Our Top Sun & Water Essentials for Toddlers

I’m so excited for summer with the boys. They are 2 and 4 years old, and I can already tell that this is going to be a really active summer for us. From the moment they wake up until they pass out, we’re riding bikes, playing in the baby pool on the back porch, and going for hikes in the woods. All that time outside in the sun requires good gear, and a dip or two in the water to cool off. So, below we’re sharing our favorite sun and water gear, because the two go together like peanut butter and jelly (obviously).

water and sun essentials live seasoned

Luc received this sprinkler for his birthday, and the boys love its spraying motion. But I’m still partial to this cute worm sprinkler (and starting to realize that I’ll be sad when I can no longer pick out the cute stuff for them).

It took us a while and a few different fails to realize that Puddle Jumpers were the best “floatie” device/swimming aid for Alex. We tried life vests, blow-up arm floaties, swimsuits with built-in foam on the top… you get the picture. We tried and failed. Puddle Jumpers just looked so uncomfortable to me that I didn’t attempt it, but then we were at a pool that had some available for kids to use, we popped one on Alex, and the rest is history. He LOVED it. It was the moment he exclaimed that he was swimming on his own. Immediately we bought one for our house. Then we bought one to keep at Calder’s dad’s lake house. Then the Saxis house. We are Puddle Jumper converts. Buy one and enjoy watching your kid swim off into the sunset…. or sleep in a canoe, because apparently they are *that* comfortable.


For a few years we were ordering pricier sun suits from independent sellers online, but last year I picked up these iPLAY suits from Amazon for half the price, and they held up just as well as the expensive options! I also bought one of these Nozone suits for baby Luc last year, and loved it. The zipper between the legs is perfectly placed for changing diapers on the beach – you can do it without unzipping the whole suit!


Amax had this exact pair of TEVA sandals, but sadly we’ve lost them (surprisingly not the first pair of shoes we’ve left somewhere). For a kid who doesn’t love to have anything on his feet, those shoes were perfect! Personally, I don’t think that they are the coolest looking shoes, but they’re easy enough for a little guy to put on, and he didn’t take them off (we’re talking miracle shoes there). Meanwhile, Luc has these Crocs water shoes, and they are the perfect combination of protection and ventilation for active kids.whippy

Speaking of things my boys won’t wear, hats are near the top of the list. This is a problem living in the mountains, but luckily, there are moments when they will succumb and wear these hats. There’s something about the shape of the hats, the way they sit on a kiddo’s head, and the breathable material that made them not as annoying to my hot-headed kiddos as traditional ball caps and cotton sun hats. I’ve ordered both baby and kids sizes for my boys, and I’ve loved them. But be warned, it takes a little bit of time to weed through the options on Amazon to find exactly what you want.


Do you see all of the shade that hat’s throwing?! And it’s *barely* perched on his head, because any lower and he would realize there’s something up there protecting his noggin from a burn.

Of course, the sun in the mountains is harsh, so we’re always slathering on sunscreen. I’m partial to our DIY mineral-based sunscreen (read that post and see just how cheaply you can make your own!). Amazon even carries the non-nano zinc to make your own. But if you’re feeling lazy, we recently came across these tubes that have great reviews and a great ingredient list.


And last but not least, buy yourself a good watermelon. We haven’t met a summer day that wasn’t improved with an afternoon watermelon break in the sun. <3

If you have or care for toddlers over the summer, how does this list compare to yours? Any awesome products that I’m missing?

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