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This summer your plans might include long, leisurely hours poolside. Under the umbrella, at a table, on a towel, in a lounge chair … as long as you can hear the lap of water on concrete, you will be at peace.

Okay, maybe not peace. The kids will be nearby. And their friends. And let’s face it, your leisure time is usually broken up into intense periods of providing ideas for how to keep them safely entertained. You need some lightweight, easy-to-carry ideas to keep in your pool bag.

Here are some suggestions for you to get you started creating the perfect summer poolside getaway kit.

A ball – it doesn’t really matter what sort of ball you choose. While one that floats is good, kids will find a way to use one that sinks. Softer is generally better than harder, because more kids will want to play with it and feel comfortable throwing and catching. Football? Soccer ball? Any round bouncing object might work. Your goal is to bring ideas and diversions. A ball is a solid first step.

Jump rope – Lightweight, waterproof, and easy to carry and forget in the bottom of your pool bag, a jump-rope can be a parent’s best friend. Kids know how to use them, and they tire kids out as quickly as anything else. And you need all the help you can get tiring them out!

Deck of cards – maybe this suggestion is not entirely for the kids, but a deck of cards offers countless opportunities. From Go Fish to Euchre, Hand and Foot to War, hours of entertainment are in a most compact form that can fit in the side pocket of your backpack or pool bag. R, you can slip it in one of the kids’ bags.

Kindle or e-reader – not every second can be spent in the pool. Sadly. Your children might have to retreat to the towel for a mandatory adult swim, or they might just wander there between adventures. You can never plan on bringing the perfect book for the occasion, so bring an e-reader that lets them find the book they need. The best e-readers can be read in direct sunlight, and while you can’t get them soaking wet, they can handle wet hands and the humidity of your poolside escape.

Pack these and other lightweight poolside diversions in your bag this summer!

Photo by Andre Moura

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