Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Fun Organization for the Pool & Beach!!

"Necessity is the mother of all invention."  -Albert Einstein

This quote has become even MORE true since having five children.  I was already a self-proclaimed "geek" when it comes to organizing but now, I love it (and NEED it) even more!

Summer is just around the corner and that means SUN and SWIMMING!  My kids love going to the beach and to the pool and I love everything about it too EXCEPT the chaos proceeding piling my crew into the car.  It usually goes something like this,

"Where's my swim suit, Mom!?!"
"Did you pack my goggles?"
"I can't find my sun-glasses!"
"Can you bring me a water bottle?"
"Don't forget everyone's towels, honey...are they still hanging on the line?"

My word! I am NOT super-swim-mom and this summer, I am going on strike!  Instead of ME trying to remember everything and cramming it into my big beach-bag, I am empowering my children to be responsible for their own things with their own beach bag.

Thus, I had to get creative to come up with something that would work on a set budget.  Here's what I threw together:

What I bought: 
*Straw totes (Target, $2.50 each)
*Felt letters (Hancock Fabric, $5.99/pkg.-only needed one for five names, flowers were .75 cents)
*Kid shades (Children's Place, $3/each but I saw Target has some for $1/each)
*Matching Beach Towels (Walmart, $5.97/each)
*Suits in the same colors (Old Navy, $10-$15/each)
*Goggles (Dollar Tree, $1/each)
*Goggles & Shades Holders (Dollar Tree, $1/each)
*Flip-flops (Old Navy, 2 pair for $5)
*Buckets & shovels (Dollar Tree, $1/bucket & $1/2 shovels or watering cans)
*Stainless steel water-bottles for kids (pictured below)

(Old Navy, $7/each...these are GREAT and we use them all the time, everywhere! Love the spill-proof tops and that it's not plastic!)

 What I did: The felt letters already had sticky-backings but I made sure they would last through a hot and sticky summer with little people by hot-gluing their names on as well.  Way cheaper than customized bags from Pottery Barn Kids!

I was planning on sewing some kind of little holder to attach to their bags to hold their sunglasses and goggles (which always get lost or crushed in the bottom of a big bag) until I spotted these beverage cooler holders at our local dollar store.  They are perfect for holding BOTH and attach nicely to the handle, voila!  No more lost eye-wear (and if they do, it's not mom's fault!).  

I also scored colors matching their beach towels which were in their fave colors as well!

One of the best tips I ever got for having lots of little children in busy areas was from a friend who had already raised her own crew and learned what to do!  She said, "Put them in a matching and BRIGHT color.  This is really nice at the pool when you do a quick scan, you can spot them easily!"  I loved it so I went with red for the kids.  I figure if it's what lifeguards wear for safety, I couldn't go wrong!

(Side-note of cuteness: my hubby actually picked up a red pair of swim shorts too (upper left) and said, "I just thought I should match the boys too!"  Love that man!)

Lastly, I bought everyone their own bucket and shovel set so they aren't fighting over it when it's time to make a sand-castle!  If it doesn't have their name on it and they forgot theirs, they are making a sand castle with their bare hands, ha!

So there you have it, easy summer organization on the go!  Of course, for older kids, this project can be modified since I'm sure pre-teens and teens don't need little buckets and shovels anymore...have fun making something creative that is perfect for your own crew!  And happy swimming, dear friends!

Oh, don't forget the sunscreen and sun hats too!

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