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Our Fave 5: These water toys will make this summer the best one yet ☀️

BigMouth Inc.

School's out for summer and it's right about now that parents remember just how long the days are and how easily our sweet babies become very bored. And cranky. So toys that keep kids outside and having fun this summer are here for the win. 🙌

Buuuut, it's also really hot outside right now. So, a game of Jenga on the back patio will quickly go awry for all involved because they're going to be too sticky to have any fun. (That said, if Jenga is your thing, we're obsessed with this oversized set!)

Enter: Water toys.

Whether you have a baby or big kid, water toys are the key to everyone's happiness this summer. They're going to keep your crew cool, busy and entertained for hours on end—with nary a "Mom, I'm booooored!" to be heard.

I scoured the market for water toys both trendy and tried-and-true, tested all of the below five products on my four kids (ages 9 months to 7 years old) and swear by their safety, durability and fun-factor.

The best part? You don't have to leave your backyard! Oh, and you're about to have the most fun house on the block. Welcome to your most fun summer ever.

The water table 

Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table

Here's a fact: Babies love water tables. Not as daunting as an entire pool, a water table allows babies and toddlers to belly up, splash around and engage with all the bells and whistles these tables typically offer. But, water tables tend not to last very long. In seven years, I've probably gone through half a dozen because those "bells and whistles" (cranking handles, spinning wheels and more) tend to break after a few months of constant use. But not so with the Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table!

Why we love it: I've been using this puppy for three straight summers because it's sturdy enough to support a non-walking baby's lean, and because its many accessories are still in place. The waterfall feature entertains kids big and small and the oblong shape allows for multiple babes to play side by side. Bonus: It's majorly on sale at Walmart right now!


The baby pool

Intex Baby Pool

Unlike big kids, babies don't need much when it comes to a pool during the summer. Slides and water canons and climbing walls would be lost on them (not to mention unsafe). They're going to be thrilled just to be inside a tiny pool made just for their size! My favorite is this super simple, super cheap rainbow version from Intex.

Why we love it: With more than 1,000 reviews on Amazon, the pool is a favorite among parents with babies for one resounding reason: It's soft! My baby used this every day last summer and what did she do over and over and over? Climb in, climb out, repeat. With a standard kiddo pool made of hard plastic, she would have been covered in scrapes, but thanks to Intex's inflatable siding, her constant moving was gentle on her little body. The flooring is also inflatable, providing extra padding for when baby goes boom! Also, the price can't be beat. At $10, you won't feel guilty about throwing this out at the end of the season if you don't have the space to store it.


The inflatable sprinkler

Monster Sprinkler

BigMouth is known for rolling out some pretty epic inflatables (like their giant unicorn sprinkler, that taco-shaped raft, the ubiquitous flamingo pool float and this rainbow water tunnel), and this season they're really bring their A-game when it comes to sprinklers. What is an inflatable sprinkler? It's a big plastic toy that you inflate and attach to a hose, shooting water up and out of the toy. Also, they are the hottest trend in outdoor water toys right now. If you want to win "parent of the year" you need one this summer.

Why we love it: If 2018 was the summer of the unicorn sprinkler, 2019 is decidedly the summer of the monster sprinkler. Already trending on the BigMouth site, this 6-foot tall monster will be a hit.

More to know: These don't come with a pump, so be sure to have a standard air pump on hand (electric ones are faster, but hand pumps work, too). The included anchor kit keeps your monster safely in place, and a wide-mouth air valve allows for deflation in under 30 seconds.


The water slide

Wow Super Slide

Nothing beats a slip and slide. We'll never really know why a wet piece of plastic on grass is so much fun—it just is. And while there are hundreds of versions available online, the WOW Super Slide is our resounding favorite.

Why we love it: First, the bumpers. I've tested others and my kids were always careening off the sides of the slide before the reached the end (the lighter the kid, the higher the likelihood of this happening). Second, the WOW is made of ultra-thick PVC plastic that is far more durable than its competitors, which means it will actually you for multiple summers. Plus, it comes with handy connectors that allow you to attach multiple slides together. If that doesn't sound like fun, we don't know what does!


The inflatable slide

Little Tikes Slide Bouncer

If you've got big kids at home—pre-schoolers and above—a baby pool just isn't going to cut it. Enter: The inflatable water slide. Like a mini waterpark in your backyard, there are myriad options on the market, but the Little Tikes Rocky Mountain River Race Inflatable Slide Bouncer is hands-down my favorite (and I've tested many).

Why we love it: It's incredibly durable and it needs to be! Kids are going to be racing up and down the climbing wall, slipping down the slides, splashing in the pool basin, and Little Tikes' ultra-thick plastic can withstand the wear and tear and doesn't bend or lean when being used by multiple people. Chock full of diversions, the dual-slide design is a lifesaver if you have more than one kiddo (no pushing at the top of the slide!) and the shallow pool at the bottom is ideal for babies and toddlers to splash around in.

