Must Haves for Summer Swimming

Time to pack your summer bags, mamas!

Splash Pads and pools are beginning to open in the Cedar Rapids area, so what better time than now to share a few of my favorite water season must-haves. Pack your bags early, and you’ll be able to enjoy the summer sun soon with no hassle!

Also, be sure to check out our Cedar Rapids Guide to: Splash Pads, Pools, and Beaches if you’re looking for somewhere new to play.

must haves for summer swimmingSunscreen

Everyone has a sunscreen they prefer; I like to keep two handy. One long-lasting, waterproof  lotion for first time applications or after breaks, and a spray for quick reapplications throughout the day! It’s hard to get those kiddos to stop long enough to rub heavier lotions in once they’re having fun.

Note: We bring hats and sunglasses, too, for added sun protection!

Puddle Jumpers and Floaties

Throw in puddle jumpers or any floaties that you need now, and you won’t have to worry about forgetting them the first time out. Aren’t todays versions so much better than the plastic arm bands we wore growing up?

Must Haves for Summer Swimming

Swim Diapers

If you have anyone not potty trained or prone to accidents, you don’t want to worry about forgetting swim diapers. Throw an extra in your bag so you don’t end up closing the pool down with any messes… enough said.

Mesh Toy Bag and/or Explorers Bag

Mesh bags are a great addition to keep in your pool bag due to the fact they roll up small, are great for hanging to let toys or clothes dry out, and can double as an extra bag if needed. Another bonus? They can be used as a little explorers bag, for collecting fun rocks and seashells!


This is for both mom and kids, as a summer day out should be fun for everyone! Make sure goggles, snorkels, and any other toys your kids like are found and thrown in early, so there is no morning rush trying to find them. For mom, I enjoy throwing in a book, headphones, or a portable speaker!


All. The. Towels. Since we never seem to have enough, I always pack an extra or two. For drying off, for laying out, for picnics, and for protecting seats, it seems there are never enough towels. We really love the hooded ones for keeping kiddos warm and dry poolside, as they double as a cover-up!

Must Haves for Summer Swimming

Extra Clothes

Like the towels, keep extra clothes. Due to some law of nature, someone is going to end up soaked when they shouldn’t be and you don’t want your kid walking through the quick grocery-run on the way home, dripping wet.

Cash or Change

Throw in some spare change for use at vending machines, concessions, and snow cone stands!


Speaking of food… it can get pricey at concessions. If your kid is like mine and snacks make the world go round, it’s always best to keep some handy!

Water Bottles

This sort of goes along the lines of cash for concessions or snacks packed, but deserved it’s own mention. Staying hydrated out in the summer sun, even when you’re playing around water, is so important! By packing your own, you can make sure everyone is drinking enough and save a little money by not purchasing water.

Does packing your summer bag make you nostalgic for those long days at the pool when you were younger? I love creating the same summer memories with my daughter!

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