Summer is here! There are few things better on a hot summer day than jumping into a cool swimming pool. Many of my greatest childhood memories involve community and backyard swimming pools. If you are looking for a fun way to spend a hot summer day, a day at the pool should be in your future.
Where to Go
For those of us who don’t have our own backyard pools, community pools can be a dream come true. Some communities have public city or regional pools, where as many others have membership-based pools. If you aren’t a member of a pool a quick search online can help you find pools in your area. A few phone calls can help you find a pool that has single-day passes. In looking at pools ask about each pool’s supervision (number of lifeguards, requirements for independent swimmers, etc.), keep your child/children’s swimming ability in mind as you think about the level of supervision that they may require.
What to Pack
There are the obvious, non-negotiables for all pool bags: sunscreen, towel, and sunglasses. Be sure to pack an extra bottle of sunscreen, I always seem to find myself squeezing the last drops out of my bottle. An extra bottle on hand ensures no pink cheeks or sunburnt backs.
A few other suggestions for things that I keep in my bag are:
The Right Gear– My older boys are competent swimmers, but when they were younger I researched flotation options. Talk with a local retailer, or research online, life jackets, swim vests, and the popular combination life jacket, swim aid, and swim vest. For my baby a great baby float, especially those with canopies, are an amazing investment.
Rash Guard- Life changed when I bought long sleeve rash guards for each of my kiddos. Sunscreen became less of a chore seeing as how nearly half of their bodies are completely covered. It also makes me less anxious about sun exposure.
Pool Toys-The last thing that you want to do is lug a big chest of toys to the pool, but a few smart toys can make a pool day. I limit my kiddos to one or two pieces of gear each. My older son likes a fun set of diving sticks that he received as a birthday present, whereas my preschooler likes toys that squirt. All toys must fit into my bag otherwise I spend more time getting ready for a day at the pool than actually being in the water.
Snacks and Drinks– Something about the combination of water and sunshine brings makes my kiddos hungry. I let my older kiddos choose a few snacks to put in my pool bag. Our rule is at least one health(ier) snack must go in the bag. Each child also has their own reusable water bottle. It’s easier for each child to track down their own bottle than for me to lug disposable water bottles.
Baby Wipes– No matter the age of my children (or spouse) we seem to use baby wipes. They’re a pool bag staple.
A day at the pool can be a memorable day for the whole family. Set yourself up for success by choosing the right location and packing the right gear.