I’ve written a post about my personal favorite products of the year for the last couple years (here is the one for 2022), but I’ve never written one focused on kid items before. I figured it was time!
I intended to do 10 products like I did for me, but couldn’t narrow it down. So here are 12 products that we’ve not only loved this year, but have inspired and helped us in some way and made our lives easier, more fun, and more joyful. They’re generally ones I’ve recommended time and time again because of how much we love them and how often they come up in our day to day lives. I hope they are good for you, too!
REI Kids Hiking Backpack
Gosh dang, we love these backpacks and have dragged them all over planet earth with us this year. Roomy but still small profile with plenty of pockets, they’re comfortable and functional for everything from hiking to travel. My kids love them. This one has been great for us for kids 7 or 8 and up. There’s also a slightly smaller version for younger kiddos starting around age 4 or 5.
We also LOVE this hydration pack that’s perfect for kiddos as young as 2 or 3 and up – I’ve even worn it as an adult if I just want some water and a small snack. It’s currently on sale for the lowest price I’ve ever seen! (Also available at REI.)
Speaking of items dragged all over earth, goodness, these Keen sandals have gone all over with us and held up beautifully. My kids love them for hiking and water play, as well as the beach and pool. They have even been known to wear them with socks in cold weather. We also love these Keen kids hiking boots and these everyday sneakers (all waterproof).
Stainless Steel Bentgo Lunchbox
For years, I compromised between a stainless steel lunchbox (easy to clean, no transferring of flavors or smells or stains, great for food safety & storage) and the convenience of leakproof containers or compartments. We used a Planetbox for years, which we liked, but it always bothered me that we couldn’t put anything remotely leaky in it or the liquid would get between compartments, and, worse, out of the lunchbox into backpacks.
So when Bentgo came out with a stainless steel version of their popular lunchbox, I was thrilled and got them for all my kids. We’ve had ours for over a year now and they’ve been terrific.
We’ve had a version of this pencil sharpener for probably close to 7 years and it’s the best. Our old one finally bit the bullet a little while back, and we got this Classroom version that is simple and streamlined and I love it so much. It sharpens SO fast and cleanly and it’s my favorite.
Prismacolor Scholar Colored Pencils
Before having kids, colored pencils were not an item I expected to have strong opinions about. Turns out that has changed, lol.
These are truly the best colored pencils in all the land. My kids all vastly prefer them because they’re smooth and soft and have beautiful, vivid colors.
Munchkin Latch Bottle
With a new little breastfed baby this year, I’m reminded of how much I love this bottle. It’s the best I’ve found for nursing babies, especially ones who don’t tend to like bottles. It’s worked for a couple of my babies who flat out refused other bottles and I’m so grateful! Also available on Amazon.
Of course our beloved kids’ bikes had to make the list! Safest kids’ bikes out there with their specialized break system, small business with terrific customer service, and fun to ride.
I love love love this woman-owned small business that focuses on empowering girls and highlighting female leaders. The Trailblazer collection is my favorite, but everything they do is gold (and incredible quality, too). These make the BEST gifts.
I will never do bunk beds again without Beddy’s. They’re the only thing that help ours look even remotely put together and don’t make me tear my hair out with them getting made every day. They work great on our kids’ triple bunk bed, and Dan and I also have Beddy’s on our bed in the RV, which keeps it looking tidy in the small, mobile space in there.
We’ve used Virtu Academy for online music lessons for my older two kiddos (who play the violin and who I taught for years before that) for about a year and a half now. And it’s been wonderful. We super love each of their teachers and they’ve both grown so much as musicians. Their teachers are incredibly trained professional musicians who are also terrific at working with kids. There are teachers for all different instruments and levels and student ages. (More about our experience here.)
One of the best parts is that it means my kids can get on their lessons all on their own at home – no driving around, no waiting with other little ones, no running late because someone forgot a shoe. It’s the best.
They’re raising their prices a bit next year (to $39 for a half hour lesson, which is still incredibly reasonable, especially for world-class musicians as teachers), but you can buy credits at the current price in advance. So if you’re thinking of trying it out, now is the time!
Poco Plus Child Carrier
We’d never had a structured child carrier until this year. We’d borrowed one before that wasn’t comfortable, so we just stuck with our soft structured carrier.
But this summer, we knew we’d be doing a fair amount of hiking and I would be very pregnant. So we decided to invest in this one so that Dan could carry both our toddler when needed, as well as our gear, like camera and snacks. And it was amazing.
It was so comfortable for him, and M slept so much better in it than in a soft structured carrier. We also got the rain cover, which was very helpful, as well. We loved it and wish we’d gotten it sooner!!
Toddler Rain Suit
I mentioned rain pants in my favorite products for me this year, but this toddler rain suit is maybe even better. Amazing for the rain, perfect for mud, wonderful for any sort of moisture or just keeping clothes clean from dirt. M ran around in it all summer in Alaska and we’ve gotten so much use out of it at home, too, even though we hardly get any rain. Love it. The older kids’ rain jackets and pants are also terrific!
IF YOU LIKED THIS POST WITH MY FAVORITE KIDS PRODUCTS IN 2022, YOU MIGHT LIKE THESE POSTS TOO:
- My Favorite Products of 2022
- What We’re Giving Our Kids for Christmas 2022
- Outdoors & Hiking Stocking Stuffers for Families