Yay! Summer is (almost) here! But unless you have an au pair to go with you everywhere (in which case I’m super jealous), navigating summer fun with multiples can be…difficult. Let’s make it a little easier on ourselves, shall we? From a double pool float, to a wagon for multiples (and much more), check out our recommendations for the best summertime gear for your duo or trio.
[Read our full Summer Series here].
At the Pool
With multiples, pools can be tricky — especially if you’re flying solo.
But not to worry; once the kiddos are old enough to sit up on their own, you can get a really cool interconnected double pool float. These make swimming with twins so much easier—especially when it’s just one parent in the pool—because your tots have to stay together!
Side note: We generally don’t recommend parents take infants < 6 months into the pool due to the [ahem] “loose stool situations”, but that’s not to say it can’t be done. [Best Swim Diapers]
For parents with twins who are at least 6 months, check out the Twin Swim Float (~ $55). This is a double pool float that comes with five balls and a splash/play area between the two kids to keep them entertained in the water.
Many parents love this float – so much so that it’s often out-of-stock! – but be aware that it’s best for twins who are able to sit up well. The leg holes are on the larger side and the seats sit closer to the top of the water, so if there’s a chance that your babies will get tired and try to lean back, this is NOT the double pool float for them.
Another basic tandem float is the Duo Twin Pool Float (~ $59) from Stuff 4 Multiples. This is also for twins who are 6-36 months (or up to 30lbs per child, whichever comes first), and is only suitable for kiddos who can sit up well on their own.
For those with triplets (or twins + 1) ages 4 and older, check out this Centipede Ride-On Float (~ $26). It has three interconnected tubes (so it looks like a centipede…cool! And also, eww), allowing your kiddos to float together, but also have their own space (yeesss!).
Each of the three floats are open and have no leg holes for support, so it’s meant for older children who can swim on their own well.
Important to know is that some users report their floats came with holes in them, creating a slow leak over time. Still, if you get a working Centipede, this is a great (and fun!) option for older triplets.
Needless to say, pools (and all bodies of water) are VERY dangerous for babies and children – you can never be too careful. For more info on how to keep your kids safe in and around water, please read our Pool Safety Basics for Children. Also, check out our recommendations for life jackets. But remember: no flotation device is a replacement for being a vigilant caregiver. Never take your eyes off your kids when they’re in or near the water!
Now: onto the beach, park, soccer field, and of course, the campground. In all of these places, it will help you greatly if your babies are in the same safe spot.
The playard is big enough for your multiples to fit in together and still have room to play. By comparison, the Graco Pack ‘N Play Sport Playard fits inside Summer Infant’s playard with room to spare.
For a portable activity center, you can get two Kidco GoPods. They fold easily and compactly for car travel. Be sure to use it on solid, level ground, as some parents have had issues with it toppling over on uneven surfaces. *Follow height and weight guidelines to keep those babies safe.
For camping or for avid picnickers (yes, it’s a real word), I like the Ciao! Baby portable high chair. This high chair simply folds like a camping chair, so it’s great for car travel. Each chair has a tray, cup holder and a seat strap. It can be used up to 3 years (in theory), but the leg holes are on the smaller side. If your baby has some cute, chunky thighs…it won’t last as long.
Summer Infant has a similar product: the Pop n’ Sit Portable Booster. This travel-friendly booster is simple to fold, sets up easily, and sits lower to the ground making it great for picnics on blankets or watching an older sibling play soccer.
The tray is BPA-free (of course) and removable, making this a versatile chair that can be used beyond just mealtime. The Pop n’ Sit can also be used as a booster seat; it comes with safety straps that can be secured onto any chair (see below).
The Pop ‘n Sit is suitable for kiddos 6 mos and older (who can sit up unassisted), and/or who weigh up to 37 lbs. Many reviewers rave about this portable booster, but a common complaint is that because the seat straps are so low, they dig into children’s legs (ouch).
[Full travel gear rundown]
Step 2 makes some awesome recreational toys and their Choo Choo Wagon is perfect for multiples.
It comes with two cars, but you can purchase a third train car for an additional child, dog, cooler…you name it! The front car has storage under the seat, which is great for stashing keys, wallets, snacks, sunscreen, etc. Bonus: because each kid gets his/her own wagon with a cup holder and seat belt, there will be noturfbattles between the children. That’s a HUGE win for parents of multiples!
Another option for up to three kiddos is the Radio Flyer Triple Wagon. This wagon comes with six cup holders (woohoo!) and a big bag in the back for storage.
You can purchase an optional canopy to protect the kids from sun and rain. We have this wagon (with the canopy) and absolutely love it! It’s become our go-to when we take the kids to the park and neighborhood farmer’s market. The only downside is that it doesn’t come apart, so you can’t really fit it in your trunk. Otherwise, it’s pretty awesome.
Tandem bikes anyone? If your multiples are good at sharing—lucky you!—check out this tandem trike from Costzon (~ $100) for toddlers (good for kids 18-36 months).
Another great option for older twins is the Italtrike Pilot 200 Double Seat Tricycle (~ $247). The kid riding shotgun does all the work while the backseat’er enjoys the ride.
For twins who are 3 years and older, there’s also the Angeles Tandem (~ $225). This is a super-sturdy tricycle you’ll often see at preschools and such. Just know that if you own it, all the neighborhood kids will be coming by for a turn!
Be sure to get helmets for the kiddos for any of these bike options. Read about our top picks here.
A popular summer toy is the ubiquitous water table. What MOMs love about this table is the ability to entertain all your kiddos all at once (Seriously – my toddler twins and their school-aged big sis all love playing with it)!
All water tables get great reviews, though the Little Tikes wins out for the most popular. Around our neighborhood, every other house (including ours!) has one of these puppies – oh suburbia.
The Step 2 Rain Showers is also a really cool, highly-rated water table that kiddos love. It’s unique in that it has a waterfall tray that kids can dump water into (using the included water bucket) and create their very own rainfall! This is sure to keep your tots occupied for a while, but parents take note: users say it’s challenging to put together.
Step 2 has a cool Sand & Water table – one side for water, the other for sand. It also comes with toys, a lid to cover the table, and a large umbrella to protect kiddos from the sun.
These tables will last for years and provide endless entertainment for the kids. So just sit back, catch some rays (because no one cares about your skin, lol) and relax while the activity table does its job.
Read our full Summer Series here. We cover everything your kiddos will need this summer.
Happy summertime to all my Parents of Multiples out there!!