I love that we live in Texas, I however don't love the summer heat! In our quest to keep this summer's budget low we utilize our neighborhood pools (A LOT). You usually can find us around 10:30am-11 am poolside with lots of snacks and water. We hang out there with other neighborhood friends, visiting guests, and sometimes just us until about 1 pm. Our day post pool usually includes lunch and LONG naps (big reason mommy loves hangin' at the pool with the energetic kiddos).
I get asked frequently how I manage to keep all three of my young children (4.5 yrs old, 3 yrs old, and 23 month old) safe AND entertained while we swim. Here is my list on how I keep everyone safe at the pool, by myself, without loosing interest or being overly stressed.
- Everyone gets suits and sunscreen on BEFORE we leave the house.
- That way I'm not trying to rub sun lotion on one kid while the other two are jumping into the pool without their fair skin being protected.
- I also don't have to monitor 'dry' time because their skin has already had time to soak in the sun protection.
- All three kids get their puddle jumpers on before we get into the van. Their life vests go on before we enter the pool and they don't take them off until AFTER we leave the pool.
- If we're going to a pool that is located outside of our neighborhood we don't put life vest on until we reach our destination.
- I come prepared to ALWAYS get into the pool with the kids.
- Because our neighborhood pool is great, and has a beach entrance, I don't HAVE to get into pool, but I always have my suit on incase a kid needs to be rescued or they just want to swim with mom.
- Plus it takes all the baby belly weight off my back. win-win.
- 'Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink'- we bring in plenty of drinking water. You don't realize how much energy you're using while swimming and in this Texas heat dehydration is such a real thing!
- I usually have a bag full of healthy and not so healthy snacks to graze on while we're outside. We get 90% of our snack food from Costco, and HEB for all of our fresh fruits. Having a good variety helps keep the kids happy.
- I fill them up on decent snacks and then don't have to cook a big lunch post pool.
- Before we leave for the pool I have all their dry outfits ready to go on the coffee table.
- After spending a few hours at the pool we are usually all tired and in a hurry to get to nap time. So keeping their change of cloths down stairs saves me a trip to the 2nd floor.
- Post pool outfits are usually big tee-shirts, under ware, and diapers. Nothing fancy.
- I also have a drying station right inside the entrance to our home from the garage. All the wet towels and suits hand there to dry. This way we're not tracking water all over the place.
- While swimming I don't usually hang out on my phone or read a book.
- If my kids were older, and better swimmers, I would probably do both of those things. But for now, my kids are too young and I have to keep my attention focused on them while they enjoying the pool.
- I know CPR and keep a first aid kit in my van.
- Heaven forbid something were to happen to one of my children, or one of the other kids at the pool: I don't want to have to wait on 9-1-1, I want to be able to do all I can do to help save that life. "If ye are prepared ye shall not fear".
- Before we get into the full swing of summer we do a family night and go over the pool rules.
- Even though the kids are young we impress on them that the pool can be a FUN place, but also a DANGEROUS place. That listening ears need to always be on and there aren't any 2nd chances. If you're making dangerous choices (not listening to mommy) your pool day will come to an end. This has happened when we have only been at the pool for 15 minuets, and all three kids are just not listening, and we go home.
- I know that even if I am 100% on the ball, something bad can always happen.
- I prepare for the worst and hope for the best. I don't want to miss out on free summer fun, but I know that a fun situation can turn deadly in a blink of an eye. This realization helps me be diligent in watching my kids, providing them with quality swim aids, and making sure they're not getting roasted.
Those are my top ten tips/advice/what I do to provide my kids with a fun time at the pool during our mostly free summer!