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I love to take the kids swimming because they love it and it uses a lot of their energy in a positive way.  They are playing, splashing, swimming, jumping and LAUGHING most of the time!   On the weekend, we go to my parent’s house on the lake to swim and go boating (see pictures of our lake trips here).

During the week, we try to go to our neighborhood pool. It can be tough to take the kids swimming, if there are a lot of other kids in the pool because I can’t keep my eyes on our four kids if there are 20 other ones in the pool.  If we go when it is busy, I try to sit on the side with our younger kids and watch our older ones swim.
Tips to keep your toddler busy at the pool

If we are in the toddler/baby pool, its easy because all four kids can get in and splash around, but as soon as we go towards the big pool, I like to have a back up plan to let our toddler play without getting in the water.

A little girl playing on the driveway with a bucket of water and a paint brush and text below her.


Here is what I have been bringing to our pool:

1).  Bucket (take two because they like to dump them into one another)
2). Paintbrushes (several)
3). mini paint roller

This is such an easy activity! Just let your baby, toddler or preschooler “PAINT” the concrete with water.  This kept our one and three year old busy for about an hour last week, while their older brothers swam.

Here are some pictures from our last swimming trip when we did this activity.
pool 12

pool 4pool 10

Even the older boys joined in, writing their names… pool 11 pool 6 pool 3
And if they don’t want to paint the concrete, they can always paint their faces!  haha!  

A close up of a boy using a paint brush to wet his head.

I hope that this helps to give you some ideas of your own.  This activity, painting with Kool-aid is another fun (messy) one that our kids love!

ps- here are some things that Moms often forget to take to the pool. 

Have fun!
pool 1

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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  1. Amazing article. I have two children.So these suggestions will help me a lot. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  2. As a first-time mother this will really be helpful to me. I never thought of bringing brushes and buckets to the pool so they could just have fun while not even being in the water. It seems like a perfectly safe distraction that I can have my kid do while I relax. It’s been quite hard to get any “me time” ever since I gave birth so I thought it may be nice to visit a swimming pool opening nearby. With your advice, I should be able to relax and get my tan on in peace without having to be constantly on the edge of my seat worrying about my toddler.