A Parents’ Guide To Surviving The Dog Days Of Summer

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The beginning of summer is always so promising – visions of pool days, the kids running around outside on warm evenings (ideally with a glass of wine in hand…for the parents, that is), the excitement of summer camp. 

We love summer over here at The Quality Edit, but we also recognize that at some point, the days can start to feel loooooong with kids out of their normal school routine. This usually happens around the end of July in my house, and I start to panic-purchase new toys and activities to keep the kids occupied until school resumes. After lots of trial and error, here are a few favorites that will last more than 20 minutes – and can even be fun for adults, too.

Dabble & Dollop’s bath bundles include these sweet “recipe cards” for kids to create fun combinations

Dabble & Dollop Bath Bundles: The market for baby & kids bodycare is a saturated one, with many brands touting “clean” ingredients, but Dabble & Dollop takes bathtime to a whole new level. These science-backed products are naturally hypoallergenic and safe for even the smallest of toddlers, and they’re meant to be fun too. My 3.5 year old was going through a very strict “no bath” phase, and these products quite literally rescued us! With the A Day At The Beach Bundle ($46), we turned bathtime into playtime and she spent almost an hour in the water making different concoctions with the “flavors.” The Bath Bombs ($25) are also a favorite, and these fun Bath Tattoos ($4) make the perfect add on. 

Three-year-old Ellie experimenting with different playdoughs from The Dough Project

The Dough Project DIY Playdough Kits: All-natural, plant-based, non-toxic. The Dough Project is wayyyy better than the playdough of my generation. But more than that, it’s so fun. We love The Cupcake Project ($40) which has everything you need to create playdough cupcakes, including three jars of dough, birthday candles, rainbow sprinkles and other kid-friendly accouterments. Then there’s the DIY Collection (from $13), which is perfect for little chefs (and parents who want to keep their kids occupied for hours). This one includes an assortment of mixes so kids can make their own playdough at home – a great science lesson, or just a really fun afternoon of play.

Nurture&’s The Hideout can be anything from a fort, to an obstacle course, to a cozy reading nook

Nurture& Hideout: There are almost no words to describe how obsessed we are with Nurture&’s latest product, The Hideout ($399). It’s basically a soft, modular couch for kids with unlimited options for play. My kids love using it as a cozy reading nook, the ultimate fort (with a ceiling and a “door”!) or a climbing structure for days we’re stuck inside. I love that it’s soft, comfortable, easy to move around (or stow away), stain resistant, and made with non-toxic materials like OEKO-TEX certified foam.

Even though she has no idea how to play, Lucy has so much fun strumming the Loog and exploring its different sounds 

Loog Kids Guitars: I’ll be honest, Loog first caught my attention because the brand’s products are just so dang cute (actually, they’re downright gorgeous). We’re now the proud owners of a Mini Acoustic ($90) and Pro Acoustic ($130), both of which are daily attractions for my kids and husband alike. Each guitar comes with a pack of flashcards that teach different notes, and because there are only 3-strings, kids can learn to play basic music pretty quickly. And I’d be lying if I didn’t mention it’s a great adult activity too – in fact, one night we came home to our babysitter learning to play it on her own! A great way to keep the whole family occupied on a long summer day.

Perfect for budding artists, this DIY bead kit lets kids make their own jewelry

Super Smalls Bead Kit: I’ve written about Super Smalls before, and I am a huge fan of the brand’s products, especially for toddlers just getting into jewelry and makeup (the Self Care Nail Kit, $36, is a huge hit in our house). My daughter recently started showing interest in making necklaces and bracelets, so rather than assemble my own kit with thousands of beads, I grabbed the Make It Super DIY Bead Kit ($49). Sparkly, colorful, and organized, this is the stuff toddlers dream about, and I’ll admit, it caught my attention for a solid hour too...plus it’s great for refining those fine motor skills. Dare I say, the perfect afternoon bonding activity?

Kiko & gg Wooden Toys: This new-to-me brand boasts gorgeous wooden toys designed in Osaka, Japan and is known for reinventing disposable plastic toys into longer lasting wooden creations. It’s been featured in all sorts of publications, including Architectural Digest and Goop…so, sign me up! We love the Reusable Bubble Wand Set ($25), an eco-friendly alternative to classic bubble wands, and this super fun Wind Up Boat ($29) that are fun for bathtub play or even as a pool toy.

Summer is all about carefree living, unplanned agendas, and relaxation – hopefully these activities will help you and your family do just that.

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