Princess Ky Background - The cutest blog on the block

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Tooth Fairy Traditions

Why are traditions important?
"Traditions are the glue that bind one generation to another. They give every member something to look forward to in our sometimes chaotic lives."
"Effective traditions should create positive feelings and fond memories, while promoting a sense of belonging and creating a sense of safety and security in young children"
                             ~(Karin Katherine)
My husband and I have been married for 20 years and it was 13 years before we were blessed through adoption with our daughter. Even before we had a child, traditions were very important to us.  As a couple of two, we were still "a family". We stressed this to our extended family so much that one Christmas my father in law bought us a wall hanging that said "God Made Us a Family"

We have learned over the years that traditions create ties that bind us together. Recalling our traditions are sweet and comforting remembrances and we wanted to gift that experience to our own little girl.  Therefore, we take every opportunity we can to "make a memory" and celebrating the loss of a baby tooth is no exception.
We put Kylie's tooth in the pocket on this little guy and put him carefully under her pillow.

I am the kind of person who plans way ahead for these memory making opportunities so that every detail is just perfect (to me).   I think God wanted to teach me a lesson in flexibility and coping with detours because he had a different plan up his sleeve.

I had everything all planned and thought out for my daughter's first baby tooth loss.  I was just waiting for that first little wiggle. Then, as I was brushing her teeth one morning I noticed she had a tooth growing in behind a baby tooth.  Agghh!!

Off to the dentist we went only to learn that my daughter's condition was called "Shark Teeth" and her first experience with losing a tooth would require major surgery and having FOUR teeth extracted.  This absolutely threw me for a loop and I mentally and emotionally threw a silent temper tantrum!!  I did NOT want this to be my daughter's first experience with losing a tooth - or 4 teeth!  I had memories to make and this was messing that up!!!!

Needless to say, we survived that experience (even made a few memories) and you can read all about it (and my advice for anyone else who experiences this issue) HERE

The Shark Tooth incident occurred in March and we weren't sure if our daughter would continue to have dental issues or if she would ever have a "regular" tooth wiggling experience.

Fast forward 7 months to October and ....Kylie has a loose tooth!!!

So, here are our favorite products and memory making tools/ideas for celebrating a loose tooth.  We hope you will enjoy seeing a glimpse into our family dynamic.

Tooth Fairy Tales
If making memories is important to us, you KNOW we want to record them. We love this keepsake book designed to help you record which tooth fell out when and how it all occurred.  There are also places to attach photos as well as to record any messages from the tooth fairy. There is also a pocket on the front that will store the teeth IF the tooth fairy decides to leave them. (wink wink)
We also knew our Tooth Fairy would need a way to find Kylie's bedroom.  So, we made this door (with the help of Hobby Lobby's doll house section).  We added a door knob and key, a door knocker and eventually our house numbers (not pictured). We used poster putty to hang it so there is no damage to our walls.

Dear Tooth Fairy
This is our ABSOLUTE FAVORITE book about the tooth fairy.  There are tiny envelopes within the book that hold correspondence from the tooth fairy.  It is delightful and full of whimsy!! There is also a gold fairy coin in the last envelope.  My daughter LOVES it (and it answered so many questions for her)!
You Think It's Easy Being the Tooth Fairy?
Little boys and playful girls tend to really enjoy this book. This tooth fairy is less whimsy and more practical. (harumph!!)

I only WISH I were as cool and as handy as this dad...What an adventure he created for his children!! He designed and built a Tooth Fairy Automatic Tooth Transport System.  It is so cool!  You don't want to miss this cool video clip.
(but, I have to ask... who has "extra" smart phones laying around??)

I Lost My Tooth
This book is great for an emerging reader and also solves the problem about a tooth that may have been misplaced before the tooth fairy could come.
This little gal is just a staple at our house ever since Pinkalicious was discovered... We had to include her in our book collection about the tooth fairy.  In this picture book Silverlicious has a sweet tooth, but the special days get all mixed up!

Yo Gabba Gabba: Baby Teeth Fall Out, Big Teeth Grow
And Yo Gabba Gabba is just so much fun!  My daughter is very intrigued by them. They give a lot of developmentally appropriate information in a kid friendly way. It is a colorful and fun addition to our library.

