Pool season has arrived!
The weather’s hot, the sun is out, and the pool is calling. Whether your own backyard oasis, a vacation resort, or a community pool—having the essentials on hand ensures your day is primed for summer fun. It’s time to leave work and school behind for that perfect cannonball! Keeping your swimming essentials on hand ensures your day in the water will be fun, relaxing, and memorable.
As parents know, swimming with kids means a little extra prep. Snacks, drinks, and sunscreen keep the little ones splash happy and meltdown free. But don’t neglect yourself—happy parents make happy children! Here is your all-in list of essentials to make every day your best pool day.
The Perfect Sunblock
As Arizona families know, the sun is no joke. Don’t let the cool water fool you—apply and reapply is our summer mantra. Finding a family-friendly, high SPF, waterproof option that doesn’t leave you looking chalky can be a challenge, but it can be done! One of our favorites is Sun Bum Original Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50. It’s water-resistant, effective up to 80 minutes, smells great, and is full of Vitamin E and other moisturizing ingredients.
No one can deny the ease offered by spray-on sunblock, just make sure you are applying outdoors and doing your best to keep everyone from breathing it in during application. We like Supergoop! 100% Mineral SPF 30 Sunscreen Mist – it’s water-resistant, lightweight, and the Zinc formula is better for young ones and the environment than some chemical sunscreen alternatives. Whatever sunscreen you go with, apply liberally and often, especially after drying off.
While it can be tempting to load up on fun summer drinks like iced tea and lemonade, getting some plain old water throughout the day is essential for keeping dehydration at bay. Everyone knows that awful feeling of a pool hangover—the discomfort that comes from too much sun and not enough water. Here’s our tip: grab a growler for your pool day. Not only will it keep beverages cold or fizzy — even in the hot sun — but it’s an easy way to keep the whole family hydrated. We like Miir’s 64oz Growler. It’s sleek, leak-proof, and has a sealed flip-top lid that keeps things cool for up to 24 hours. It’s effortless to pour from and the powder coating keeps sweat at bay. Don’t forget to bring cups!
Another favorite is the Hydro Flask. In any color you can dream up, these water bottles are great all-rounders and help ensure your day at the pool is as eco-conscious as possible by reducing plastic water bottle waste. And this probably goes without saying, but having kid-friendly snacks on hand can extend the fun and keep hunger-fuelled tantrums at bay. Swimming and sunshine burn a lot of energy, and refueling regularly can be your secret to success.
This versatile favorite has something for everyone. They offer support while relaxing in the water, can help with light exercise, and give little kids something to tether themselves to while splashing around. Although they look fairly basic, not all noodles are created equal. Some are created to last longer, be more versatile and hold up well in chlorine, saltwater, and the blazing sun. Lux options include the Lana Pool Noodle – made for extra cushioning and buoyancy, and the Kai Noodle, built to be soft, breathable and durable.
Also, while swimming with kiddos, remember floaties, rafts, or lifejackets. Not only will do they keep them safe, but floating toys give adults a break from providing the in-water entertainment.
The perfect beach towel is your chance to show off your personality at the pool. Root for your favorite team, flaunt your style, or bring some joy with favorite cartoon characters. The best options will be durable, quick-drying, and easy to pack. The Nature is a Gift Turkish Pestemal towels have become something of a runaway hit on Amazon – they are attractive, fast-drying, and lightweight. We also like L.L.Bean’s Seaside Beach Towel. They come in bright summery colors, dry fast and are made of water-wicking cotton. Even better—they can be monogrammed to avoid poolside mix-ups.
A tote that is easily washable—for those times you forget your wet gear inside—can be a lifesaver. Make sure to get one that is big enough for towels, floaties, beverages, snacks, a good book, sunblock, and towels. For families, bigger is better.
When choosing the perfect beach bag that can last year after year, fabric is essential. Forget your slick leather duffels—a bag that’s breathable, sturdy, and can tolerate dampness, sand, and scorching sun will serve your needs best. Think mesh, canvas, and nylon. The Saltwater Canvas Whale Bag is a good pick. It delivers in function what it lacks in style. With weatherproof mesh and 9 pockets, it can hold enough towels for a family, along with snacks, drinks, toys and other essentials. This workhorse keeps things manageable, is easy to clean and it folds flat for easy storage.
If a statement bag is more your style (and believe me, we understand), try the SeaBags Beach Tote. Made from fetching recycled sails, this bag is worth the spend. In colors that evoke happy beach days, it has a back pocket for wet swimsuits, and a sand-escape feature to keep the beach at home. Sturdy and full of pockets, this is your go-to bag for see-and-be-seen outings.
Essentials in order, you’ll be ready for a stress-free summer and all the fun you can handle. See you at the pool!