Summer is a time to slow down, but when you have a pool, you are often scrambling to keep on top of your hosting duties. After living in a home with a pool for three summers, I’ve learned that preparation is key. If you take the time to get your house, supplies, and snacks guest ready at the beginning of the summer, you won’t find yourself running around searching for extra towels or making up pool rules on the fly. Here are 5 tips that work well for our family:
Before I invite friends over, I always check to see if their kids can swim and at what level. If the child cannot swim or isn’t a strong swimmer we plan an indoor playdate or I’ll invite the parent to stay with their child. I also hang on to a few of our old swim vests in case parents forget to bring one. If we have friends over who are independent swimmers, I limit the number of children to the amount I feel comfortable watching and of course, I am outside with them every second they are in the pool. When I’m not outside, they aren’t swimming! If we plan a large group, I hire a lifeguard.
Before anyone gets in the pool, we go over the rules and the consequences for breaking a rule. Our rules are pretty standard:
- No Swimming Without An Adult Present
- No Running
- No Horseplay
- No Diving
- No Peeing in the Pool
Essentials for Swimming:
Most friends who come to swim come prepared, but sometimes they forget things: a towel, goggles, sunscreen etc.. Or, we might have friends come over for an indoor playdate, but we may change our minds and decide to swim instead. So, I like to keep a few extra things on hand. I hang on to old bathing suits that my kids have outgrown. We also hang on to old swim vests for families that come with little ones. Extra towels are a no-brainer! It’s great to have a few extra for guests and also for when your own kids accidentally drop their towel in the pool! I also have a few extra pairs of goggles and keep a fairly large stock of sunscreen and bug spray for the season.
Swimming makes people hungry! I don’t know the exact science behind it-but as soon as my kids and their friends get out of the pool, they’re famished! Keep lots of snacks, ice pops, and drinks on hand for your hungry guests. Or, ask your guest to bring a snack to share!
Honestly, we don’t have a ton of floats and rafts as I find that clutters up the pool and makes it difficult to see the children clearly. But, we do keep a fair amount of noodles, balls, and sinkers for the kids to play with. Really, you don’t need a ton. The kids create their own fun by inventing their own games, and having swimming races and cannonball contests!
Plan ahead and get yourself “pool guest ready” at the start of the summer! Then you’ll be able to relax at your pool along with your guests. Happy Swimming!