Aug. 5, 2011 at 8:41 AM ET
While the dog days of summer make have you chilling indoors with the air conditioning, TODAY style editor and Bobbie.com's Bobbie Thomas shares a few unique finds that will bring you back outside:
Garden and grow
Potting Shed Creations encourage children to take their favorite tall tales one step further by involving themselves in the story. With options including Jack's Magic Beans, The Princess' Pea, Cinderella's Magic Pumpkin, Secret Garden and Stone Soup, kids can learn the simple joy of gardening and have something special to show for it when their efforts begin to bloom ($9-$28; Store01.
Uncommon Good's Butterfly Puddler is a decorative ceramic plate which features a shallow well of recycled glass that holds sand or rock salt along with water. When the water evaporates, the colorful creatures are attracted straight to your yard by the minerals left behind ($40; Uncommongoods.com
Sans the sand
If you love the beach but the hate the sand, Hammacher Shlemmer's Sandless Beach Mat might save your summer. Developed for military use, the mat is made from two layers of patented woven polyurethane that instantly filters beach sand and prevents it from coming back through the bottom. Additionally, it eliminates dirt, dust and water from its surface giving you a clean, sand-free experience at the beach, a concert, or any outdoor event. ($69.95; Hammacher.com)