At our house, the Tooth Fairy loves to leave notes for kids.  She uses these free Printables

Our Tooth Fairy always leaves a receipt to confirm she received the tooth.  She uses these FREE Printables

In our house, In addition to a new toothbrush, toothpaste, and other sundry trinkets, the Tooth Fairy leaves a Gold Coin (half dollar) in exchange for a tooth. She purchases them at her local bank or online at
But another fun idea is to leave glittery paper money. The Tooth Fairy will spray paper money with Glitter spray and let dry. She often buys this at craft stores.
Sometimes, the Tooth Fairy is in a big rush and doesn't have time to be searching under pillows for teeth.  In those homes, the children leave their teeth in a clear glass of water by their bed.  When the tooth fairy takes the tooth, she colors the water and leaves tons of glitter floating in there.  She can be really messy sometimes!! (you might want to use a jar with a lid or a pretty bottle with a cork so there is no spillage)
You might want to commemorate the occasion with a personalized Christmas ornament
Or you might add the memory to your child's charm bracelet.

All of these things are just so much fun! And whatever you choose to do, or whatever your budget is.  Don't let a day go by without telling your kids how much you love them and remember that actions really do speak louder than words!

Traditions and memory making are truly important.  Be adventurous and enjoy the moments because they are fleeting.  Time can be our enemy or it can be our friend depending on the choices we make.  Choose to invest in your children by making entries in their remembrance bank.  When they think of home they will remember these simple extras that you put into their every days. Home, will be a lovely warm and inviting place to recall all the special times that they stored up over the years.

Fill their love tanks with your own special touches and celebrations of the small things... because they really are the big things. They are a visual and tangible reminder of how big your love is for them.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Helping Children Learn About Salvation

I was recently asked this question…

“I have a friend who is trying to teach her daughter about faith. She has been in church all her life and has lots of head knowledge, but the heart is not giving so easily. How can I help my friend?”

While not a professional counselor, I had just experienced a scenario similar to this in my own home so I was able to share my own living example.

Here is my reply…

Dear Friend,

The truth that comforts me when working with my daughter is that no matter how hard we try, we cannot “save” someone. God gave us free-will and salvation is a gift that we each have the opportunity to accept. This is comforting because I know that God loves children and he is working very hard to draw my daughter to him.

God DOES, however, give us teachable moments.

Many times our special children are visual learners and spiritual truths are very hard for them to understand because many times they are abstract concepts. We need to give them visual pictures of spiritual truths.

An example of a teachable moment...

Yesterday, I was brushing my daughter's hair and she was starting to get grumpy. I started to talk to her... My conversation with her went something like this:

"Oh Kylie, Don't be grumpy. You need to keep your heart clean - do you know why? Because someday, when you give your heart to Jesus, He will come and live in your heart!”

I continued…”Do you know what makes your heart dirty? When we are grumpy, or unkind, or don't share with our friends... All those things make our hearts dirty, but you know what? When Jesus comes to live in our hearts, he brings a big broom and sweeps all that dirt away and washes us clean!! You want your heart to be clean don't you?”
... And on it went...I also explained to her that the more we fill our hearts with the things of Jesus (his words, talking and singing to him, obeying God’s rules), the less room there is for that icky dirt and we lose our desire to be yucky. We will WANT to be clean.

I would try to give your young friend visual images of the spiritual truths you are trying to convey. Lay it all out there but make it HER choice whether to pick them up or not. Many times when a child feels pushed into something, their natural tendency is to withdraw. We don't "need" to push; God will do all the work. This is the beauty of salvation by faith - no effort required, just His grace fully given.

Also, sometimes it is hard to "tell" with a child who learns differently if there is heart knowledge... don't be so sure she doesn't have any... just continually disciple her by giving her visual pictures, object lessons and don't push... bake together, paint together, talk about God's creation, the attributes of God and the goodness of God, but don't push.

The objects shown in the pictures embedded in this post would be very helpful to give a visual picture of how we “dirty” our heart and how Jesus will “clean” it. Click on the links to find out how to obtain them.

I also love the following pictorial objects to explain to children who God is.

