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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sizzling Summer: Swim Bag Essentials

Sizzling Summer Logo Photo adapted from Zanastardust

Swimming and summer go hand in hand. Though your summer may be filled with sprinkler fun, chances are you are heading out to the beach or the pool at least once this summer! While we aren’t very close to a beach, we do live close to my parents who own a lovely pool! Let me share with you what works for me.

We keep our swim bag packed and in the front closet. Some times I add a few last minute additions however having the bag packed with the essentials certainly simplifies my life!

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The Bag:

Before we talk about the contents, lets talk about the bag itself. For me, a roomy tote is essential. I purchased mine several years ago from Pottery Barn Kids. It is durable canvas with sturdy handles (long enough to put over my shoulder), it also has a lined bottom so that if I do end up with some wet things in the bottom it doesn’t run through. It also has an interior and exterior pocket for smaller items. It doesn’t fasten closed which means I can over-stuff it on the way home when the towels are no longer neatly rolled. :) Or when I am in a hurry because we’ve stayed too long and the littles are in melt-down mode (can anyone relate?!?!)

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The Stocked Essentials:

  • Sunscreen – this is the most important thing! Slather everyone up before heading out but ensure that you have a bottle in the bag for fresh applications. Check out Sun Safety for more tips. SmartShield makes some great products for sensitive skin. I’d also recommend packing a lip balm containing sunscreen too.

  • Towels – I generally pack one per person however often, if I have a lot of extra things to bring, I double up and share with the littles.

  • Bathing Suits – I actually keep our suits right in the bag since we don’t generally use them at home. We use UV swimsuits for both littles. John-John wears UV Skinz and you can check out the review here. Love it!!

  • Swim Diapers – if you are in the same season of life as me, you need to have these too. I used to use disposables until I discovered MonkeyDoodlez Swim Diapers; super cute, economical, green, comfortable and practical. (Available at Moms and Bums)

  • Diaper Bag Essentials – if you are carrying your swim bag to the pool, chances are you don’t to lug around your diaper bag too. Keep an extra diaper/pull up and wipes in your swim bag too.

  • Wet Bag – you’ll want to have something handy for those wet suits when you are done swimming. A plastic bag works but I highly recommend trying out a reusable wet bag like JamTots (available from Ottawa Cloth Diapers). We use reusable bags for groceries and don’t have many plastic bags anymore. This is an awesome solution!

  • Floatation Devices – are certainly no substitution for adult supervision but it makes things a lot more fun and gives littles a bit more freedom. Don’t forget water-wings or lifejackets.

The Last Minute Additions:

  • Camera!

  • Sunglasses & Hats

  • Water Bottles – hydration is key in the hot weather! If it’s handy, you’re more likely to remember. Innate and Thermos have reviews on the site. For a super cold drink (oh, I love cold drinks!) go with Thermos!

  • Snacks – this is one of my favorite things to pack. There are few things that I like better than a yummy snack! Juicy fruit is a great way to get in some extra fluids but there are lots of healthy snacks. Being active makes for hungry littles (and hungry mommies!)

  • Book or Magazine – I had this listed but as I am typing this, I think it would be a mistake. B.C. (before children) this was an essential but we need to be aware of the danger of water and not be distracted at all so this one is iffy.

The Pool Additions:

  • Shampoo
  • Comb
  • Change for a locker (if available)

The Beach Additions:

  • Picnic Blanket
  • Lunch
  • Beach Toys (pail, shovel, frisbee, ball)
  • Folding Chairs
  • Ziploc container or baggie for shells, feather and other mementos
  • Insect Repellant

Did I forget anything? What are your ‘essentials’?

  • Related Posts: Set for a Sizzling Summer 1.0 , Sizzling Summer Sun Safety 2.0, 30+ Summer Fun Ideas, Rainy Day Ideas, Keep Your Cool

  • Don’t forget about the Sizzling Giveaways in my left sidebar!

  • This post is linked to Works for Me Wednesday. Be sure to check it out for more fabulous ideas!

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