip-and-slide, but just as much fun.”—Mary Kate

Buy It ($23)

aloe vera

Seven Minerals Organic Aloe Vera Gel

“Because try as you might, accidental sunburns will happen.” —Alex

stomp rocket

Stomp Rocket Ultra Rocket

“Why is launching a nerf rocket 40 feet in the air so enjoyable? Who knows…but it’s gotten our family through a lot of summer evenings.” —Beth

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Brianna Lapolla formerly held the role of Senior Commerce Editor at PureWow covering all things shopping across beauty, fashion, and lifestyle. Now, she's putting her 12 years of...