Staying at home for months on end has had us all online, and shopping online, a lot more. Our San Diego Editor Beth Shea feels us. A working mom with two kids, we asked Beth for her top 11 products that have gotten her through the pandemic, the summer, and beyond. Read on to hear more from Beth.

Days and weeks of sheltering in place have turned into months––and the new normal of staying home has brought both challenges and silver linings for my family. I’m sharing some of the must-have products that have helped us cope and thrive throughout the pandemic. From journaling and art to toys they won’t tire of, therapeutic music and your new favorite kitchen appliance, read on for the scoop!

Diary of a Brilliant Kid: Top Secret Guide to Awesomeness

This treasure of a tome will help boost your kid's morale and lift his/her spirits. Geared for kids ages 8-12, Diary of a Brilliant Kid: Top Secret Guide to Awesomeness, provides a safe space for your child to record thoughts and feelings in a super entertaining and humorous fashion. Lighthearted musings are mixed in with poignant lessons on how to navigate the 'tween' chapter of life. It speaks to kids in a language that makes them feel understood, while helping them find their voice and feel more centered during these uncertain times.

Get yours here, $14.48.

Modeling Clay Kit

This modeling clay kit provides kids with the opportunity to relax, unwind and create cute little creatures, and really anything they want. The clay air dries in 24 hours and their creations are ready to join the realm of decor or perhaps a LEGO or Lincoln Log world your kids construct for them. It comes complete with 24 modeling clays in 24 colors, a project booklet, 3 small tools, and 34 animal accessories to help with shaping and decorating––and I appreciated the 24 containers to store unused clay. My kids crafted everything from lizards and unicorns to Pikachu and penguins. We played some music while we used the clay and it made for a couple hours of unplugged fun.

Get yours here, $19.95.

Fuzion X-5 Pro Scooter

Scooter riding makes daily dog walking a LOT more of an adventure for your kiddos. Every morning we walk our dog while my kids ride their scooter and skateboard. The Fuzion X-5 Pro Scooter is a safe, high quality scooter, which I need for my daredevil son who likes to do scooter tricks. I like that it will last through the teen years and will easily withstand daily wear and tear.

Get yours here, $111.

LEGO Classic Medium Creative Brick Box

A bunch of open-ended loose LEGO bricks so kids can build whatever they want is simply a pandemic MUST. Equally as important, a few LEGO baseplates for each kid. The baseplates allow kids' creativity to soar because they can use them as a foundation to construct literally anything. A movie theater? An amusement park? Their dream home? LEGO building is a daily activity in our house!

Tip: you can slide the baseplate creations under the bed, and your kids can add to them each day.

Get yours here, $26.99.

LEGO baseplate, $4.99.

Singing Machine Karaoke System

There's nothing quite as therapeutic as belting out Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" during stay at home orders. Bonus, your kids get to know a righteous rock band, too. Family karaoke nights have provided plenty of laughter and tons of fun as we take turns singing our tunes. This Singing Machine makes it super easy to turn your living room into a stage. The disco lights and microphone will have you feeling like a rock star instantaneously.

Get yours here, $60.59.

Lincoln Logs

This classic toy offers the comfort of good, old-fashioned playtime, while fostering ingenuity and creativity. Lincoln Logs have been around since 1916, after all. Kids can build forts and cabins and plan new tiny communities everywhere from the living room to their bedroom. It's the quintessential toy for your budding architect.

Get yours here, $44.99.

Stuffed Animal Bean Bag Storage "Stuffie Seat"

Our house is overrun by stuffed animals and we can't seem to part with any of them due to nostalgia and emotional connections. However, stuffed animals spilling from every area of our home was getting out of hand, so we corralled them all into this clever storage "Stuffie Seat." All these cherished friends are easily accessible via the sturdy zipper on the back of the seat, and once playtime is over, they all gather together inside the bag to create a cozy spot to curl up with a good book. 

Get yours here, $38.95.

gofindit - Outdoor Nature Scavenger Hunt Card Game for Families

Since it sometimes takes convincing to get kids off screens and out of the house, this nature scavenger hunt card game provides an encouraging prompt to get outdoors. It's designed for ages 3+ but it's engaging for people of all ages. The cards ask you to find specific item descriptions on your jaunt such as: "furry," "wow," "small," and "thin." You could even use it on road trips and anytime you leave the house to up the ante on any excursion. 

Get yours here, $12.50.

Ukelele Instrument Kit

There's truly no better time than the present to learn how to play a new instrument, and this ukelele kit provides everything needed to gleefully strum the day away: Ranch UK-23 Concert ukelele (Aquila String Installed), 1x 10mm Gig Bag, 1x Digital Tuner with Battery, 1x Extra Set 4 Aquila Strings, 1x Strap, 1x Polishing Cloth. Get yours here, $69.99.

Fort Building/Beach Towel Clips

Technically, these clips were designed to fasten beach towels to chairs and hold laundry on the line. However, I bought them for my kids to use for building sheet forts around the house. They come in a pack of 12 and are ideal for securing sheet corners in place on the mantel, dresser, dining room table, chairs, and basically anywhere your kids dream up draping sheets for the ultimate hideout. 

Get yours here, $7.99.

Air Fryer

Our air fryer has been the saving grace of constant quarantine cooking! I no longer need to crank up the oven (and make the house hot) to slow roast carrots, yams and potatoes––I simply pop them in the air fryer for twenty minutes and they're cooked to perfection. I can easily whip up sweet potato or regular French fries and bell peppers and fried tofu too! This handy kitchen appliance is always hard at work at every meal in our house and I don't know what I ever did without it.

Get yours here, $119.99.

All images courtesy of Amazon.

Featured image: Beth Shea

Editor’s Note: At the time of publication, all items were available for purchase. Prices may vary.

––Beth Shea

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