Make sure everything you need is in that bag!

What’s better than having a pool in your backyard? Having a pool in your sister’s backyard! But that requires packing up for every pool trip (about 4 times a week for us). Here are some of my essentials:

pooltime essentials

  1. Puddle jumper. If you have a child between the ages of 2 and 5, you need this. Yes, need. Of course, no flotation device is a substitute for supervision, but this ridiculously effective one is definitely a substitute for your arms. Available on Amazon.
  2. Insulated lunch bag. See number 5. We have a few from Gap and from Lands’ End.
  3. Garmin 920xt GPS watch. Waterproof. Tracks laps. Displays texts from your phone while you’re under the water. And helps you along with the countdown from “10 more minutes, guys!” Available on Amazon.
  4. Nose clip. Yeah, I’m a baby who doesn’t like to get water in my nose. Available on Amazon.
  5. Crackers and cheese. It’s a meal. It’s a snack. Somewhat nutritious and a crowd favorite.
  6. Giant beach bags from Target. I can easily fit 4 towels and all other essentials in one of them. And I always bring a second empty one for the wet stuff. Also, super cheap. (These work great for library books, too.)
  7. Goggles. Lots and lots of goggles. I buy a couple of multi-packs at Costco at the beginning of the summer because bickering over who gets the one pair of goggles is not what I want to hear.
  8. Snacks. Not nosh. Just filling snacks like pretzels and Bamba, which the kids will eat when they’re hungry, not just for fun. And these don’t spoil so they can sit in the bag until they’re needed.
  9. Golden Fluff 8-ounce water bottles. They’re not too heavy to carry a few.
  10. Natives. Move over Crocs—these shoes are so much better! They fit like a sneaker, so kids can really run around in these without tripping. Available on
  11. Fig Bars. These are mama’s snack. I stock up at Costco and keep a couple in my car, purse, camera bag, etc.


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Esti Waldman
Esti is the camera behind the beautiful editorial pages of popular magazines and today’s most successful commercial ad campaigns for food and fashion brands. She’s also a popular family photographer and is a super creative mom with a knack for pulling together adorable outfits and amazing parties. Follow her on Instagram @estiphotography


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