5 tips for an easy trip to the pool

Summer is here and the pools are open. I am not sure about you, but I used to dread taking my kids to the pool. It seemed like a daunting task to get the towels, snacks, sunblock, hats, water, dry clothes, pools toys, and floats all packed in a way that did not make us look like we were moving in. I felt like I spent as much time preparing for the pool as I did getting ready to go. The following are my 5 tips for an easy trip to the pool:

1)      Provide a small meal or snack prior to leaving for the pool. I will typically provide my kids with a small sandwich and some fruit and/or vegetable prior to leaving for the pool. This way I know that have already had a meal and it decreases the amount of food that I need to pack.

2)      Pack a food from each food group, but make it simple.  The following table provides suggestion of foods that can be stocked for the summer

Fruit-Melon wedges, grapes, applesauce pouches, plums, or dried fruit

Vegetables- Carrots, celery, or pepper strips

Protein-Nut Butter, nuts, edamame, or small pieces of rolled lunch meat

Dairy-Cheese or yogurt tube (can be frozen)

Grains-Crackers or pretzels

3)      Use a soft sided cooler and pack with ice packs to keep food and drinks cold. I typically use a small cooler that can be placed in a larger pool bag so I do not look like the pool bag lady.

4)      Apply sunblock before leaving the house. Sunblock should be applied prior to getting in the water to be effective. Most of the time it takes about 15-20 minutes to be at the pool. When it is done ahead of time the kids can go straight to the water when we get there. Do remember to re-apply the sunblock.

5)      Wear a long sleeve swim shirt. I started wearing one of these a few years ago and it has made pool time easier. I love my kids, but I do not trust them to apply sunblock to my back adequately. Therefore, I now put a long sleeve swim shirt on and then all I have to worry about is my face, neck, legs, and tops of my feet.

 

Along with the above suggestions I will sometimes purchase some ice cream for the kids from the snack bar because nothing tastes better than ice cream on a really hot day.  Remember when the days are hot to drink plenty of fluids.  Have a great time at the pool!

 An example of some of the snacks are pictured here. Only the items that need to be kept cold are in a soft-sided cooler to save space. 

An example of some of the snacks are pictured here. Only the items that need to be kept cold are in a soft-sided cooler to save space.