Tag: beach gear

Scaring your friends: The best part of summer!

If you thought Michael Phelps racing a great white was the summer’s biggest shark-in-a-pool news, that’s because you haven’t seen this hot water accessory yet. Yes. It’s a wearable shark fin. We know our own aquaphiles will get themselves into a frenzy the second they see them, so be prepared if you’ve got a kid reading over your shoulder right now. Related: The coolest pool floats for the whole family (dibs on the chocolate donut)  Just know the shark fins aren’t flotation devices, they’re scare-your-friends-in-the-pool devices, made with lightweight foamy material and adjustable straps to fit swimmers of all sizes....

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The sweet kids beach poncho that multitasks in a big way

The thrill of watching a joyful toddler play in the ocean is almost enough to outweigh the pain-in-the-neck routine of swim diapers and sunscreen and sand and coverups. Not to mention the wagon full of towels, toys and other gear. But I just checked out a press sample of the adorable new children’s beach ponchos from Poncho and Parker and wow, they can really make the entire beach-going process surprisingly easier on parents.   Related: The most adorably modern, modest, mix-and-match swimsuits for kids. Just slip the beach poncho over your kid’s head; there are no sleeves to wriggle into so...

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Should you really avoid SPF over 50? We’ve got facts, and we’ve got answers.

Growing up as a fair-skinned, redheaded kid, I’m no stranger to the intricacies of SPF labels. Or sunburns. Like lots of us, I always believed that the higher the SPF, the better the sun protection I’d get, but that’s not necessarily the case. In fact, the EWG warns against sunscreens with very high SPF over 50, and that goes for kids and adults. In fact, they say flat out to avoid SPF over 50. But, why? Related: 2017 EWG best safe sunscreens for kids and babies: Which is the most affordable? First off, what is SPF? SPF, or Sun...

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2017 EWG best safe sunscreens for kids and babies: Which is the most affordable?

Every year, I take a look at the Environmental Working Group’s report on the best safe sunscreens for kids and babies. This list measures popular brands against the EWG’s standards, including everything from worrisome ingredients to false marketing claims. Not every top-ranked tube of lotion is the same value for the dollar, though, so I’ve broken down all 19 of their best safe sunscreens for kids by price per ounce. Because I’ll bet there are other parents like me, who want safe products for their kids but don’t feel the need to spend more money than necessary. Top photo: © Kate Etue for Cool Mom Picks...

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5 cool one-piece bathing suits for girls with all the benefits of a two-piece

It’s finally getting to pool and beach season (yippee!), which means time to shop for bathing suits for kids. Like many parents, we like that one-piece bathing suits keep our littlest ones covered up…although we also appreciate that a two-piece swimsuit makes bathroom trips sooooo much easier. At any age. (Raising hands here as adults!) So you can easily see why we’re excited about our newest sponsor FASTEN swimwear, an idea so smart we fell in love with it and shared it with all of you, when we first discovered it last year. – Special offer for Cool Mom Picks readers:...

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Frogglez are the kids’ swim goggles you’ve been looking for forever

Leave it to my own cool mom to provide us with a most excellent Cool Grandmom Pick as we make the most of the final sweltering weeks of summer — Frogglez Goggles. My kids refuse to go in the pool without goggles, and these are the first ones I’ve ever tried that they can wear literally for hours without complaining about them. That double neoprene band may make them look a bit like orthodontic headgear (with due respect to Joan Cusack in Sixteen Candles) but they’re comfy, they stay on, and they don’t even get caught up in my girls’ long hair. You...

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FinFun: Mermaid tails for swimming that take summer fun to new heights. Or, depths.

The coolest thing you’ll encounter in the water this summer may be my daughter, who has transformed herself from a normal 13-year-old into a full-fledged mermaid. And, whoa, if you have a child who would love to swim like one of these creature of the sea, you’ll want to check this out this awesome product my kids had the chance to try out. FinFun Mermaid Tails are real swimmable tails for kids, teens, and adults (though I’m leaving this trend to the kids) that actually let you swim through the water like Ariel — or Ponyo, depending on your family’s animation preferences. Related: Blankie Tails turn...

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Finally, a beach towel that leaves the sand at the beach. Whoo!

My idea of a perfect day? Relaxing at the beach with a fun read while the kids play in the waves and never argue. Not even once. Okay, maybe that’s not so realistic, but what might make me almost as happy is a beach towel that sand won’t stick to. So, as you might guess, I was very excited to discover this new sand-free beach towel and put it to the test. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: The very best beach umbrellas and tents for families, after a ton of research The construction of Sandusa sand-free beach towels (that’s pronounced “san-doosa,” by...

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Web Coolness: Pokemon Go, what’s really in our food, and a fabulous $1000 giveaway

Here are some of our favorite links from around the web this week. We hope you enjoy them too!   Candy rainbow party platter! Yes, please. Everything you need to know about Pokemon Go before you let your kids play. How are they still making these shirts for little boys? C’mon now, Forever 21. A mom filmed her own c-section birth. Whoa. Win $1000 worth of cool eco-friendly baby gear! Get your kids in the kitchen with these 5 awesome cookbooks just for kids.   Our friends at Tattly turned 5. Save 50% off your Tattly order with TATTLYTURNS5,...

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The very best beach umbrellas and tents for families, after a ton of research

You cannot even believe how much time I spent last summer tracking down the best beach umbrella. I finally went with my parents’ strongly recommended pick, which was a surprise one to me. (And you have no idea how strongly recommended it was, unless you a) know my parents or b) saw their 18 emails detailing just why it was the very best one and how they spend even more time researching products than I do and how I’d be crazy not to buy it.) Well, thanks to my parents and my own obsessive beach umbrella-searching skills, I’m here to share...