The Father's Love Letter to Child

These next two go together: (click on the photos to print)

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

II Corinthians 9:8

Monday, September 16, 2013

Important Details to Know Before Pediatric Dental Surgery

I recently found out that my 6 year old daughter has a condition called "Shark Teeth."

As you can see from the picture above, Sharks are known for having more than one row of teeth.  When this occurs in humans, it is usually because adult teeth are growing in behind baby teeth and the baby teeth are not getting loose on their own. (I later found out that this is pretty common in children who experience special needs)

To make a long story short, my daughter had to have her 4 front bottom teeth extracted all at once.  THAT was her first "losing a tooth" experience!!

This mama was no less than DEVASTATED!!!  I had spent months planning how our family would welcome the Tooth Fairy and all of the precious traditions that we would start in order to ease the trauma of having wiggly teeth and then losing them. (Especially for a child who experiences sensory issues).

So, to be consistent with all the other things that are "A-typical" of our life, my daughter ended up having  major surgery at our local hospital and all four teeth were extracted (though she now insists she lost "a tooth"...and we allow her to believe that! ha!).

I learned a few things that day (and how to prepare for that day):

1.) Schedule your child's procedure to be the first procedure of the day.

  • The reason for this is the child cannot have food or drink after midnight.  When kids first get up in the morning, they want to eat or drink.  If you are the first procedure, you can tell your child they can have breakfast after seeing the dentist.  (Or, as we communicated... "First see the dentist, THEN eat breakfast")
  • The second reason is to avoid delays in the procedure.  If others are scheduled ahead of you, it is possible that due to unforeseen complications in their procedures, your child's surgery might be delayed (meaning a longer time for anxiety to build up, longer time to wait to eat/drink)
  • Also, it will help if your child is relaxed from just waking from a full night's sleep.
  • This (lack of delays in scheduling) also ensures you will get the anesthesiologist you were originally assigned.
2.) Talk with your doctor and anesthesiologist about the drug "Versed" to see if it would be an option for your child.
  • This is the same drug that they often give to patients who will go through a colonoscopy.
  • This drug calmed my daughter right down before surgery (making it so much easier to administer anesthesia).
  • FYI--The drug is a liquid and it must not taste that great, because after they gave it to my daughter, she kept asking for water.  
  • This drug is a quick acting drug. 
  • The drug also helps with the recovery process.  My daughter was so calm in the recovery room and when we took her home. My child, who NEVER sleeps on her own, actually found her blanket and napped for 2 hours.
3.) Advocate to be assigned to an anesthesiologist who will allow you to remain with your child until your child is asleep. 
  • In our hospital, there were over 30 anesthesiologists, but only 4-5 that allow parents to stay with children until they are asleep.
  • My husband was allowed to suit up (in a paper suit), carry my daughter to the operating room and hold her while she "blew up the purple balloon" (they put a mask over her mouth and nose and when she breathed a purple balloon looking device inflated and deflated. This sedated her so they could then start the anesthesia via IV and she didn't feel a thing)
4.) Try to distract or re-direct your child from looking in the mirror for at least 24 hours after the procedure.
  • Day one is rather a disturbing sight.  The "holes" are really red and sometimes blood filled.
  • Day two is so much better, the redness and swelling have decreased significantly, and it is much less scary to look at.
5.) The night before surgery, dress your child in what they are going to wear to the hospital the next morning.   
  • You can take your child straight from their bed to the car and avoid a lot of questions. 
  • Doing so also gets you away from the refrigerator quicker.
6.) Pack a cup (no straws or sippy cups) and your child's favorite beverage in a thermos. Put them in the trunk or back of your vehicle (out of reach of your child).  Keep it in the vehicle until your child is in surgery.  
  • Once your child is in surgery, go get the beverage and cup and have it ready for your child for when they wake up in the recovery room.  
  • The hospital will have options to offer you, but your child will desire and feel so much better if they have their comfort beverage available to them.
7.) Be honest with your child, but DO NOT give your child too much information.
  • My daughter is always asking "What's next?" she wants details.  So, what we told her was that we were going to see our friend, the Dentist, because he was going to help us make sure there would be enough room for her pretty big girl teeth to come in.  That information was just enough.
  • DO NOT give the gory details of surgery, or a play by play of medical equipment, stitches and etc.
  • DO tell children that medical professionals care about them and want to keep them safe.
8.) Present your Medical Professional in a positive light.
  • We constantly tell our daughter that our medical professionals are our friends.  
  • We always point out fun things about them.  "Our dentist is so nice, he sings to your teeth" (and we are fortunate, because he does sing to her teeth.  Our daughter is really big into numbers and counting, so he also will count her teeth to help calm her.)
  • Also, when entering a strange room with lots of equipment and antiseptic smells, be sure to comment about how "cool" all that neat stuff is!
9.) Make sure mom and dad are at their best
  • Line up support from family and friends to have a meal or two delivered so that you can focus on your child once you arrive home and even the night before (gift cards for ordering in work great too).  (It was hard and humbling, but I emailed my friends/family and flat out ASKED if any were available to provide a meal or gift card.  I am so thankful I did!!)
  • Consider setting up a "Caring Bridge" site so you can keep all family and friends updated with one message (vs. sending 25)
  • Pack a breakfast for you to eat after your child is in surgery (An amazing friend made us mini muffins to take with us. We kept them in the trunk with our daughter's drink and once she was in surgery, we retrieved them and renewed our energy.)
  • Wear soft comfortable clothing that your child will want to cuddle against.
  • If you normally wear perfume or cologne, wear it, but keep it light.  Your child will be able to recognize you by your scent before they are awake enough to see you.
  • Bring a blanket from home (your child can use it before and after surgery and you can use it while they are IN surgery)
  • Get a good night's sleep the night before.
10.) If your child experiences sensory issues (sensitivity to light or sound) you might choose to bring your child's sunglasses and ear muffs with you.  These came in very handy for us with my daughter- especially in the recovery room.

