Monday, June 4, 2012

Stuff I Love: Poolside Part I

Summer may not technically be here yet, but here in Kansas it's been swimming-weather for a couple weeks already!  Heading to the pool can be a great way to spend time with (and wear out) the kids.  With the right gear, a day at the pool can be a safe and easy way to relax with the family.

Today I'm going to share with you some of my favorite poolside clothes and accessories for kids!

Kid's swimwear

1. UV Swimwear

Sure little kids in teeny bikinis are super cute.  But with all the info we have these days on the damage sun does to our skin - starting in infancy - we know we need to protect our little ones' precious skin.  My husband likes to tease me because I've gotten in such a habit of insisting my kids wear their UV shirts to the pool outside, they wear them to their indoor swim lessons, too!  If only I could get them to keep on their hats and sunglasses... (any advice there?).  And UV suits these days are very fashionable.  Baby L has both the sweet Target suits above, and the boys have their favorite tv characters emblazoned on their swimwear.  Win win!

2. Flotation Suits

Of course we would never dream of taking our eyes off the kids for even a second in the pool, nevertheless, as our kids are learning the basics of swimming, they're begging for more independence in the water.  They can't float on their own yet, but each boy has what he calls his "life pants" - a swimsuit with floaties sewn into the lining.  These suits keep their heads above water so they can kick and paddle (and race) across the pool without the assistance of Mom or Dad.  Clearly we're never more than an arms' length out of reach, but the boys feel so 'grown up' when they can swim by themselves.

3. Float Seat

For baby L who hasn't mastered even the basics of swimming yet, we have a flotation seat, complete with canopy to shade her baby eyes from the sun (see previous note about hats and glasses).  She loves bobbing around in the water and thinks it's hilarious when Mommy or Daddy pushes her around the pool.  It keeps her off the stairs and lets her feel like a part of the family.  And she's already itching to learn to swim, just like her big brothers.

4. Sunscreen

We don't want to forget the most basic accessory of all!  Slather on that SPF (broad-spectrum preferably) to keep burns at bay and reduce their longterm risk of skin cancer.  And don't forget to apply some on yourself as well!  Organic sunscreen is great if you don't want to worry about the chemicals it contains (we love Burt's Bees and Alba Organics), but a busy mom with a big brood of kids might prefer a sunscreen that sprays on quickly instead.  Whatever you choose, don't skimp!  Most sources recommend a shot-glass size dollop of cream for an adult, slightly less for a child - or a double-spray if you're using the aerosol kind.

So, are you as excited as I am to hit the pool and soak up some sun (figuratively of course)?   Check back next week for my top recommendations for poolside toys and games.

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