10 Temporary Tattoos for Kids and Adults That Give Us All the Summer Vibes

published Jun 23, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Shutterstock

This piece was created for Cubby, our weekly newsletter for families at home. Want more? Sign up here for a weekly splash of fun and good ideas for families with kids. Join us over on Instagram for more!

Cubby. Real solutions for unreal times.

Join us for a weekly dose of fresh, modern ideas for life at home with your kids.

Flashback fashion has been having a fierce renaissance in the last few years, and we’d be lying if we said we weren’t completely here for it. That’s right, we see you, butterfly clips, power bead bracelets, jelly sandals, and choker necklaces — but the 90s-era obsession that we’re even more excited to share with our kids this summer? Temporary tattoos.

For anyone who has ever been on the other end of a Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig, or Disney Princess decal, we feel you. We get in on the press-and-peel fun, because we want to put smiles on our littles’ faces, but, in reality, the temp tattoos usually never come out like they should; within a day or two, the tattoos start flaking and the magic goes straight down the drain (quite literally, I can’t even count the number of times I’ve washed tattoos off my son as soon as the novelty has worn off and the colors get muddled). 

Thankfully, a ton of brands have put their own stamp on the temporary tattoo trend, and created a cache of colorful, bold, bright, and whimsy options that stick around and make us pumped to twin with our kids. They’re not your average Cracker Jack box or gumball/vending-machine-stashed varieties, but that’s okay, we like them better that way!  

With three sheets of silver, gold, and pink rings, wristbands, and unique designs that press right on with a paper towel and last for days, this Melissa & Doug pack for kids ages 4+ is perfect. We love the shimmering effects and prismatic pops of color, especially with the peace sign and flower power motifs. The silver-dusted blue and purple sheet gives us subtle Elsa vibes — so if your toddler just can’t seem to let it go with their fandom, this could be a fun “inspired” ink option.

The tattoos come on perforated sheets, too, which makes it easy to scan them all at once before separating out your/their faves — and no scissors needed!

Is it just me or do you go to extra lengths to make sure the level of “festive” is fitting for your family outings? Because any time we’re going to the aquarium or zoo, I feel like I have to throw in an extra load of laundry just to have something thematic for my kids to wear. That all stops now that I know tattoos like this exist. Featuring hand-painted animals and other storybook touches, this adorable set is about to be your next day trip secret weapon. 

Make things even more fun by choosing an animal for each member of your crew. The first person to see their animal on-site gets a prize (even if it’s just the rest of the tattoo pack!). 

One of the O.G.s of fashionable temporary tattoos, Tattly makes these vibrant and dynamic designs, featuring tiny animals in their vehicles. Elephants, mice, and cats can zoom up your little one’s arms, adding a moment of delight and imagination. Each pack comes with eight adorable tattoos and a special Tattly sponge for application.

Temporary tattoos aren’t just a thing for big kids — the littlest squirts in your squad can try them out too! We love these cuties from tear-free, non-toxic, plant-derived, and 100% natural bath products brand, Dabble & Dollop, because they’re simple, eye-catching, and totally toddler-friendly. My almost-2-year-old daughter doesn’t need another reason to love taking a bath, but if she ever tires of our splash toys, we’d be thrilled to have these smiling fruit tattoos on deck for tub time! 

Firecracker pops and soft serve swirls or summer didn’t happen: That’s our truth, and we’re sticking to it! These bright and seasonal picks from Ducky Street are deliciously on point for a day spent at the shore or a warm carnival night with fireworks popping off in the distance. Bonus points for Instagram posts highlighting your fam in top-to-bottom red, white, and blue (with tattoos to match). 

The dog days of summer are fast approaching, but here’s one way to keep cool. Rifle Paper Co. teamed up with Tattly on some delightful vegetable-based designs and the results were some of the cutest illustrations brought to life. If your family pup looks like any one of these pooches, you kind of have to indulge, right? Plus, August 26th — National Dog Day — is only two months away … 

These whimsical stickers and tattoos are just the thing to upgrade your summer babe’s birthday party and provide a foolproof face painting alternative for guests. There are 17 cool themes and so many styles to choose from, including glow-in-the-dark, metallic, glitter, and neon options. And with a cast of characters that brims with little bunnies in rain boots, flower-gliding cats, and cloche hat-topped butterflies, you’d think these tattoos were straight out of The Busy World of Richard Scarry (which just so happens to be another relic of the 90s.). 

Friendship bracelets, but make it fashion. That’s the mood with these fun, woven-looking wrap-arounds. Whether your kids want to wear one to match you and your partner or share among their besties, they’ll love celebrating those special bonds with patterns and prints that look SO good in tattoo form. 

On a mission to make memorable moments this season? Break these out for your kids’ first hangouts with friends.

My daughter isn’t even 2 years old yet, so I’m not thinking that far into the future, but I can honestly say that if I was back in the early aughts, these temporary tattoos would be my go-to accessories, because #impossiblycool. The non-toxic tattoos are completely safe for ages 4+, so you can absolutely share with the whole fam — we’re loving the classic black and white line drawings for the older teens and tweens.

P.S. The temporary tattoos can also be placed on any hard surface, so the DIY potential is endless…

This past year has introduced us to hybrid learning, Zoom lesson plans, and a whole lot of socially-distanced dynamics, but come September, we’ll be sending our children back to their classrooms full-tilt, and it’s bound to get a little angsty. With one of these pretties tucked under their sleeves, being brave might not be too hard. 

Just be sure that your little one is, in fact, allowed to wear one to school! 

One last tip — and we hope it sticks! If you’ll be going on vacation this summer, especially somewhere with large crowds, like Disney World, keep phone number contact tattoos on your radar. These ones, by Itty Bits Designs, have officially gone viral. Get them here.