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Splash Pad Essentials
Swim clothes – obviously the kids will need to wear clothing they can get wet in. Here in Utah, kids typically wear swim clothes. My older son is starting to not wear the rash guard with his swim shorts, but I still try to insist on it. Here are some of my favorite sets from Amazon. All super cute and pretty affordable! My kids still *barely* fit in their sets from last year, so I haven’t purchased new sets yet.
Sunscreen – I’m kind of a nut about sunscreen. Sunburns are the worst (especially for little kids) but also the risks of skin cancer are so so scary. We always apply as we’re getting ready to go (way easier to apply sunscreen to naked babies and toddlers, just saying) and after we have a snack at the splash pad if the boys want to play again. My favorite kind is the Dry Balance by Banana Boat for the kids and I. It feels more like lotion and I don’t feel weighed down. It also has a subtle sweet smell!
Sunglasses – I’m also kind of crazy about sunglasses. It’s a hit or miss with my kids wearing them but I always make sure to bring them just in case. And I’m definitely wearing mine the whole time we’re there.
Snacks – Can a mother go ANYWHERE with out snacks? I have two different kinds of snack containers that I usually fill with grape, various berries, carrots, sugar snap peas, crackers, meat, and cheese. I will confess that occasionally I’ll just grab Chick-fil-a on the way if I didn’t have time or didn’t feel like packing snacks. I also always bring plenty of water to keep us hydrated. I put this all in our cooler bag and we’re good to go!
Towels – This one is super obvious. Just like going to a pool, you have to take towels for the kids to dry off when they are done! And to possibly dry your self off if you have to rush into the water for any reason or get attacked by wet kids! I promised my 4 year old we could get “cool” towels this year. I’m loving these hooded poncho towels from Amazon. The kids can wear them comfortably and dry off while eating snacks or while I’m cleaning up to get ready to go.
Toys – Definitely not a must, but if any other kids at the splash pad brought toys, I can tell my kids are intrigued. So I bring toys and keep them hidden till I need something to motivate them to play longer – aka, leave me alone for 15 more minutes!
Water shoes – My kids go back and forth on wanting to wear shoes at the splash pad. When getting dressed to go they put on sandals or other water-appropriate shoes and decide when we get there to wear them or take them off.
Umbrella – All of the splash pads here are newer developments so they don’t have much tree shade. Some of them have canopies bordering the splash pad but I don’t like to bet on getting a spot. We got a Sportsbrella last year and it is perfect. Despite it’s size, it’s easy to transport and carry. It is also SUPER easy to set up and take down. The amount of shade it gives is perfect for my boys and I, as well as our friends if we meet a playdate at the splash pad! I have both the regular size and the XL. The XL is HUGE and honestly I’d only bring it if we were meeting a big group at the splash pad. The regular Sportsbrella is perfect for us and to share with our playdate!
Beach Chair – you might have noticed already that while the main mission of a splash pad day is for the kids to have fun, it is also a time for mom to sit back and relax! I am absolutely in love with my Tommy Bahama Backpack Chair. It is lightweight and has backpack straps that make carrying it super easy. It has a cooler pocket for snacks and a non cooler pocket for everything else. I got mine at Costco but Amazon has them too!
Blanket – Even though I’m sitting in my beach chair, I like to also bring a waterproof blanket to put under us. It gives the kids somewhere to sit besides the grass when they stop for a snack. I also got these from Costco but Amazon has lots of great options.
Wagon – We bought a sports wagon in May and it has been a game changer when we go anywhere really. It fits all of our stuff as well as the kids! I love this one we got from Macsports. Its super easy to set up, doesn’t take up much room in the back of my van, and it’s comfortable for the kids.
Entertainment for mom – Unless we’re meeting a playdate, I always bring a book, something to write in, or my fully charged phone and a back up portable charger with me to the splash pad. Last year I didn’t really get to actually use any of it because my kids were little and didn’t want to go up to the water alone. This year they are bigger and way more independent so I look forward to sitting back and relaxing!
Ready For Summer, Here We Come!
I am so excited for this summer and the splash pad fun we’re going to have! Each summer as my boys get bigger, they just get more and more fun. We are going to make so many great memories this summer. I’m excited to have this list of splash pad essentials to make sure all of our trips to the splash pad go smoothly!