1. Goggles - Everyone deserves a good pair of goggles! Don't be fooled by the cute, cheap ones from Target. Splurge a little and get a pair that has a soft center nose piece along with double straps! Good goggles usually start at $13 and go up from there. We have some on hand if you want to pick some up for your kids!
2. Infant float - If you're stressed about how to juggle multiple kids in the pool including the baby, purchase one of these! It's easy to tow your little one around the pool so you still have 2 hands for the other kids, plus it has a sun shade! I got ours from Costco but I've seen them at Target too.
3. Kick board - If your child is a strong swimmer and independent, this will be their favorite thing! My 3 year old will kick around the entire pool with this! And for those kids learning strokes it's a great tool to practice those drills we do at lessons.
4. Sun Screen - I used to hate spray on sun screen before I had kids. I felt like lotion just did a better job, and perhaps it does. But trying to lather up a 2 year old is not fun for anyone, so spray is my new best friend! I also highly recommend the face stick! It goes on so easy and before they know whats happening you're done!
5. Flippers - These are more of a splurge item but worth it! We use these in lessons to help clean up kicks along with build muscle. They make them in all sorts of sizes so you can get them for pretty much any age. We also have some sizes on hand if you want to try on a pair at your next lesson.
6. Reusable Swim Diapers - Public pools will make you double diaper, and so for layer number 2 please please invest in one of these! Disposable diapers really don't hold in much, but a reusable one that fits properly will save your life and save you some embarrassment. I've seen some that have clips to open and close the diaper, don't waste your money, those don't fit snug enough. I
like the Finis brand from Amazon.
7.Life Jackets - You are probably surprised this one is on my list. But the reality is that some of you are going to use these, along with coming to swimming lessons. So I would rather educate you... Please DO NOT put a puddle jumper on your child. They don't allow for range of motion in a child's arms, which can get them stuck if they need to use ladders or climb out of the pool in an emergency situation. The old school vest style jackets have full coverage and in my experience are a better life jacket. Another tip, if you are using a life jacket and doing swimming lessons, don't keep it on the whole time. Take it off and practice the skills we teach them at lessons so they don't rely on the jacket.
8. Ear Band-it - For those of you that have kids with sensitive ears, or have tubes, this is a life saver. You put wax ear plugs in their ears and then cover them with this head band,
(it usually comes with the wax) and now your child can swim without the worry of achy ears. We have a few of these on hand for purchase. I have recently seen them at Scheels.
9. Water Weights - Every summer we have people ask where we get our infamous "doggy bones" and really they are just water aerobic water weights. So if your child is learning strokes or just wants something to hang onto, like the kick board, these are fun. And bonus, you can use them for a little water exercise that is quite fun. I always thought it would be fun to offer an aerobics class for our swim moms, maybe one day!
10. Diving Rings - Last but not least, everyone's favorite, the diving rings! You can get these in stores or online but whats fun is now they make these in your kids favorite character sets. From Cars to Toy Story. Frozen, Little Mermaid, superheroes... You name it! I'd recommend using these as a bribe, it works every time for my kids! Plus, diving rings are great for building lung capacity, confidence and teaching the very tricky skill of diving to a depth and coming back up to the surface.