The Savvy Five: Summer Essentials

Our Favourite Summer Essentials
The Savvy Five: Summer Essentials

Summer’s definitely here and to maximize your relaxation (that’s ‘max your relax’), you’ll need a stash—a little bit of everything for all the occasions summer brings. So this month’s SavvyFive is all about our favourite summer essentials.

Grub Scouts Sprinkler by Melissa & Doug
Good for: Hot, lazy days (and summer birthday gifts)
Why It Made the List: When you attach this adorable and durable sprinkler to your garden hose, an entire troop of Grub Scouts pops up to help with the fun. Part of the Sunny Patch collection (which also includes bug catchers, kid-sized gardening tools, sand toys and more), the sprinkler is also available in a flower motif. You can use it for regular watering, too—it’s great for doing small patches—but kids will love running back and forth, trying to avoid the countless sprays. ($24.95, available at

Quash Moisturizing Hand SanitizerQuash Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer
Good for: Cleaning grubby hands when soap and water is not an option
Why It Made the List: You’ll be at the beach, the zoo, the airport and more this summer, and little (and big hands) can’t always get washed as often as we would like. Quash is chemical and alcohol-free, made from 100% natural ingredients (such as white willow bark extract, manuka honey and aloe vera) and kills 99.9% of germs. We like those numbers, especially since 80% of the germs that cause illness are spread via hands. The 250 ml bottle is easy to carry everywhere we go and lasts for 250 ‘washes’. And since it also moisturizes hands, it offers the ultimate in multi-tasking. ($7.47, available at

notNeutral Ribbon CarafenotNeutral Ribbon Carafe
Good for: The cottage hostess gift that will be sure to get you invited back
Why It Made the List: The entire notNeutral barware collection comes in bold and colourful boxes, which makes them ready for gift-giving, no wrapping required. The 700 ml dishwasher-safe glass carafe can be used to decant a bottle of wine, serve some lemonade or use as a vase. The clean shape is easy to hold and the elegant, etched design is enhanced when the carafe is full. Present it with a bottle of your favourite wine or homemade lemonade, then clean up after your crew, offer to make one of the weekend’s meals and you’re on track for Guest of the Year. ($36.99, available from

Discovery Trekking Ultra-fast Dry TowelUltra-fast Dry Towel
Good for: Any occasion where water is involved
Why It Made the List: There’s never enough towels in the summer, whether it’s the lake, pool or sprinkler to blame. And the only thing worse than smelly, damp towels is not having one at all, which is why we were excited to discover the antimicrobial and super-absorbent Ultra-fast Dry Towel from mom-run Discovery Trekking. Perfect for sending to camp or for keeping in the car in case a pool invitation comes along, the towels offer over 97% UV protection so they can double as a cover up or stroller shade, and sand does not stick to them, making them great for a beach blanket, too. With 16 different colours, everyone can have their favourite. ($19.95 for the medium size, available from

Travel Buddha Board Water WizardTravel Buddha Board Water Wizard
Good for: Entertaining the kids on airplanes, car trips and rainy days
Why It Made the List: The Buddha Board is covered with a special material that allows you to paint on it with plain, old water. No mess, no waste, you paint with the special fillable water pen, enjoy your creation and then when it dries, start again. It’s very zen and the laptop-style with folding cover and pen holder is perfect for travel. ($25, available in blue or red at

A little stash goes a long way.

Tested by Leslie M., Toronto
Tagged under summer, gear, gifts, travel
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First published 2010.06.29

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