Even for us adults, there is something special about the carefree days of summer. However, if you have kids, those days are somewhat less than carefree. That is why we pulled together this list of “why didn’t I think of that??” parenting hacks. Some make going to the pool more fun (for you), and others will just make your life as a whole a little bit easier.
Heading to the Pool?
Apply Sunscreen Before You Leave the House
Applying sunscreen to a wriggling kid who can see the cool, inviting waters of the pool should be an Olympic sport. Applying sunscreen before you leave the house also gives it time to soak in and dry, which most sunscreen requires to be effective, so it is a win-win. Consider using spray sunscreen for reapplications at the pool.
Protect Your Device from Water
Keep your phone or tablet in a Ziploc bag to prevent water from ruining it. You can still use most touch screens through the bag, and you won’t have to worry about the kids’ splashes ruining your expensive devices!
Put Crazy Twist Straws in Drinks Upside Down
If your child loves to pull straws out of their cups (yay, spills everywhere!) but is passed the sippy cups stage, try putting a twisty straw in upside down, which will prevent them from pulling out the straw. Less messes = a better summer.
Easy Outlet Covers for Summer Travel
Traveling with a toddler is no small feat, and you probably won’t be able to completely baby proof every room on your summer vacation. For peace of mind, use band-aids to cover electrical outlets when you are on the go. They are easy to pack (most parents have them on hand!) and easy to ‘install.’ Just pull them off when you are ready to leave, and no one is the wiser.
Slip Proof Shoes Near Water
If your kids are in love with their dollar store dress up shoes (or similar non-slip shoes) use a glue gun to put strips on the soles. Non-slip shoes are particularly dangerous in the summer when floors are also likely to be wet, but the dried hot glue will help them grip.
No Aloe? Use Milk to Soothe a Sunburn
In a perfect world, we would never miss a sunscreen application, but here in the real world, things happen. You miss a spot on their neck, you forget to reapply, or you use a sunscreen with too low SPF, and your child ends up with a painful sunburn and you feel guilty. THEN you realize you don’t have any aloe to make them feel better. Try filling a bowl with equal parts milk and water, then adding a few ice cubes. The combination of fats in the milk and cooling from the ice will soothe and help heal their sun burn.
Toss Glow Sticks in the Pool For a Sunset Pool Party
For older kids, glow sticks are a great way to make an evening pool party more fun. They do double duty as lighting so you can see in the water better and toys. Just be sure to be extra careful with smaller kids in the pool once it is dark – it can make detecting drowning even more difficult. (Remember, drowning doesn’t look like many of us think – it is usually quiet.)