Tip: Getting these suckers dry is a conundrum, and if you store them wet, you'll have a mold issue. Combat this by deflating and emptying out the water, then re-inflating and letting the slide dry in the sun while it's taut.


Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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If you had to only choose one product to toss in your bag, what would it be? Our guess is you're looking for something that's easy-to-use, affordable, clean and multi-tasks for you—something that'll simplify your routine because you have other things to worry about than what beauty product to grab (like making that Zoom meeting in time while you're working from home).

Enter: Arrow Beauty—a clean beauty brand created by Birchbox with products designed to save you time.

I had the chance to try out the entire product line and, let's just say I've made sure to toss one everywhere—in my bag, on my desk, in the bathroom. And during this pandemic, it's made getting ready (okay, looking presentable for video calls) in the mornings so much simpler.

Each product is created to be something you grab and go when you're in a rush. Everything is free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates and mineral oil, vegan and cruelty-free so you can still give your littles all the snuggles and kisses without stressing about transferring any bad ingredients over. And, they're designed to travel well. Birchbox made sure Arrow Beauty featured leak-proof and carry-on friendly items. Did we mention everything is under $25?

Here's what is in their first launch:

Nourishing lip oil

birchbox arrow lip oil

This one might be my favorite from the collection. A lip oil that leaves a high-shine finish that isn't sticky (!!!) and keeps your lips moisturized for hours. It comes in clear, perfect to top off your favorite shade, or color enhancing pink that reacts to the pH level of your skin, making a unique shade for you.


Radiant skin moisturizer

birchbox arrow skin moisturizer

Have no time in the morning? Massage this into your skin for the ultimate pick-me-up. It has a subtle sheen that illuminates and nourishing ingredients—hyaluronic acid and aloe—that hydrates and gives you a glow.


Color enhancing lip balm

birchbox arrow lip balm

The Birchbox team listened to customer feedback to reformulate their OG tinted balm and it's *so* good. There are three shades—berry, coral and blush—that look incredible on all skin tones because it reacts to the pH in your skin to enhance your natural color. Even better? It's buildable!


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


This is the #yearofthemother.

And this is the pregnancy book women deserve, from the experts at Motherly.

This is an unprecedented time to embark on the journey of motherhood. You are part of a new generation of women elevating empowerment in all its forms.

Whether this is your first baby or your fourth, whether you're still deciding about pregnancy or already have a baby on the way, becoming mama involves your body, mind, emotions, lifestyle, relationships, schedule, spirituality, worldview—and most of all, your heart.

The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama celebrates the wonder of your new baby and honors you through this profound life transformation.Inclusive, holistic, and evidence-based, this book was made for you—a loving and supportive embrace of your unique motherhood journey in all its power, complexity and beauty.

Peek inside here!


Praise for The Motherly Guide

"Mothers around the world deserve the guidance that this book offers: unconditional support and access to expert-backed, non-judgmental information. This book is the first of its kind to support the whole woman through the whole journey from getting pregnant, to birth, postpartum, and beyond. The maternal wellness revolution has arrived." —Christy Turlington Burns, founder, Every Mother Counts

"Motherly is leading the conversation about how pregnancy, birth, and postpartum transforms a woman's world―and The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama is their greatest contribution yet. Women deserve all the support as their bodies, minds, and lives transform, and this book delivers it with so much heart."—Katrina Scott, cofounder, Tone It Up

"The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama is like having an entire birth team on your offers grace, empowerment, and support for however and wherever you find yourself on the becoming mama journey."—Anthonia Akitunde, founder and editor-in-chief, mater mea

"THE essential guide to pregnancy and birth has finally arrived. The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama is the only book you need to get you through this adventure. It's woman-centered, warm, and informative . . . it's the book I wish I would've had, and the one I'm so excited for you to have."—Natalie Gordon, founder and CEO of Babylist

"This epic book is a cross between an encyclopedia and a wise aunt. In this thorough and comprehensive resource, the Motherly team offers equal doses of wisdom, love, and cold hard facts so that each new mother can develop the confidence that she desperately needs on her pregnancy and motherhood journey. A soulful and dependable guide for all women."—Kimberly Ann Johnson, author of The Fourth Trimester

Pre-order your copy ofThe Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama, and join us as we redefine motherhood, together.

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic effect on so many people's lives, and mamas everywhere are feeling it especially hard. The outbreak has been an especially scary time for pregnant women who worry about getting the support they need during this already challenging time.

At Motherly, nothing is more important to us than helping mamas everywhere feel supported and empowered from the very beginning of their motherhood journey. That's why we took two major steps toward helping pregnant women everywhere feel more confident right now:

First, we wrote the pregnancy + birth book you deserve.

The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama provides evidence-based, women-centered support for every stage of your journey, from trying to conceive to caring for your sweet new baby.

We wrote The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama to ensure that every person has access to high-quality, nurturing pregnancy and birth guidance. It is the pregnancy book you deserve. And we would be honored if you would consider pre-ordering it now.