And a couple of bonus suggestions: 
** If your child experiences any allergies or sensitivities to anything, be sure to discuss this with your anesthesiologist and medical professional and make a plan in advance of anything happening.  For example: my daughter is terribly allergic to all adhesives - even if they are latex free.  The adhesive literally burns her skin and also makes her break out in a terrible rash.  We made an advanced plan that included what medications/creams to put on them and when to call the hospital if something serious were to occur.

**Be prepared for your child to come out of anesthesia in a very emotional way - usually, either angry or sad (crying).  (a friend of mine joked that how your child wakes up from anesthesia tells you what kind of drunk they will be someday- ha!).  In our case, because of the "Versed" calming drug, our daughter woke up and was just very quiet and calm.  However, many children around us were crying.  We actually had to leave early because all the crying was bothering our daughter.

**Know your hospital's policy and state law regarding extracted teeth.  In our case and in our state, the law considers teeth to be a "body part".  Every body part that is removed during surgery must go to the pathology lab.  However, if there is no decay/infection in the teeth, we may pick the teeth up once the lab has completed their tests/review.  (If there were to be decay in the teeth, they are then classified as a bio-hazard and cannot be returned to you.  In that case, have some white tic-tacs on hand to leave for the tooth fairy)  =0)

**If you are especially sentimental (like me) you might consider having your child's photo taken before their procedure (we did this the night before at our local photo center). Be sure to take your camera with you to your child's surgery. We captured many "fun"/memorable experiences (my husband sporting his paper outfit, pictures of doctor/anesthesiologist, how our daughter looked after surgery and in recovery, etc, etc)

I hope your child will never have to experience dental surgery, but I found that it was much easier once I knew what to expect. 

If your child has experienced dental surgery or other procedures, I'd love to know what other tips you have for parents or what policies your hospital or state implemented. I firmly believe that knowledge is information!!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Introducing Jesus: Resources to help grow your child's faith

My daughter recently informed my husband and me that God was "cross" (who says that word anymore?) with Wreck-It-Ralph. She told us that Ralph was wrecking God's creation and God was going to send an angel to help him STOP!

My husband and I got a good laugh out of her story.  We hooted even more a few days later when we were in a store with Kylie and a woman's voice came over the loud speaker. Our daughter jerked her head up, sucked in her breath and exclaimed "That's God's SISTER!!"

While Kylie's theology is obviously flawed, and we have LOTS of work to do to make sure she understands truth, we were thrilled that she is beginning to connect the spiritual dots, however squiggly the lines are right now.

