My inspiration for writing a blog post can come from the same places. Sometimes it wakes me in the middle of the night and I can’t go back to sleep until I’ve written it down. Other times, I’ll get an idea when I’m traveling in the car alone and it’s quiet. (Yes, it happens.) And sometimes in the midst of being a mom a great idea will hit me like one of those light bulb moments. That’s what happened this time.
I’m not big on buying things anymore. I don’t want the clutter. In fact, most weeks you’ll find the donation truck swinging by my house picking up even more items I’ve decided and helped my boys decide we no longer need. I don’t want to hold onto things. I want to hold onto time. My boys are getting older. My first will be going to high school in the fall. I truly want to make the most of this summer with them. So what I want more than ever are things that make my life easier. Products that help me stay organized or keep us moving towards our goals. As I think of an idea of something that would help I turn to Amazon. I can usually find what I need at a cheap price and I can get it quickly, saving me more time to be with my kids.
It was on my latest trip to Amazon that I got the idea for this blog post. Over the last few weeks I have been ordering product to help me and I thought why not use my shopping to help other moms. Why not create a list of products to help moms this summer?
In full disclosure, the links to Amazon are affiliate links. If you use any (which we hope you do) to make a purchase, Jersey Family Fun receives a small commission that helps to support moms who work on Jersey Family Fun. In other words, your using our links to buy stuff for your family helps us have more fun with our families. We thank you for that.
5 Products to Help Moms this Summer
Water bottles, you’ll actually want to use
Yes, water bottles! I get it. We all have a collection of water bottles. It’s almost overload. You’re saying I don’t need another water bottle. I know I was there. I had a whole hanging shoe organizer full of water bottles. But you know what I hated about my water bottle collection? The mess that comes with having a ton of water bottles. Ours were all different sizes. Some had straws. Some didn’t. Some were dishwasher safe and some had to be handwashed. None were labeled. My boys would leave them around the house and I never knew who was guilty of adding to my water bottle stress. I would look at the counter full of water bottles that had to be handwashed and just cringe.
Then I said no more. I bought these water bottles from Amazon. They come in different colors. They don’t require straws. They are ALL dishwasher safe. I got rid of all the water bottles by donating them. I assigned each of my sons their own TWO water bottles. I labeled each one with their name and it has an assigned spot in the organizer. Each boy knows which water bottle is theirs and that they have to be responsible for it. They know if I find one around the house I’ll know who left it there. In the weeks since I’ve been using this system, my stress level has gone way done. Honestly, it’s the little things. ## and I’ve simplified my life. Less time looking for straws, less time hand cleaning water bottles and less time cleaning up water bottles around the house.
Click over to buy these water bottles from Amazon. If you’re an Amazon Prime member you can have it before your next beach day.
Reading logs for kids
These I admit I just ordered. I was working on the blog post, Reading Programs for Kids with Awesome Reading Rewards and I had a thought. Wouldn’t it be great if there was an easy way for kids to keep track of what they read? Keep track of it all in one place! I know most programs have their own log sheets, but what I liked about the reading logs below is how they will help our kids with reading comprehension. All of them include a page where kids can note what they read. But most of them go beyond that. There are pages for them to track nearly 100 books they read.
Readers can jot down what they thought of the book, the type of book it was, why they read it, would they recommend it, and more. I feel like not only will this help our kids earn rewards, it’s going to help them with their reading skills. Plus if they have to do any book reports for school this journal is going to help them recall important details. Bonus, it’s also a nice way to look back on their summer and see how much they read. When the teacher asks, “What did you do this summer?” Your kids can proudly say, “I read 100 books. Want to hear about them?”
I used this link and picked out three styles for each of my boys: the tween, the 13 year old, and the 14 year old. I wanted them to be easy enough to use and cool enough that they would use them. An added plus, my boys can use the review sheets as an outline to create videos for YOUR KIDS of each book they read. We’ll be sharing our book reviews for kids from kids.
- Bookworm Journal: A Reading Log for Kids (and Their Parents)
- Reading Log For Kids: (8 x 10 Large) Reading Notebook For Ages 7 – 12 Child Friendly Layout 100 Record Pages
- Reading Log: Gifts for Young Book Lovers / Reading Journal
- Reading Log: Gifts for Book Lovers / Reading Journal
- Complete list of reading logs on Amazon
Click over to buy these reading logs for kids on Amazon. If you’re an Amazon Prime member you can have it before your next child finishes their next book.
