The Essential Beach & Pool Day Packing List

When you’re a kid, getting ready for a day at the beach or the pool involves throwing on a swimsuit and flip-flops and running out the door. As a parent wrangling your own little ones, you know it requires a good deal more planning and organization.

To make this process easier, we’ve put together a quick packing checklist of essentials to include in your beach or pool bag.

The Basics:

  • Sunscreen (and lots of it!)
  • SPF lip balm
  • Aloe vera gel
  • Sunglasses
  • Hats
  • Towels
  • Swimsuits
  • Swim cover-ups
  • Swim diapers/ changing supplies
  • Dry clothes to change into
  • Band-Aids/ basic first-aid supplies
  • Hand sanitizer/ wet wipes
  • Water bottles (freeze them on a hot day to keep water cool as the ice melts)
  • A cooler of snacks or lunches (sandwiches, string cheese, granola bars, trail mix, crackers, fruit pouches and cut-up fruit are portable favorites)
  • Napkins or paper towels
  • Plastic zipper bags
  • Flip-flops or beach sandals
  • Hair bands or clips
  • Comb or brush
  • Cash (small coins or bills for food, lockers or other sundries)
  • Plastic or waterproof bags for wet swimsuits and trash  
  • Books
  • Portable phone charger

For the Pool:

  • Goggles
  • Swim caps
  • Pool toys and floaties
  • Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, soap)

For the Beach:

  • Beach umbrella, tent or pop-up shade
  • Large beach blanket or flat bed sheet
  • Beach chairs
  • Rash guards
  • Bucket, shovels, Frisbees and other beach toys
  • Snorkel gear
  • Inflatable rafts or rings
  • Bug spray
  • Mesh laundry bag
  • Life jackets
  • Cornstarch or baby powder (for removing sand from skin)
  • Battery-operated fan

Wherever your destination, be sure to make water safety your top priority. Take shifts and choose an adult designated watcher to be on duty whenever kids are in the water. Use this as your motto for the summer and beyond – Be SAFER in the water:

  • Swim with a buddy
  • Acquire CPR and first aid training
  • Find and reduce water hazards
  • Enroll in swim lessons to improve your skills
  • Respond fast and call 911 for emergencies

Mark your calendar for our upcoming Family Swim Nights.