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Wondering How to Entertain Your Kids This Summer? We Asked Our Brand Founder Parents for Their Best Tips

Last Update: July 16, 2024

Summer offers endless opportunities for spending time as a family, but when you’ve got little ones in tow, it takes a bit of planning ahead to make sure you have all the essentials for those road trips and beach days. We reached out to some of our brand founder parents to get to know their favorite tips for getting outdoors and active with kids this summer. 

From coffee pros who have mastered the art of camp cooking to food founders who know how to make those tried-and-true summer desserts a bit healthier for the whole family, here are some of our brand founder parents’ best summertime healthy living hacks for both kids and parents

Make camping kid-friendly with easy breakfasts and a cozy sleep setup.

“We love camping for the spontaneity it enables. Especially with the proximity to so many diverse beautiful landscapes in California, being able to pack up our tent and head to the desert or mountains with Sonny feels like a trick up our sleeve, waiting to be played any weekend. Overnight oats are as much a camping staple for us as coffee. It’s so easy to prep before heading out, and then it’s waiting in the cooler ready for breakfast the next morning. Since having Sonny, our camping set-up has leaned a little more “glamp” — we now bring a queen-size blow up mattress, and connect a power adapter to our car to blow it up! Sonny loves jumping on the bed in the tent, and it makes for a very cozy night’s sleep.”
—Casey & Ally, Co-Founders of Canyon Coffee

Kid-friendly overnight oats recipes for your next camping trip: 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats
Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats Recipe
Apple Pie Overnight Oats

Shop these pre-made overnight oats from Thrive Market: 

Thrive Market Organic Overnight Oats in Double Chocolate Berry
Thrive Market Organic Overnight Oats in Carrot Cake Delight


Plan a kid-friendly picnic with all the essentials (including cleanup!)

“One of my favorite summer activities is spending time with my daughters in the kitchen building their picnic basket for the day. They are both budding foodies, and I love to hear them talk about their favorite foods and snacks as we work our way through the pantry. Dave’s Killer Bread is their go-to for a Turkey Sandwich or PB&J, and their favorite salty snack at the moment is Annie’s Organic Cheesy Puffs. Of course, our picnic wouldn’t be complete without a Hydro Flask full of ice water and a pouch of Honest Kids juice.” 
—Ibraheem, Founder of A Dozen Cousins 

The perfect kid-friendly picnic checklist: 

More picnic ideas for kids: 

Best Eco-Friendly & Healthy Picnic Ideas
It’s Picnic Season! Tote Along These 2 Easy Recipes
Pack the Perfect Picnic + 2 Easy Recipes
The Ultimate Healthy Beach-Day Picnic Menu


Update your tried-and-true s’mores recipe with healthier, higher-quality ingredients. 

“Setting cereal aside, we are s’mores connoisseurs. We love the summer months for long nights by a campfire with sweet treats and sticky fingers. And while we’re all for the classics, don’t be afraid to level up your ingredients to make the perfect s’mores. Swap your graham crackers for something flaky and salty, go for caramel chocolates, and toast the most artisanal marshmallows you can find. The starry sky’s the limit!”
—Ian & Margaret, Co-Founders of Three Wishes 

S’mores recipes the kids will love:

Salted Dark Chocolate S’mores With Caramelized Bananas Recipe
S’mores Bites Recipe
S’mores Mug Cake Recipe

S’mores essentials from Thrive Market:

Annie’s Organic Honey Grahams Crackers
Partake Foods Classic Grahams
Hu Cashew Butter & Pure Vanilla Bean Chocolate Bar
Dandies Vegan Vanilla Marshmallows


Prep for a long day at the beach with clean suncare, hydrating beverages, and wholesome snacks. 

“Our favorite summer activity is going to the beach as a family. We live in New Jersey, and it’s great to head to the parts of the shore that are not crowded or popular. We love Sea Bright Beach because it has a playground and outdoor restaurant right on the beach. 

We always bring a beach wagon with water, snacks, hats, and sunscreen. The wagon carries all our stuff — plus our toddler, Zane — so it makes life easier for us. We find the key is to have water, snacks, and nap gear ready to go so you don’t have to stress about it and the kids can tire themselves out. The tent is also a game changer since you can go from using it for shade to a nap space in a few seconds. ”
—Najwa, Founder of Dalci

Najwa’s family-friendly beach essentials:

  • Sunscreen for kids and adults
  • Frozen fruit packed in a mini cooler
  • Homemade sandwiches (“Our favorite is a sardine sandwich with tomato, lettuce, onions, and a homemade mayo on a French baguette or sourdough bread. For Zane, we pack a croissant sandwich with roast chicken and gouda cheese — he’s an interesting 3 year old!” Najwa says)
  • Hats for the whole family 
  • Reusable water bottles
  • Beach toys, like shovels and buckets
  • A foldable mat for kids
  • Foldable beach chairs
  • A kids’ tent that blocks the sun, but can double as a place for nap time
  • A portable sound machine for beach naps

More kid-friendly beach snacks: 

This article is related to:

Healthy Kids, Parenting Tips

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Amy Roberts

Amy Roberts is Thrive Market's Senior Editorial Writer. She is based in Los Angeles via Pittsburgh, PA.

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