Alyson Brown is a graphic designer and mom living with her husband Levi, little boy Wolf and two bad cats in Bend, Oregon. She writes the popular lifestyle blog Unruly Things, as well as its little spinoff, Unruly Little Things. When she’s not designing or blogging, she enjoys running around the backyard with her little boy, baking perfectly buttery pie crust, yoga in the afternoon, and napping with the windows open.
One of my favorite summer activities is heading to the river to beat the heat. On those days when the sun is so hot you can hardly stand it, the river is still icy cold. (Plus, river rocks make great seats once they’re warmed up in the sun!) Now that my son is one year old, he’s developed an extreme fondness for the water. It’s easy to bring the entire house when traveling with kids, but my river mantra is comfort, fun, and practicality. Here are a few essentials to get you started.
[Clockwise from top left: Girl's bathing suit from ThisFunThing; Yellow linen shirt by adita; Girl's sunnies from theeyestop; Boy's swim trunks from buttongallery; Navy sandals from fibbie; Boy's wooden sunnies by tumbleweedshandcraft; Boy's gingham hat by TheWoodenQuail; Red jellies from familythreadla.]
Growing up in Florida, I would get a new bathing suit at the beginning of each summer, and it was such a big deal. I think that the key to summer fun is a great suit. Cover it up with a lightweight linen shirt for cool post-sun comfort and added sun protection. Finish off your kid’s outfit with a hat, waterproof sandals, and a pair of sunnies to block the sun from little faces.
What river trip (or any trip, with kids!) is complete without snacks? I love to pack sandwiches in personalized reusable bags, so you know whose is whose without having to dig under the bread. Be sure to pack your picnic basket with plenty of napkins to clean messy fingers.
[Clockwise from top left: Jute tote from LaFemmeVintage;Wooden toy sailboat by DogGoneSailboats; Squirt gun from lion2833; Fold away teepee by houseinhabit; Woven beach towels by TheAnatolian; Mexican blanket from SonadoraInLove.]
And if the river weren’t enough entertainment for your little tot, they always seem to need toys to bring along. I love these teepees, which act as a sun deflector if you don’t have an umbrella. They’re a lot more portable than they might look and simply collapse to bring along for outdoor adventures. If you don’t have a teepee, a simple towel can be draped over two upright sticks for a make-shift tent. Of course, I always bring a blanket for lounging and the perfect tote to stow all my goodies.
These things could easily apply to the beach, lake or wherever your summer fun takes you. Here’s to fun in the sun!