Mom Summer Essentials: 8 Must-Have Items for Water Activities

Hey mamas, it’s officially summer! This time of year we’re practically living either at the pool, exploring our local splash pads, or going to the beach. And as moms, we’re responsible for being prepared with all the things for summer and water activities. Here is my list of favorite summer essentials for any mom that will make your summer with kids a lot smoother.

Mom Summer Essentials: 8 Must-Have Items for Water Activities

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Sun Protection

1. Sunscreen

You can’t go through summer as a mom without smothering your kids with a little (or a lot) of sunscreen. Did you know that some sunscreen formulas are actually harmful to our ocean life? Some places actually ban certain brands, while others promote their safety standards. One of our favorites is Sun Bum sunscreen spray for the body and Sun Bum sunscreen lotion for the face. Both are sensitive-skin approved!

2. Sunscreen Brushes

And if you’re like me and hate getting sunscreen on your hands, then you HAVE to try this mom’s hack. She redesigned makeup brushes specifically for the parents in mind. Since I started using these sunscreen brushes, I also find that we get a more even distribution on the face, ears, neck, and even hairline/scalp areas. She also came out with snack boxes that are perfect for so many different uses.

3. SPF Swimwear

Another “mom hack” of mine, is reducing the amount of sunscreen we go through and need to apply each summer by getting long sleeve bathing suits or wearing rash guards, particularly for the kids. Most of the time, we just put sunscreen on the face and legs. It’s so much easier.

4. The Right Mom Bag for Summer

Every mom needs the right bag to fit all the summer essentials (sunscreen, sunglasses, water, snacks, towels, clothes, goggles, beach toys, etc). It adds up fast so we end up needing a pretty hefty bag. And it’s gotta be waterproof! I’m pretty happy with my lightweight tote bag because it has all the compartments I need, it can be folded up, and I can use it for other things too, like travel or to go to the gym. But Simple Modern came out with a new rubber one with some really cool accessories that look amazing, and I’m already in love with their water bottles and tumblers because they don’t leak… unlike some other popular ones out there… I won’t name names.

Another bag I really like, especially for the beach, is this mesh tote to carry all the toys that end up wet and covered in sand. You can easily shake it off and remove the excess mess you don’t want everywhere. It folds up to a little square too for easy storage.

5. Towels

Imagine you’re all packed up and then you realize you forgot to pack the towels. Now you have to stuff them into your bag and they’re spilling out. Or maybe they won’t fit at all and you have no idea how you’re going to carry all the towels in one hand, a bag on the other, and then cross the parking lot with your kids with all that stuff.

Yeah, I got fed up with that. It felt like such a hassle that I rather not go anywhere where I needed to bring towels. So I went looking and found the perfect alternative. We’ve been using these lightweight microfiber towels ever since and it’s been the best decision ever! First of all, they take up less space than a water bottle (and I’m talking two towels in this example). They weigh almost nothing. They absorb really well but don’t up dripping everywhere. And when they’re wet, they become cooling towels, which is perfect in this summer heat. They also sell them in multiple sizes, so even having a small one as a cooling towel on a day at the zoo or theme park is really nice.

6. Reusable Water Bottles

As I mentioned earlier, I fell in love with the Simple Modern insulated bottles and tumblers. They make various patterns and sizes, ideal for kids and adults. Some of the tumblers even come with different lids so they can be used for water, tea, or coffee. They hold temperature really well, they’re machine washable, and my favorite, they don’t spill! Oh yeah, and they don’t cost a fortune.


7. Goggles

We’ve come across three different goggles as our favorites, I think mostly because of the different shapes of the face. Nothing was working for my daughter, for example, until we found these Speedo goggles. The shaping isn’t as skinny so it fits her eyes better and the adjustable straps don’t tug on her hair either. But my son, who can fit into any standard pair, really likes the TYR goggles.

Mom Summer Essentials: 8 Must-Have Items for Water Activities

8. Toys

Sometimes we take a few toys to the splash pad, like buckets, spoons, and strainer/colander toys, and maybe water guns. My kids love “making potions” when they play by the pool or at the splash pad so I have a small collection of buckets and kitchen tools from the dollar store. You can never go wrong with a food prep set for pretend play. As for beach toys, we really like these collapsible buckets because they make transporting them much easier.

I’m not a huge fan of water guns or water blasters and a lot of them tend to break easily, but the kids love them so sometimes it’s okay. We really like ours because they’re covered in foam, so they don’t break easily, and they float. I couldn’t find them to share with you but these are very similar. Water balloons are another super fun alternative to water guns. And now they make reusable water balloons, which are so much better too because the kids can refill them themselves and there’s no trash to clean up.

And for those learning to dive in the pool, I highly recommend this varied set with rings, torpedos, wands, and treasures. The rings and torpedos are my favorites!


Those are my favorite go-to summer essentials when prepping for any water activities as a mom, whether at home or on the go. And if I’d have to pick just two, hands down I’d go with the towels and the sunscreen brushes.

Planning a beach vacation? Check out my post: Simplified Family Beach Vacation Packing List That Will Fit Your Carry On


Mom Summer Essentials: 8 Must-Have Items for Water Activities
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