You can pre-order The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama at your favorite retailer, and it will be on its way to you when it releases on April 14th:

Second, we're making our Becoming Mama™ Online Birth Class absolutely free.

For the thousands of women who are unable to attend their birth class due to the virus, our class, taught by Diana Spalding, Motherly's Digital Education Editor, certified nurse-midwife, and writer of The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama, is the nurturing, empowering resource you need to have your best, most supported birth no matter what.

This class will prepare you for your birth, while the book is about the entire journey—from trying to conceive, to pregnancy wellness, birth, postpartum and caring for your sweet new baby.

More than 7000 women have joined Motherly's FREE online birth class

Pregnancy and birth are some of the biggest moments of life—it can feel like an emotional roller coaster. Going through this process during a transformative world event—a pandemic—can make it feel so daunting. We want you to know that we are here for you.

You deserve to experience pregnancy, birth and motherhood with confidence and joy—and we are honored to be on this journey with you.

As founder of mater mea, Anthonia Akitunde said, The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama "is like having a whole birth team on your nightstand."Because you deserve to experience it all with confidence and joy—and we are honored to be on this journey with you.

To sign up for our free online class, please fill out this info, and we'll email you access to the class (within 24 hours) and sign you up for our newsletter.


We all know dry skin is a real thing, and since we've been washing our hands a lot more recently (thanks, coronavirus) and dousing them with anti-bacterial gel, they are much drier than usual. Combine that with the cool air and our hands feel like we're rubbing a piece of paper on our cheek.

As we're social distancing, we have a bit more time on our hands these days so we've given these hand creams a test drive to find what best works to keep moisture in.

Here are 10 of the best hand creams for combating dry skin, according to our editor:

L'Occitane shea butter hand cream

L'Occitane shea butter hand cream

Did you know that this classic hand cream is sold every 2 seconds around the world? Honey, almond extract and coconut oil are blended with shea butter to protect and moisturize the driest hands. We also love the natural, smoky nutty scent that lasts between hand washes.


Origins rejuvenating hand treatment

Origins rejuvenating hand treatment

This sweet-smelling cream is infused with rose of Jericho—also known as resurrection plant—and trehalose and sea haricots, which work hand-in-hand to help skin recover from extreme dryness. Just massage into hands as needed, apply as often as necessary.


EltaMD so silky hand crème

EltaMD so silky hand cr\u00e8me

If your hands are scaly and rough to the touch, you'll love that the silky-smooth texture of this cream is very soothing. It seriously feels like butter. It also helps maintain moisture for up to 12 hours even after hand washing. Keep in your pocket to reapply during the day.


Moroccanoil hand cream

Moroccanoil hand cream

Sure it's great to keep hands hydrated, but if they leave your hands feeling greasy and sticky, that may not be for you. This lightweight formula features argan and avocado oils plus cocoa, shea and mango butters that leaves your hands super silky and smooth.


Aveeno daily moisturizing hand cream

Aveeno daily moisturizing hand cream

You don't have to spend loads of money on a good hand cream. This drugstore favorite helps heal dry skin and forms a protective barrier against the elements. It's also non-greasy, fast absorbing, steroid-free, fragrance-free and gentle enough for sensitive skin—even little ones.


Skinfix eczema + hand repair cream

Skinfix eczema + hand repair cream

Plump, tone and tighten the skin with this cream that's clinically proven to treat eczema and dry, cracked skin on hands. A dermatologist-led clinical study found that after just one week users noticed a 111% increase in skin moisturization. Now that's a super-healer we can all get behind.


Kiehl's since 1851 ultimate strength hand salve

Kiehl's since 1851 ultimate strength hand salve

The cool thing about this cream is that it allows skin to draw and absorb water from the air, forming a "glove-like" protective barrier against moisture loss. It's also made up of a blend of botanical oils and wax derived from olive oil to soothe, moisturize and condition skin. We're obsessed!


lano hand cream intense

lano hand cream intense

This silky hand cream is so good it's considered 'the hand cream for hand cream experts' because its primary ingredient, lanolin, is secreted by the sebaceous glands of wool-bearing animals. A 2017 study indicated that lanolin can reduce water lost through the skin by 20 to 30%. Now that's impressive!


Aesop resurrection aromatique hand balm

Aesop resurrection aromatique hand balm

We must admit that an annoying feature of most hand creams is that they take forever to absorb. It seems like you're rubbing for hours, only to discover that it's sticky and the smell is annoying. This balm, which is one of Aesop's most popular products, instantly softens hands and cuticles with its blend of sweet almond and coconut oils, as well as cocoa and shea butter. Try it on your roughest hands for a quick moisture boost.


La Roche-Posay cicaplast baume B5

La Roche-Posay cicaplast baume B5

This face and hand cream helps nourish and soothe dry skin, as well as visibly irritated areas like cracked knuckles and dry cuticles. What's more? The formula is non-sticky so you can apply it all day without feeling icky.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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