We’re half way through the summer, and by far our kids’ favorite thing to do is swim. We invested in a swimming pass at the community pool for the first time ever, and it has been totally worth it! We are lucky enough to have the community pool right down the street from our house. It’s truly less than a mile away.
Since the pool is so close, we can throw a couple things in a bag, grab some towels and head to the pool for an hour. This is great in the afternoon! A lot of times it’s too hot and muggy for the kids’ to comfortably play outside. However, the pool is the perfect place to be on a summer day in the mid-west. The best part is, we have a pass so if we only spend an hour we don’t feel like we wasted money.
There are days like today though when we want to spend the whole day at the pool. These days take a little more planning. There are things like snacks, drinks, re-applying sunscreen, and all kinds of things to think about. As I’m packing our bag(s) to spend the day at the pool, I thought I’d put together a list of the essentials. These are my must have’s for a fun-filled day poolside with kids.
What to Pack for a Pool Day with Kids!
- Invest in a GOOD Beach Bag – Several years ago I bought a canvas beach bag from Land’s End. Our kids were in swim lessons back when we bought this bag, and we used it once a week on lesson day. Almost five years later, we now use this bag for the pool almost daily. It’s an upfront investment, but we’ve taken the same bag to the beach, indoor and outdoor pool, and the lake, and it’s still going strong. There’s barely any wear and tear to it, plus it’s big enough to fit everything!
- Small Soft-Sided Cooler – We bought a small, snack sized soft-sided cooler and it’s been a great go-to bag. We can fit five drinks, a couple snacks and a couple sandwiches. Once your goodies are all gone, fold the bag up and stick it in your pool bag. No fuss, no muss.
- Personalized Towels – We were using normal beach towels we bought at the store here in town. They are a good quality and no problem, but when we went to the pool I found the same towels over and over again. So, we decided to get towels for the kids with their names embroidered in them. Now there is no confusion if we brought home our towels or if they were mixed up.
- Food and Drinks – It’s easy to become dehydrated at the pool on a hot day. Your body temperate stays cool because of the water, however you’re exercising losing calories and fluids. It’s a good idea to have drinks on hand, and a small snack for every hour spent in the pool. There is a snack shack at our community pool, however it’s super expensive. I usually pack small snacks: a baggie of gold fish, a rice krispie treat, and some grapes or cut up apples. I usually have water, Gatorade and a juice box for each kid as well. If you’ll be there during lunch or dinner, check your pool’s rules on carrying in food. We cannot carry in pizza boxes or take out food, so we usually make sandwiches. Tonight we plan on making subs and bringing bags of chips for a quick but yummy dinner poolside.
- Pack Gear – I make sure each kid has their goggles, SPF rash guard, flip flops (for bathroom breaks ewww), and Asher has his life vest so he can go into the deep end.
- Pool Toys – We can’t bring big toys such as floats and noodles, however we can bring small toys. I make sure the boys have a football suitable for the water, water bomb balls, and that Audrey has her diving sticks, to help entertain them and friends.
- Sunscreen! – I am Irish. My kids are pale, have freckles and even red hair. Re-applying sunscreen is a must. I bring with me a mist/spray sunscreen to the pool. This way I can spray the wiggly kids who don’t want to stand still. Make sure you get a sport version that is water resistant.
- Hat and Sunglasses – As the kids are hanging out in the pool, my husband and I are usually overseeing everyone. Rarely do we jump in. Since we’re sitting in the heat I always make sure to have a hat and sunglasses. Moms and Dads… make sure you stay hydrated and apply sunscreen too.
- First Aid Kit – This seems like your typical Type-A personality trait, and it is… However, we’ve needed a first aid kit on more than one occasion. The first time we went to the pool Asher scraped his toe jumping in and needed a band-aide. Last week, a bee stung Lane on the arm. Luckily we had a first aid kit that included bee sting wipes. I use a quart-sized baggie that has band-aides, bee sting wipes, aloe, gauze, Tylenol, and burn spray.
After packing all of our must haves, feeding the kids a healthy protein-packed lunch, and ensuring everyone used the bathroom, we are on our way to the pool. Here’s to hoping everyone has a fun, sun-filled day poolside!