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How to Have the Perfect Day at the Pool with Kids…Yes, It’s Possible
Remember when you were a kid and you couldn’t wait to go the beach or the pool? Where did that magic go? Today, when my little one wants to head to the pool, I feel more like I’m preparing for war than headed off for a relaxing dip. From the sun that wants to burn me to a crisp to the little man himself who is never ready to leave, it’s one battle after another. Where has the fun gone? 😉
While you may not be able to recapture the joyous bliss of childhood pool or beach adventures, with the help of Neutrogena® and a few other trusty tools, you can enjoy yourself at the pool with your kiddos. No, for real. I wouldn’t lie to you 🙂
It all comes down to being prepared. Prepared for what you ask? Anything.
Start by getting a bag. Probably a big bag. You’re going to fill this with secret weapons that you’ll whip out as the situations demand. Here are some things you’ll want to include to make sure fun in the sun doesn’t turn into a nightmare.
Have your kids wear comfortable clothes that they won’t have to tug on or constantly adjust. This goes for footwear as well. Make sure their sandals don’t hurt their feet or make them trip.
Be sure to bring plenty of towels so everyone can get dry and warm afterwards. Towels can also offer a protective surface to sit on.
Food and Drinks
A blast on the beach or at the pool can turn disastrous in seconds when the kids are hungry and you don’t have the proper nourishment for them. Sure, you can shell out big bucks at the concession stand or head to a nearby snack bar but the lines could be long and your wallet will be hurting. Let’s be honest when the kids are hungry the last thing you want to do is to stand in an agonizingly long line or haul it down the sand to a snack bar or restaurant.
Instead, bring food with you. Since kids tend to burn more calories than normal at the pool or beach, be sure to bring extra food. Personally, I pack a lunch bag and a snack bag (separately). Consider using this DIY Travel Food Kit to keep things organized.
In the lunch bag I’ll include:
- A sandwich (usually peanut butter and jelly)
- Fruit (i.e. strawberries, grapes or apple slices)
My son has to eat this lunch first before he opens the snack bag. The reason I bring a separate snack bag is if my son knows what’s in the snack bag it’ll make it all but impossible for me to get him to eat his lunch first.
In the snack bag, I try to include a wide variety of options like:
- Applesauce cups
- Veggie sticks
Don’t forget to bring beverages! When you’re out in the sun, running around, staying hydrated is super important. Your kids may not even think to ask for a drink but they still need to consume plenty of liquids. Try to focus on water (you can flavor it with fruit to make it more appealing) and other really hydrating drinks. Try to avoid sugary colas as they aren’t as hydrating and their sweetness can attract bees and wasps. The last thing you want is to take a swig of soda and get stung on the lip or tongue!
Bring sunscreen for you and the kids. In a rush to make sure the kids are lathered up, many parents forget to protect their own skin. Don’t.
Apply the sunscreen to your kids either right before you leave for the pool or beach or right when you get there while you’re still standing by the car. Seriously, don’t let them get in sight of the water before you apply sunscreen… otherwise they’ll be squirming and trying to get away from you and you won’t do a full coverage quality job.
Tip: I like to use the strongest SPF I can find because I feel better knowing they have a high level of protection on especially if I can’t get him to reapply it later in the afternoon.
Personally, I opt for Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Dry-Touch Sunscreens SPF 50.
You can find this awesome product at Target in the suncare aisle.
Now is a great time to pick up Neutrogena Sheer Zinc™ at Target because between 5/21 and 5/27 if you purchase $15 in sun care products at Target (in-store or online) you’ll get a FREE $5 Target GiftCard!
I trust Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Dry-Touch Sunscreens SPF 50 for a couple of reasons. I love the high SPF protection. It gives me confidence that no matter how long the little man keeps me at the pool our skin will be safe. While Neutrogena isn’t the only high SPF sunscreen out there, I trust them because this product is gentle on sensitive skin. So many sunscreens are thick and seem to clog up my pores or cause other skin irritations… not Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Dry-Touch Sunscreens SPF 50. It’s light, gentle, and hypoallergenic without skimping on UVA/UVB protection. It’s quality is due in part to Neutrogena’s breakthrough Purescreen® technology which is powered by naturally-sourced 100% zinc oxide.
Don’t believe it can treat your sensitive skin right? Neutrogena Sheer Zinc™ was awarded the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance™ as a suitable sunscreen for persons with sensitive skin conditions.
I also like that it really is “dry touch,” meaning as soon as I apply it to my son or myself it feels like it has soaked in. Honestly, it feels more like I’ve applied a bit of moisturizer than a sunscreen. Oh, and by the way, it’s water (and sweat) resistant so whether you’re “lounging” (yeah, right) by the pool or in the water itself, you’ll be safe! 🙂
Bonus: Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Dry-Touch Sunscreens SPF 50 does not have that “traditional” sunscreen smell. You know what I’m talking about… kind of oily and chemically. Nope, Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Dry-Touch Sunscreens SPF 50 has a light, fresh smell.
You’re beach bag should include some first aid goodies like bandaids, antiseptic cream, etc.
Otherwise a simple skinned knee could shut the whole day down as you’ll have to head home to get the kiddo cleaned up.
Tip: Cartoon bandaids with their favorite characters never fail to make boo-boos better faster. I don’t know why… it’s magic. 😉
Regarding pool or beach toys, have a variety because who knows what your kids will want to play with. Plus, they will likely make friends who will want to play with their toys too. Oh, and you most certainly will lose or leave no less than two toys every time you go to the pool or beach, so have plenty on hand.
Tip: If you’re parked close by, feel free to leave the majority of toys in the car (versus trying to haul them all with you on the first trip) until your kids wants them.
There you go. Your bag of secret weapons is locked and loaded! You’re ready for a successful day at the pool.
Tip: Bring a little extra of everything. You’re bound to find another mom who wasn’t quite as prepared as you were and it’s always nice to be able to share with others. Trust me, there will be a time you forget something and need to rely on the charity of someone else. We moms have to look out for each other! 🙂
This beach bag will ensure your time at the pool or beach is a blast… but what about when it’s time to leave. Yep, that’s never fun. Here’s what I recommend to get your little one out of the water without a HUGE fuss: Bribery. No, I’m serious.
I always pack a couple of different candies or cookies that will hopefully get my son to leave the pool or beach without making a huge scene. If that doesn’t work then I try to have something waiting at home that’ll entice him to leave. For example, maybe a favorite movie or TV show he can watch. Another yummy option is a special treat, like a popsicle (don’t worry, there are healthy popsicle options). You know your kids best, the key is to have something special you can offer in exchange for giving up the awesomeness of the pool or beach. 😉
What are your tips for having fun in the sun with the kids at the pool or beach? Please share.