A beach blanket big enough for the whole family
When it comes to the beach, I’m all about keeping it simple. You’ve seen that meme about beach chairs. As moms, we rarely ever sit in them so I don’t bother bringing one. I’m usually the one carrying the towels, lunch, and beach toys. So I’ve never wanted to be weighed down by chairs. I dig in the sand with my kids. We build sand castles together and when I do get to sit it’s usually on a towel. Then, I saw somehting that made me realize beach towels aren’t so good at being a beach blanket. They blow around. And when you’re ready to use them to dry off, they are covered in sand. I needed a better solution.
I found it with this WEKAPO Sand Proof Beach Blanket. It’s large enough for the whole family and then some. Large enough for 7 adults, every kid should be able to have their own space, without touching each other. It’s sand proof and water resistant. Each of us can fit our towel on it and not end up with a sandy towel. What I especially love is that it comes with metal stakes to help it stay mounted in the sand while you’re jumping waves with your kids or just trying to eat a PB&J on the beach. The beach blanket also comes with it’s own storage sack. When you’re done using it have the kids help you roll it up and then store it in the trunk till the next beach/park day.
When my boys were younger I would often see the beach hack of using a fitted sheet as a beach blanket. The idea was that you put something heavy in each corner/pocket of the sheet and it would hold the blanket down. I can’t tell you how many times I tried that, but it never worked. I never seemed to have 4 things that were heavy enough to hold down each corner. As soon as one kid would come running aross the sheet the corners would start bouncing up.
Another thing to keep in mind, don’t just use this Sand Proof Beach Blanket at the beach. Use it whenever you head to the park for one of the free movies or concerts in New Jersey.
- Click over to find free movies in New Jersey.
- Click over to find free concerts in New Jersey.
- Click over to sign up for one of our newsletters full of free events for kids in New Jersey
Click over to buy this Sand Proof Beach Blanket on Amazon. If you’re an Amazon Prime member you can have it before your next beach day.
5 Gallon water jug
This water jug isn’t for your typical summer beach day. Rather it’s for those times you get the kids and their friends and their friends’ friends together at the park for a playdate. Fill it with lemonade, water, the kids’ favorite beverage. Tell the kids to bring their empty water bottles. Now, you’ve got an instant way to keep the kids refreshed. No having to assign a parent to bring juice boxes. No trash to keep track of. No plastic juice box wrappers floating around the playground.
What I especially love about this Igloo Sport Roller Beverage Cooler that I bought on Amazon is that it has wheels and a pull up handle. I can pull it along as we walk to the park and then position it up on a picnic table at kids’ height. The spigot makes it easy for kids to serve themselves.
These are great for sports moms too. Whenever one of my boys has a sports tournament we fill this up and load it on the back of our car. It keeps us from spending money on overpriced drinks and cuts down on waste. It’s an easy way to make sure all my athletes stay cool and hydrated on hot days.
Click over to buy this Igloo Sport Roller Beverage Cooler on Amazon. It’s not an Amazon Prime item so order it now to make sure you have it before your next playdate.
Kids collect stuff! Whether it’s end of the year school paperwork or souveniers from your summer adventures with the kids, the stuff can be overwhelming. I had stacks all over my house. Papers from school projects I wanted to keep were stacked in piles in multiple places around the kitchen. Drawers, bulletin boards, nooks and crannies in every room were filled with ticket stubs, lanyards, and various souveniers. I keep saying one day they will go in a special frame or scrapbook, but in the meantime they are adding to the clutter in my house.
Finally, a few weeks ago I had had enough. I ordered these color-coded stackable storage baskets. I admit they aren’t the prettiest, but they are darn practical. The different colors let’s me color coded it. A different color for each kid and one for me. They aren’t too big, but just big enough. They are wide enough to fit a standard sheet of paper. End of year awards, programs from plays, a map from a theme park, they’ll all fit inside. Their deep enough to collect a summer’s worth of memoribilia. They stack together nicely and fit perfectly in a closet. Since they came a few weeks ago, I’ve been able to work my way around the house collecting the stuff and putting it in each child’s basket. I finally feel like I’m getting a hold of the clutter. Plus I’ll be ready when we come home with one more momento from our summer adventures together.
Click over to buy these color-coded stackable storage baskets on Amazon.
For less than a $100 or working with whatever budget you have, you can get a few things that will help you stay organized and save time this summer. After all, those kids are with us from June through September. We want to spend our time with them having fun and making memories, not getting frazzled or overwhelmed. I hope my suggestions for products to help moms will do just that… help you to have the best summer possible with your kids.
What products to help moms would you recommend? What’s something you couldn’t live without this summer?
Can’t shop right now? Make sure to pin this for later.