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The coolest pool floats, from hot lips to flying rainbow unicorns

When I saw the FUNBOY pool floats my pool envy grew three sizes, because, a flamingo? Flaming lips? A rainbow unicorn? I need to have these in my life right now. And not just because they’re freaking cool. They actually give back in an amazing way too. These fancy floats, or “luxury floats” as they’re called (what?), turn out to be celeb favorites, if you tend to purchase your summer toys based on such things. Still, we can see why. They’re all perfect for Insta photo opps, from a golden swan to a giant flamingo, to a hashtag — which we suggest not...

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Common mistakes parents make when applying sunscreen on kids and how to fix them.

With four outdoor-loving kids and lots of pool and beach time on our calendar this summer, you can bet I am always stocking up on sunscreen. I’m pretty careful about when and how I slather it on, too, which is why I was surprised to see that I was making a few very common mistakes when it comes to applying sunscreen to kids. Ack. If you’re going to be applying sunscreen to kids — and hopefully yourself — this summer, you’ll want to check these common mistakes parents make and what to do about them. No need to feel guilty; just...

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Waterproof diaper bags that just happen to make the perfect pool totes

Even if you’re not in the market for a new diaper bag, you might want to give the waterproof diaper bags from TWELVElittle a second look. My kids haven’t been in diapers in years, but I’ve been using their new waterproof diaper bag daily because it makes a perfect pool tote, too. There’s plenty of room for sunscreen, snacks, and towels for three kids. And if you do have little ones, it’ll work well for hauling diapers and swim vests, too. Or, you can hook swim vests to the shoulder straps — wet or dry — without worrying about ruining a pretty bag....

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6 of the snappiest water shoes for kids that like to splash all day

Nothing beats running around barefoot in the summer, until those soft little feet hit a rock or your kids refuse to go into the lake because of a few “icky” leaves on the bottom. So now is a great time to stock up on comfy and durable pairs of water shoes for your toddlers or bigger kids, who will be in and out of water all day. We’ve roundup up a handful of our favorite water shoes from companies we love and trust — the snappiest, sturdiest pairs of water shoes that are an essential part of summer fun. CMP is an...

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The EWG 2016 safest sunscreens for kids: which are most affordable?

Every year, we have turned to the Environmental Working Group’s Annual Guide to Sunscreens to help us make more educated decisions about what are the safest sunscreens to slather on our kids (and ourselves) each summer. But we often find that when you break down the prices, whoa — it’s expensive to get safe sunscreens for kids! Especially considering how much we’re using. So this year we thought we’d take a good look at their short list of the EWG Best Kids’ Sunscreens, find the average prices online (generally from Amazon, Drugstore.com, or the brand’s own website if the product isn’t widely available at...

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Tentsile tents may be the coolest tents ever. If you’re okay with heights.

I love camping with my kids. Okay, scratch that. I love the idea of camping with my kids. But sleeping on the ground — not so much. So when I stumbled onto Tentsile tents on the web, I kind of geeked out. I cannot wait to try out one of these tents that is strung from trees, just like a hammock-treehouse hybrid, so the whole family can sleep together — without roots and rocks (and snakes) under our sleeping bags. Also, they look pretty freaking cool. Related: Handmade kid hammocks that rock. In all senses of the word. Tentsile tents use tensile strength (get it?) to...

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Wonder Woman Havaianas: All the feet are waiting for you.

While searching around for a new pair of flip-flops for my kids, I came across shoes of supreme coolness: Wonder Woman Havaianas! Everyone’s favorite affordable Brazilian flip-flops are now a colorful homage to the great Princess Diana of Themyscira and they come in both women’s and kids’ sizes. However I may have to get them just for me. My younger daughter said, but I didn’t even see the movie yet! (Sigh. Kids today.)  Then all I’d need is a pair of those awesome Wonder Woman bracelets in our Indie Shop and my childhood fantasy would be complete. But I’d settle for Diana’s legs. And maybe that invisible jet....

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Shark Week is back! Here are 7 of our favorite shark picks for summer

Starting today, it won’t be safe to turn on the television without knowing Shark Week has come ashore, with an entire week of programming on the Discovery Channel dedicated to those creatures of the sea. And while we’re happy to keep the bitey kind of shark in its rightful place in the ocean, we’ve also netted some great summertime shark finds for your kids should they have a soft spot for those toothy fish — and maybe aren’t quite old enough to watch Jaws with you just yet. Related: 14 of the coolest Shark Week picks for kids (whether they’re old...

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Behold the cuteness of matching swim trunks for dad and son. At least when they’re as cute as these styles.

Finally, it’s pool and beach season! For the dad in your life, there’s something very smart about getting something sentimental (if even a homemade card) then also considering a Father’s Day gift that will be put to good use. So when we had an opportunity to partner with Tom & Teddy, makers of stylish, popular, UV protection swim trunks for boys and men that are designed to last, we were so happy. They’re known for being extremely well made, wildly comfy, with a cut that’s a little shorter and more fitted to make playing, sand-castle building, and of course swimming a lot easier. Let’s just...

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The Peace Exchange: Fair trade accessories from an organization that just gives you more faith in humanity.

I admit that like a lot of you, that it can get really hard, day after day, learning about yet another violent incident around the world; another area facing political unrest, turmoil, and terrible conditions, especially for women and children. But as I recently heard Nicholas Kristoff describe at a ONE Girls + Women’s summit, every time he visits these countries he returns feeling less discouraged, not more so. Because there’s always one person, one group he encounters, doing absolutely remarkable things to help the lives of other people. Maybe that’s why I’m always looking for these kinds or organizations to support; it’s a necessary reminder...

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