A Summer Wish List for Families



The first official day of summer is June 20, but you don’t need to wait 19 more days to start enjoying the start of the season’s fresh air or anticipate all of the warm-weather adventures to come. With the start of summer comes the urge to switch things up as we all adopt that laid-back, feet-up, hot-days-and-cool-nights, summertime-frame-of mind. We open windows, put up patio umbrellas, jump in the pool, pack for summer camp, plan the backyard BBQ, pick out a new pair of jelly sandals and get ready for easy living.

Everyone has a summer wish list, and we’re sharing ours with families in mind. The Kiddie Academy Social Team is so excited for summer, we’re kicking-off June with our top family picks for the season – from bikes and pool toys to pants and smartphone apps – all our favorite must-haves for your next three months of poolside, beachfront or hometown summer fun with your family!

Jen’s Picks

Marketing Manager (one son, 1 year old)

  • Sidewalk chalk – it gets kids outside and it’s fun for every age. It also promotes creativity (like drawing roads for cars) and physical activity (like hopscotch!). It’s also easy and quick cleanup for parents as it washes away with a hose or rain.
  • Pandora Radio – the 90’s throwback channel is my jam and I think my son likes it too. With the app on my phone, I can play it with me anywhere from car, to beach, to a walk around the neighborhood. I love being served Kiddie Academy audio ads and knowing I help reach other moms like me through Pandora. Are you listening to 90’s throwback too?”
  • Step 2 Water Wheel Activity Table – We have a pool at our house, but my son is still learning to walk and I can’t always commit to getting in with him to keep him safe. The water table is a great alternative to the pool. It lets him play with water outside and get a little wet, without having to worry as much about his safety in deep water.”
  • Stackable Marshmallows – these new Jet-Puffed stackable marshmallows are perfect for S’more building. They come in the perfect square shape for stacking on chocolate and graham crackers with less messy consumption for the whole family.”

Brent’s Picks

Creative Director (one daughter, 7 year old; one son, 1-year old)

  • Balance bike – my daughter learned to ride a bike on a balance bike and I recommend it to all parents as a way of introducing a love of cycling to your kids. Balance bikes have many benefits, including no need for training wheels!”
  • Tiki Toss Hook and Ring Game – We found this game at one of our favorite restaurants and my daughter and I can’t resist playing when we see it. You can set it up inside or outside and it’s fun for the whole family to try, not to mention it takes skill with hand-eye coordination. It’s a highly addictive game that is easy to learn and difficult to master, keeping the fun going all summer long!”
  • Magnetic Screen Door – This is more for convenience than anything – when you’re running in and outside all weekend, the magnetic screen door can keep bugs out, let fresh air in and avoids the drama of constantly asking the kids to shut the door.”

 Bridget’s Picks

PR Manager (two sons, 1 year old and 4 year old)

  • Indoor Wooden Planters – I love bringing a little bit of green into the house and involving the kids in plant care that’s on their level. They also bring a lot of style into a darker space that needs some life.”
  • Palazzo Pants – I discovered Palazzo Pants on a Saturday-morning Target run and never looked back. If you’re a mom, these flowing pants have a natural weight and an easygoing style that allows for throwing them on and running out the door in comfort and style.”
  • Outdoor Poufs – family comfort for the outdoors doesn’t come any easier than with these outdoor poufs. They have little handles on the side to easily pick them up and carry to wherever you go – which for me following my 1 and 4-year olds from the back yard tramp to the front yard to play hockey to the backyard again – comes in handy! They’re also great for the kids to sit comfortably with us near the patio table when big patio chairs are still a little too big for them.”
  • Bug Bands – these child free insect repellent wrist bands keep insects a safe distance away and are Deet-free. They’re child safe and I can easily let the kids wear them outside without having to use spray repellent, which they don’t like.”

Kiddie Academy Mom’s Picks

  • Yoga Pretzels Yoga Cards – You can practice bending and twisting in yoga positions with a colorful set of illustrated cards that offer some fun and education in teaching the basics of yoga, proven to help your head and your heart! I love that it teaches my kids the benefits of yoga – starting with the basics like breathing and balance, along with being playful and creative with friends.”
  • Popsicle Molds Maker – This is an everything-you-need in one popsicle mold maker you can reuse again and again. It’s a fun way to make mess free and healthy homemade ice pops. You can cut preservatives, sugar, artificial flavoring and artificial colors out of frozen ice pops for your kids so you know they’re getting a healthy frozen snack!”
  • Waterproof iPhone case – When you’re on the run during the summer with kids, you don’t want to miss a single moment! This waterproof case has a clear film material that allows full touch screen access, as well as the ability to take photos while the pouch is still equipped! Not to mention, it fully protects my iPhone near the pool and my splashy kids, which gives me piece of mind!”

Andy’s Picks

Senior Digital Marketing Strategist (one daughter, 6 year old)

  • Road IDs – I have my daughter wear this anytime she puts on her bike helmet and she keeps it in the strap of her bike helmet so we know where it is. She wears this when she goes to a friend’s house, a field trip or a bike ride. It’s great for safety and gives me a piece of mind.”
  • Portable picnic blanket – We keep one of these in our car. You never know when you might need to pull over and have a snack in the park or just get some fresh air. Also, our picnic basket always has plastic plates, cups and forks in it, ready to go so all we have to do is add food.”
  • North Woods Field Guides – You can identify the tree by its leaves, so it’s a lot of fun. The cards come on a little chain so they’re portable and easy to thumb through with my daughter.”

Richard’s Picks

VP of Education (one daughter, 33; one granddaughter, 8 months old)

“I have three items we never leave the house without from our 8 month old to our 33 year old:

  • A hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Water

All three are key to having a great day and time versus a potential disaster with consequences for the whole family.”

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