Summer Fun

July 15, 2009 10:16:40 AM PDT
Whether you're going on a family vacation, heading to a Chicago area beach, or just hanging around the backyard, you can entertain your children (and some grown ups too) with these fun toys, games and accessories for the summer, chosen by suburban mom and trend-spotter Maria Berg-Stark: 1. The absolute rage in LA and Chicago, Sugar Lips tank tops are a must-have for the beach and pool. At $14 they come in neon, primary, and pastel colors, put it over your suit and you can't go wrong. Girls love them (as do their moms) and the best part is that they have a cotton/poly mix so they fit well and do not stretch out
*Insider tip: wash inside out.

2. Fun, colorful Roomitup and Roxy towels w/ beach/pool bags attached; they come in different colors and designs $28-$36

3. Speedo Goggles in a variety of styles and colors. You get what you pay for in goggles, Maria says. There are less expensive models, but they do not keep the water out with appropriate suction and sturdy bands. Prices range from $18-$22

4. Sofie shorts: Roll over the elastic waist top and wear them short--that's the style. The come in every color of the rainbow. $9-$10

All four items are available at Lad & Lassie Store www.ladandlassie.com, 1115 Central Avenue, Wilmette, 847.251.7570.

5. New, really cool invention Gogglemate www.gogglemate.com, was created by local mom of three. Simply, it is two neoprene straps that seal with Velcro over the rubber straps. This product stops hair from being pulled and ripped, makes goggles float (just think no more lost goggles in the pool and lake) and my personal favorite is that it is available in many colorful patterns/motifs (i.e. sharks, hearts, art deco dots, flowers, aliens and stripes) providing a way for your children to claim and keep track of their goggles. I do not know about other moms, but I'm really tired of purchasing 3-4 pairs of goggles at $20 a pop per season! Maria adds. Gogglemate sell for around $8 and can be purchased on line at www.gogglemate.com or at Kidsnips, TL Fritts, Kiefer Swim Shop and other specialty shops.

6. Havaianas: Manufactured in Brazil using a secret rubber formula, these colorful flip-flops are soft, light and highly durable, offering authentic comfort and quality for men, women and kids. Since their creation in 1962, Havaianas sandals have been worn on beaches as well as runways all over the world. The come in all different colors, patterns, designs and range from $18 to $30. You can even go to their official Web site www.havaianas.com and design your own. You can get them just about anywhere from Nordstrom and Macy's to Dick's Sporting Goods, Lori's Shoes and TJ Max.

7.UNO H2O features all new clear, plastic cards and a portable, waterproof carrying case. Plastic covered cards can get wet and sandy, just dry them off with the towel and resume play. At $10.98, UNO H2O, Maria says it's the perfect game for that time between eating and swimming again to avoid cramping. Available at Target.

8. The new "hot" toy for the pool is Submergency! It's an electronic, interactive game that provides hours of exciting fun. Set the variable timer and depth, toss Submergency! into the water and your opponent must search for and locate it by sound alone! Once Submergency! is located it must be disarmed before time runs out! For ages 6 and up; $19.99 at Target or www.target.com

Rules for 2 or More Players:

1) Set the depth at either sink, float, or mid-Range.
2) Set the LED timer variable from 15 to 90 seconds
3) Toss the Submergency Dive Game into the water.
4) Opponents try to locate Submergency in the water by listening to the Submergency signal.
5) The first one to deactivate the timer by depressing the button before time expires WINS!

9. Stream Machine shoots up to 70 feet. Add a twist (of water) to your summertime fun and we mean hours of fun. The Stream Machine is a hydraulic water launcher and kids of all ages love them. This particular model shoots water up to 70 feet. For Ages 5 and up, but fun for everyone; $14.99 at Dick's Sporting Goods.

10. The only cute male lime green Speedo swimsuit www.speedousa.com is on a baby. These come with built in diaper and are so tiny and cute we simply could not resist. They do not swell up like diapers when children play, and are really easy to clean and use again and again. No need to use disposal diapers so your little one will be swimming a little greener. $9.59 at Target and wherever Speedo products are sold.

11.Tony Hawk Sub Skateboard: The SwimWays® Subskate?, the original underwater skateboard, is now updated with signature Tony Hawk graphics and we have brought a fun orange one today for you to see. Fun for the pool, lake, or ocean, this patented design takes skateboarding to a new level. $22.49; available at Target


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