How to Hit up the Outdoor Pool When You’re Outnumbered

The outdoor pool is one of those fantastic places to spend a morning or an afternoon during the summer with the kids, and even more so because it comes free of charge this year. It can be tricky though, when you’re heading out to the pool with a gaggle of kids, and the rules state you’ve got to be in arms length of those under eight.

Here’s how to deal when you’ve got multiple kids with you at the outdoor pool –

Make a List 
Gather the things you need for the pool and have a list ready so you can bring it all with you, without forgetting it at home. Having a list of the things that you’re going to bring to the pool does make it easier to pack. It also makes it easier to put the kids in charge of fetching things on the list, and putting them in the swim bag.

Bring Your Own Shade/Home Base
There’s something about an outdoor pool being a great place to cool off – if you’re in the water. Not many of the outdoor pools have great shade, and if you’re bringing along an infant, you’re going to want the shade. The shade in the form of a pop up tent also acts as a great home base, for the little kids to play when you’re not hanging out in the water.

Bring a Stroller With You
On days when the pool is popular, bring the stroller. You might wonder about navigating it through the crowds at the poolside, but it’s going to be a helpful way to transport everything you need from the car to the pool deck – especially since those parking spots from the top of Mill Creek parking lot are a ways away from the pool on those days when the pool is packed!

Take the Swim Test As soon as You Arrive
Get the swim test out of the way. At City of Edmonton pools kids can take a swim test to determine the areas of the pool that they’re allowed to venture. Parent or not, your kid is going to have to complete the swim test if they want to venture to the deep end. If they’re over eight, they can go without you – and rest assured, they can do the swim test with a PFD.

Tip// See other ways to cool off in Edmonton during the summer, here.

Bring a Friend or Make a Friend
Bringing another mother, with kids, is a great way to give your kids insta-friends when you’re at the pool but it’s also a great way to have an extra set of hands, and eyes, when you’re at the pool. With children under eight, you’re going to have to be in the pool with them. If you’ve got a five year old that wants to spend the entire afternoon in the water and an infant that would rather eat nails, you’re going to have a bit of a problem. Bringing another mom, or another adult, a friend, or a grandma that can help to switch off is going to make things easier. If not, make a friend when you’re there – you’re going to be thankful for the newfound friendship.

Have Easily Accessible Toys/Snacks
Make the toys and snacks easily accessible. That way, you’re going to be able to let the kids get their own slices of watermelon or juice boxes from the cooler bag, when they’re hungry or thirsty. You’re going to appreciate making it easier if you’re trying to hold a squirming baby!

How do you survive a trip to the outdoor pool when you’re outnumbered?



Lori is the mother of three young girls, passionate about exploring, experiencing and adventure. In between adventures, you’ll find her hanging out with her family, in the suburbs of Edmonton. Trying hard to be a winter-person, you’ll find her trying hard to get outside during the winter months, and barefoot, with the sand and grass between her toes during the summer months.