Our Top 6 Summer Essentials

By Hannah Schenker

In not too long, we in the southern hemisphere are going to be enjoying summer and everything that comes with it: long evenings, barbecues, swimming in our ocean and rivers, picnicking with visiting friends and relatives. Some will be taking off to favourite holiday spots – campgrounds and baches and the lawns of friends lucky enough to live in beautiful places. We’ve rounded up a few summer essentials for you and your little ones that will keep you chemical-free, confident and ready for anything.

Sun protection. If you are toting around an eager little baby, you know that you need something that works but that won’t load them up with nasty sulphates, petrochemicals, parabens, artificial preservatives and fragrances. WOTNOT 30+ Baby Sunscreen is a winner all round – literally! They’ve won the Nature & Health awards for Best Sunscreen in 2013, so you know you’re onto something here. Their GMO-free baby sunscreen uses zinc oxide to protect the skin from getting zapped by the UV-A and UV-B rays by reflecting them back to that blue, blue sky. Yes, you should shelter your little one in the shade and with protective clothing as much as possible, but this is ideal for when they just need to run around, naked as the day they were born.

What to wear? Have your kids’ togs gone all saggy in the bottom from endless summer fun times? Maybe it’s time for an upgrade, or maybe you’re looking for your bubba’s very first piece of swimwear. There is a lot of gender-divided, mass-produced, sweatshop swimwear out there which maybe you now want to avoid as you embark on a more natural lifestyle. Freedom Kids are a NZ-based clothing company, sourcing their collection from small businesses with heart.  It is all ethically made, gender neutral and allows children to play freely – which is really what we want for our kiddos.

Swimming. Is your little one ready to jump in the deep end? Fantastic! Swimming is an important life skill and a fun part of growing up, particularly if you are like us in New Zealand – surrounded by the deep blue! SwimFin is a revolutionary swimming aid that’s been proven to speed up learning to swim by up to 30%, and let’s face it – who wouldn’t want to swim around with a shark fin on their back? The smart design means they can frolic arms-free and easily stay vertical until they start kicking and paddling – then the buoyancy helps to align them to the right swimming position and they become more horizontal. You won’t be able to get them out of the water.

Drying off. Dreading those wet, drippy hugs from your little rascals fresh out of the water? Have your tired old faded towels that have seen better days? Like the sound of a towel that they can wander off wearing? Check out the Bizzy Bubs Breganwood Organics Hooded Towels. Cute, bright and made from certified organic cotton terry toweling, you know you’re wrapping your loved ones in the good stuff. Each one has its own animal motif on the hood, so you can always know whose is whose down at the beach.

Something to sit on. Your wee ones will enjoy rolling around on this Portable Activity Blanket while you picnic with your pals. You can take it anywhere, actually, thanks to its water resistant backing and a nice hardwearing canvas top which is padded for comfort. It’s easy to carry around thanks to its nice carry bag with a big old strap – with extra room in there for your other essentials too. Throw it over your shoulder or strap it to your pushchair, the only accessory you’ll need to remember is your baby! Just kidding.

Dive in.


Hannah Schenker is a freelance writer, editor and regular contributor to The Natural Parent Magazine. She lives with a touch of magic in Golden Bay, New Zealand. 

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