You know what's cool? Summer vacations. Pool parties. Enjoying that sweet sweet sunshine with your friends and family.
You know what's not cool? Getting sunburned. Seriously, the worst.
I'm sure you have your kids completely covered (slathered?) in sun screen, topped with hats and looking pretty rad in some sunnies, but what about you?
Here are four really easy ways to keep that playful spirit up all summer, ward off sunburns, and not be a total hermit indoors.
1. Here's a fun rule we all swear we know but often forget to act on: Stay hydrated. My latest trick to make sure I'm getting enough water, especially on the hottest, muggiest summer days, is a really really fun cold to-go cup that I refill throughout the day. The one above is from Ban.do, but it seems like every store I walk into these days has picked up on the trend. Single use plastic water bottles? Out. Colorful, playful reusable cups? Totally in. And they even fit in your car cupholder.
2. Who would have guessed the hottest trend in swimwear the past year would be rash guards? Like miracle shirts, they keep you cool and protected from the sun, and since they're totally "cool" right now, you can find some awesome patterns at places like Target and J. Crew (above). Bonus points: no worries about flimsy bathing suit tops while you're chasing around the kiddos or visiting the waterpark with your family.
3. My new must-have for any summer get together? A simple pop-up shade tent. This one from The North Face is super colorful and durable enough for camping trips, but any shade tent will do. Take to it to beach, the park, a cookout, or just pop it up in the backyard for an instant fort that the whole family can play under.
4. Floppy. Hats. Finding just one for this post was overwhelming. There are so many choices and hats are such a fun accessory that I challenge you to pick something a little out of the ordinary, like this patterned floppy hat from Target (above).
— Alaina Buzas, contributor
* Disclaimer: There is not a doctor on the Meredith Plays blogging staff. We believe these are playful twists on very common advice.