Water toys and gear that make swimming more fun for rookie moms

by Whitney Moss on July 9, 2014

in Link love,Lists and numbers

Puddle jumper swim floaties for kids getting more comfortable in the water
{Photo by Kate Marzo}

When your children can swim independently, the word vacation takes on a whole new meaning. Relaxing at the pool while my kids wear themselves out with cannonballs is my happy place. Here are some fun items that I keep seeing at the swimming spots we’ve hit so far this summer.

1. Puddle Jumpers. Sold at Amazon, Target, Costco, and even Bed Bath and Beyond, this new-fangled life jacket allows kids to have the mobility their arms need to get used to swimming. If you’re looking to get your child more comfortable in the water, this is the swim-aid for you. For kids 30-50 lbs. Runs about $25; click to see all the color and design choices.

Products that make swimming more fun

2. Sunsuits. In my house we called this the “super suit”. You may find it dorky, but I found the peace of mind in having my child’s body nearly covered with SPF 50 fabric invaluable. A swim diaper under one of these babies from One Step Ahead (pictured) is our beach uniform. Infant sizes come with snap up crotches for diaper changes. I also dig this striped one from Columbia Sportswear.

Sunsuits make a day at the beach more relaxing

3. Water toys for babies. For babies and toddlers, plastic cups and bowls from wherever you are visiting will suffice as water toys. Scooping and pouring is the work they’ll do. In the sand, those same cups can be used as sandcastle molds. Want to get fancier? One of these spinning wheels toys is a lot of fun. Pour water or sand to make it move.

Sand toys to make beach time with a toddler fun

4. Floatsuits. These swimsuits from Konfidence USA have foam inserts that keep children safe, like a life jacket, while allowing complete motility for arms and legs. As children gain confidence in the water, the floats can be removed one-by-one. I have not used this brand, but a few million years ago when I was a nanny during college, the girls I watched, ages 18 months and 3 years old, had bathing suits like this, and they were great. Also comes in many colors/styles for about $25-$35 (boys’ versions too).

Floatsuits make swimming safer

5. Portable shade. We own this “Sportsbrella” and so should you. It offers about 1 Million SPF because the fabric is coated and the sides can roll down further than I did in this photograph for more protection. Find it >

pop-up-shade-tent

6. I-can-totally swim toys. My kids love to hunt for things to rescue in the pool, so we usually have a set of dive rings or sinking balls, and I’ve just discovered these Avengers dive characters. (Test any of your rubber action figures at home to see if they sink. Maybe you already own “dive characters”!)

Toys for the pool - you might already own some of these!

7. I-don’t-like-to-put-my-face-in-the-water goggles. Before my kids would willingly put their faces in the water, they wore these mega goggles by Aqua Sphere. Now, their inability to enter a pool without goggles baffles me, as I never wore goggles as a child, but they have graduated to normal smaller goggles. The bigger goggles come in many colors, including a 2-pack where one pair offers a tinted lens for the sun.

Gear to make swimming fun: huge goggles

8. I can, like, totally swim, so like, don’t even talk to me. My daughter and I watched with great interest as some older girls donned mermaid fins to swim in a pool. Unfortunately these only fit kids who wear shoe sizes 1 and up, so it’s quite a few years away for my little girl who has her Mama’s very small feet. But I’m tempted to try a mermaid monofin myself.

Gear to make swimming fun: mermaid monofin

{photo via amazon.com}

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RookieMoms.com co-founder Whitney lives with her husband, son, and daughter in the San Francisco Bay Area where she writes about parenting, crafts, and activities that moms can do with babies in tow. She and Heather also publish 510Families.com, a site for East Bay parents and are the authors of The Rookie Mom's Handbook and Stuff Every Mom Should Know.

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