You’ve packed the sunscreen, have an extra pair of water wings, and are toting a beach bag filled with fluffy, puffy towels. With your gear in tow, you’re ready for a family fun pool day. But even though you have the basics, you might need some extras — just to make sure that absolutely everyone in your family has the awesomely good time that they deserve. Before heading out for a day of poolside sun, check out the little additions that might just make your fab day even better.
1. Water, Water, and More Water: The pool has plenty of water, but none of it is drinkable. If your tot gets thirsty (which they will), you might not want to pay the over-the-top prices at the pool’s snack bar for a plain ol’ water. Bring along a few chilled bottles to keep your family hydrated on a hot day. If you pop the bottles into the freezer before leaving, the ice will melt but the water will stay cold as the day goes on, or fill an insulated reusable water bottle with ice cold water and it’ll keep cool for hours. And when the bottles are empty, you can easily refill them at a drinking fountain.
2. Lots of Loose Change: The lockers in the pool’s changing room are your new BFF. Instead of lugging your gear around, now you can stash it away until you need it. That is, you could, if you’d brought quarters to rent a little locker. Bring as much loose change as you can comfortably fit in the pocket of your purse or pool bag. The kids can use what’s left over to buy snack bar treats.
3. Sunglasses for Everyone: Summertime eyewear is much more than a fashion statement: UV-blocking shades keep your eyes safe from the sun’s damaging rays. The same goes for your kiddo too. You wouldn’t let your tot sit outside all day without sunscreen on. Pack a pair of UV-rated sunglasses for each family member to ensure that everyone is protected.
4. A First-Aid Kit: Yes, it’s true that there are trained lifeguards all over the local community pool. And it’s a good bet that they have plenty of bandages, gauze, alcohol wipes, and other first-aid goodies. But that teeny tiny little scrape your two-year-old gets (you know, the one that you can barely even see but somehow turns into a major tragedy in your child’s mind) might not warrant a full-fledged emergency response. Instead, grab a bandage from your bag and save the day yourself.
5. Kids’ Clothes With SPF Included: Swimwear doesn’t have to leave your little one’s delicate skin exposed. If your kiddo can’t stand to slather on sun protection or runs when you whip out the sunscreen spray, SPF-included swim gear covers your child up and provides added defense.
6. Extra Shopping Bags or Reusable Waterproof Bags: You’re not thrilled about your tot spending the 15-minute drive home sitting in a damp suit. Heck, you’re not thrilled about wearing a wet swimsuit in the car either. Instead of balling up your pool-wear and shoving it into your purse, bring along a few bags to stash your suits in.
7. A Complete Change of Clothes: Everyone has a cover-up or tee with them, so you don’t need a full extra set of clothes, right? Even though you might set out on your pool day with every intention of returning home immediately afterward, that won’t always happen. There’s always a chance that you’ll end up at the park, drop by a friend’s house, or head off to see the latest kiddie flick, so take a full change with you.
8. Some Simple Snacks: Will your kiddo want the sugary churros from the poolside snack bar? Yes. Do you want them to dine on not-so-healthy treats all day long? Probably not. Pack fresh fruit, cut veggies, or a few other nutritious snacks in your pool bag. Make sure to keep them in sealed containers to keep the bugs and other outdoor critters away.
9. At Least One Extra Towel: Bringing towels to the pool is a no-brainer — you really don’t need anyone to remind you that you’ll need something to dry off with. But don’t stop at one towel per family member. At some point someone’s towel won’t dry out in enough time to use for a second round of swimming, or big sister will toss little bro’s towel into the pool, soaking it completely. Believe us when we tell you: An extra towel will come in handy.
What’s your summer pool bag must-have item? Tweet us your rec @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)