Water-bound with Toddlers

Posted at my parents’ lake house is this: “Those who are lucky enough to live on a lake are lucky enough.”  For those of us who are not lucky enough, we must pull our wet and wild goodies from beach bags not from our lakeside cabanas.   Heading down the water toy aisle at your favorite box store will land you similar ideas – noodles, inner tubes, water shoes, toys galore – but we all know it is possible to have too many options, so here’s my summary of water essentials:

  • Stearn’s Puddle Jumper – Of course safety will never go out of style, but toddlers wearing lifevests is indeed so ‘yesterday.’  Intended for kids under 50 pounds, Stearn’s Puddle Jumpers are so much less cumbersome than lifejackets, and wedgies are a complete non-issue.  These fabulous floats take the best of all worlds – lifejacket fabric, out-of-the-way arm floaties, and ski-belt snugness – and pair them with adorable patterns at a great price.  My kids never bulk at putting them on.  I truly cannot recommend them enough.
  • Pool Saddle – Whoever named these was short-sighted.  While they may be great in a pool, we don’t enter the lake without one in hand (or under rump, as the case may be.)  Our children never tire of jumping, jumping, jumping off the dock at their grandparents’ home.  So instead of us tiring, tiring, tiring out as we tread water awaiting their cannonballs, these comfy seats keep all heads afloat.
  • Snorkel set – Strap on a mask and snorkel for hours of explorative fun.  If you’re pool-bound, any number of diving toys are a hoot, diving stickspenguinsetc.  If you’re at a lake, no additional diving toys are even required.  Fish, rocks, shells – oh my!  (BTW, get one for yourself.  Not only is it a cool buddy activity, but you’ll be just as curious about what’s on the bottom as s/he is, trust me.)
  • Ball – Simple, for sure, but who doesn’t love tossing a ball around, on land or on water?  It can be used with a friend or with a group, playfully or as a tool of annihilation.  ‘Nuff said.

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