Owen’s Summer Essentials

toddler summer essentials for boys

1. Pocket Tee | 2. Minu Travel Stroller | 3. Sunscreen Stick (perfect for diaper bags) | 4. Countersun Mineral Sunscreen | 5. Water Shoes | 6. Mini Micro Scooter | 7. Water Bottle | 8. Floppy Hats with Neck Cover | 9. Water Table | 10. Rash Guard | 11. Pineapple Shorts | 12. Red Chambray Shorts | 13. Swim Trunks | 14. Sneakers | 15. Camp Tee | 16. Felt Busy Board for Travel

Owen is officially 19 months old as of last Thursday! Where has time gone?! I feel like the days of him being a baby are so far away, he’s just a full on toddler now and is constantly busy.

I’m so grateful that it’s summer because we’re able to get out, go to the park and generally be more active—it’s been great for all of us!

This new stage has been exhausting, but in a totally different way. Sleep deprivation is long gone, but keeping an eye on an ever-moving toddler who has no fear can wear you out too.

Despite that, I’ve really really loved this phase we’re in now. He’s talking so much more, responds when I call him (well, not always), and is just so much more interactive and fun! He plays more by himself, which is especially nice when I’m trying to cook dinner, but also so amazing to watch his little brain go while trying to piece things together.

Now that we’re a few weeks into summer, I’ve found some essentials that we use on a regular basis. Things that make summer easier and more fun and wanted to share since I know a bunch of you are mamas too!

Toddler Summer Essentials


I keep this sunscreen stick (it’s small and easy to pack) in my diaper bag, it’s so easy to quickly apply to Owen when he’s trying to run away. When I actually plan ahead, I put on this sunscreen all over him before we leave the house.


We’re pretty minimal on the toys at our house. Mostly because we live in a small place and I can’t stand the clutter, but also because I find that Owen is far less interested in toys and more interested in stacking cups, playing with the coffee maker (don’t worry, it’s unplugged), exploring on the patio and digging through the kitchen drawers.

That being said, he LOVES playing in water and I really want to get a water table. We only have a patio so it will be tight, but I think it will provide countless hours of fun throughout the summer.

Second, whenever we go to the park, he tries to take other people’s scooters and this Micro Mini Scooter is what everyone’s got. He hasn’t figured out how to ride it just yet, but he loves pushing it around and I’m tempted to just go ahead and get one now. I know he’ll use it for years.

Do your kids have one? Do they love it? All the kids in Chicago seem to have them!

Swim Gear

Summer wouldn’t be complete without the pool and splash pad! More splash pad time than pool in Chicago, but we get a lot of use out of his swim trunks, rash guard (mostly for sun protection) and water shoes. He outgrew his pair from last year, so I’m snagging him a pair of these because they’re way cheaper than Natives and look basically the same. A pair of flip flops would probably be a good addition to his summer wardrobe as well.

We put these hats on him at the pool, splash pad and really whenever we’re outside. He has really fair skin so I’m not taking any chances. He fought it at first, but now he embraces the floppy hat life! We bought this set of two—one for home and one for school!

Tees & Shorts

Can you have enough? I swear we go through almost 2 outfits a day with Owen because he’s so messy and gets so dirty when he’s at the park. I love this brand at Target because they’re so cheap and also really cute. Most shirts and shorts are $4-5 a piece, what a steal! I do find they run a bit big, Owen is wearing the 12-months shorts, which are still a little big on him—he is kinda tall and thin though. For shirts, he’s wearing the 18-months which is pretty spot on.

They also have super cute sneakers which we haven’t tried, but will soon.

Travel Gear

We got the Minu stroller a few months ago and it has SAVED us for airplane travel. It’s small, easy to break down with one hand —the flight attendants and TSA are always like “WOW that’s cool!” It’s an investment, but it’s been worth every penny and will get used for years to come.

We bought this little felt busy board that can be rolled up and stuck in my diaper bag for trips as well. When Owen starts getting antsy and wiggly, I pull it out and it keeps him busy for at least a solid 15 minutes, which is pretty amazing if you’re still doing the whole lap child thing, haha!

I’m sure I’m missing some other stuff, but would love to know what summer essentials you guys have!

BTW, toddler-friendly meal ideas, and what my days look like as a working mom.

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