Staying at home for months on end has had us all online, and shopping online, a lot more. Our DC Editor Meghan Yudes Meyers feels us. A working mom with two kids, we asked Meghan for her top 12 products that have gotten her through the pandemic, the summer, and beyond. Read on to hear more from Meghan.
As a working mom of six-year-old twins, I’ve spent the past five months feeling a little bit like I’m on the ultimate episode of Survivor. Like you, I’ve navigated the new challenges (and adventures!) that come with raising kids in a pandemic world. I’ve brushed up on ways for us to stay healthy and invested in products that allow us to enjoy our home in new ways. Below are some of my favorite mom hacks and survival gear for quarantine life with kids. Scroll on for my must-haves to help get you through another week!
For years, wipes were my can't-live-without mom crutch. But these days, my Kinders don't appreciate me pulling out a pack of wet ones. Enter Suds2Go. It's a portable hand washing station that makes cleaning up on-the-go a cinch. Officials tout that hand washing is the best defense against viruses, but even if a restroom is open (and most aren't) I aim to avoid these germ havens. Suds2Go is now a permanent fixture in my mom bag.
Get yours here, $36.99.
Oximeter Blood Oxygen Saturation Monitor
My kids are still at the touch everything phase, so I've been avoiding trips to doctors' offices like the plague. I read about a simple device that can help me gauge whether respiratory issues require a trip to our ped or the local ER; it's an Oximeter Blood Oxygen Saturation Monitor. By slipping this meter on the end of your finger, you can quickly check a heart rate and oxygen saturation. I purchased one made for kids, but it works for everyone in our family.
Buy yours here, $23.95
Anti-Blue Light Glasses
If you have school-age kids, chances are they will be spending the majority of their school day online this fall. These glasses work for those that don't have a prescription for eyewear, but still want to protect their eyes (and mind) from the harmful effects of blue light.
Get them here, $15.90.
The Nature Anywhere Window
The Nature Anywhere Window lets you turn any room of your house into a wildlife observatory. Simply wet the suction cups and slap this bird feeder onto any glass surface; voila instant home viewing! It took the birds in our hood a few days to feel comfortable eating at our eye level, but they soon learned we were harmless. We even got two different bird nests in our yard!
Buy yours here, $28.90.
Blast Zone Magic Castle
Some of our favorite places have still not opened, so I've done my best to replicate those experiences within our four walls (and, lucky for us, in a backyard). We got a supersized bound house so that each kid would have enough room to bounce without jumping into one another. We're looking forward to the day when we can jump with friends, too (yes! It's big enough for that, too).
Get it here, $597.88.
Hape Adjustable Telescope
We've been finding new ways to make our outdoor activities more interesting... and educational. These magnifying glasses have become a must on our nature walks. But when we want to get a better look at the birds or a distant landscape, we pull out our binoculars or this telescope.
Get yours here, $19.44.
School At Home
We're spending as much time outside as possible, but while we welcome the fresh air, we don't always want to be in the sun's direct rays. I can skip slathering the kids in sunblock with this portable tent. It's perfect for quite classroom activities, like reading and painting.
Get it here, $59.99.
We've logged an excess number of hours at home so far this year, so I plan on trying to make our classroom as mobile as possible this fall. This caddy tote let's each of my kiddos bring their necessary supplies with them. We can easily relocate from the dining room table to our maker space to our outdoor classroom with all our necessary supplies.
Get it here, $14.99.
Jonti-Craft Creativity Board
I'm obsessed with this double-sided magnetic wipe board that let's my kids work on their individual educational needs at... get this... the same time. You can use dry erase pens to practice letters, sight words, numbers and math problems. Or get into some STEM fun with magnet play.
Get it here, $340.20.
SmartGames Snow White
Like a lot of parents, I'm experimenting with new ways to carve out work time from home. While Disney+ has been a go-to for Zoom calls, I've been trying to find more ways to keep my kids occupied without using screens. Both my littles love games and puzzles, so these brain challenges by SmartGames build cognitive skills while also increasing their confidence; they can be done independently!
Get it here, $26.99
OOLY Colored Pencils
My kids are creative bundles of energy; give them some craft supplies, and they are self-sufficient for a solid 60 (at least!). I love all of OOLY products because they feature bright, vibrant colors, but these colored pencils are some of my faves. With two kids heading off to Kinder soon, pencils let them practice the fine motor skills they'll need in (or out of) the classroom. And with more control over their art work, they are able to master more difficult drawings.
Find them here, $16.99.
These days, headphones are a must in our house. They let my kids rock out on their electric guitars while I'm busy on my computer. They also come in handy for letting kids watch a movie by themselves or getting joining an online Zoom class without retreating to a different room.
Get them here, $25.99.
All images, except those credited, courtesy of retailers.
Editor’s Note: At the time of publication, all items were available for purchase.
—Meghan Yudes Meyers