As parents, we have an awesome and wonderful opportunity to introduce our children to Jesus. However, when you are a parent of a child who experiences special needs or who learns differently, this task can seem overwhelmingly difficult.

A good place to start would be to figure out what your child's learning style is. Is your child an auditory learner? A visual learner? A hands-on learner? Do they enjoy self-teaching? Do they learn better in a group or one-on-one? Does music help your child learn?

Once you know that piece, it is much easier to choose resources to help your child become acquainted with spiritual truths.

Here are a few resources that have really been helpful in our home:

*Bible Memory
-Scripture Lullabies:CD I discovered these recently and am so THRILLED by them.  They are an incredible way to learn scripture simply by listening to them as your child goes to sleep. The music is so beautiful and the lyrics come directly from God's Word.  (Volume 1 and Volume 2).  (on a side note: many parents have reported that after listening to these cds, their kids sleep better, night terrors cease to exist and they rest beautifully... because folks.. scripture does that.  The Word of God is alive and powerful!!)
-Hide 'em In Your Heart DVD/CD: This is an amazing DVD/CD set.  The fashions are a little dated, but the kids playing and colorful scenes are engaging for kids and adults alike. The tempo is upbeat and fun.  We really enjoy these for daytime viewing. (Volume 1 and Volume 2)
*Bible Stories (Reading)
-Read and Share Bible: This is my daughter's absolute favorite book. (We also LOVE the DVDs)  She takes it with her EVERYWHERE. She has read these stories to Buddhists, Hindus, Free Thinkers, and Muslims. (who said a 7 year old can't be a missionary?) The illustrations are colorful and exciting.  My only teeny tiny "negative" feedback is that my daughter often gets confused by the babies in the book.  The babies in different stories are illustrated the same so, because my daughter is a literal thinker, it took us a long time to convince her that the babies had not jumped into other stories of the book but that they each had their own name (and own parents). (For example: Kylie kept telling us that the baby Samuel was Ruth and Boaz's son... nope... the babies just look the same in the book.  Samuel's mommy is Hannah and Ruth and Boaz's son is Obed).  However, this is a miniscule complaint vs how much we LOVE this book and DVD set! Seriously, It is GREAT!
-The Jesus Story Book Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name: This is my absolute favorite book to read to my daughter.  The illustrations are not that engaging for children (in my opinion), so I choose to read this to Kylie at bedtime after she is already tucked into bed. The writing is amazing and I LOVE that every story circles back to Jesus and the Big Picture.  You aren't left wondering how it all fits together in the end.

*Bible Study/Devotions
-Word of Life Gopher Buddies Quiet Time: This is a quick daily devotional for you to do with your child.  Each lesson is short and sweet and gives them a hands on activity that requires zero prep. Kylie LOVES it.  (Also, the lessons are easily adaptable based on your child's abilities)
 -Keys for Kids: (online version or book version). This is also a favorite of ours. These are not as colorful, but the stories are captivating and so applicable to every day life. Plus, you can get the first book free or read online for free.(This website also shows the ABC's of salvation)
*Biblical Training/Discipline/Parental Guidance
-For Instruction in Righteousness: My absolute favorite resource.  Behaviors are listed topically (example: Anger, Pride, Friendship, etc) and each section is divided into: What the Bible says about this, What are the consequences if you Don't do as the Bible says, What are the blessings if you DO what the Bible says, Examples of Bible Characters who did and did not obey and what happened to them, practical ideas of object lessons and other helps for parents.  Much scripture is listed and reinforces that our children are to obey God's word (through parental instruction).

 This really helps our family reinforce that Kylie is not just disobeying/obeying us as her parents, but more importantly she is disobeying/obeying God.  It also gives us ideas of the GOOD things she is doing so we can reward and encourage her appropriately as we see these positive behaviors. I love that discipline is not just negative... but what it is SUPPOSED to be: Teaching and Training.
-The Child Training Bible: This website gives you a full tutorial, shopping list and tips on how to use the Child Training Bible.  While it is time consuming to put together, it is a great resource. You simply follow the tabs for scriptural helps to teach your child about that issue or concern in the Bible.  They also offer a Virtue Bible.
-The Five Love Languages of Children: This is an Amazing book for parents.  I can't say enough about it.  Knowing how to discern Love Languages is so important to every aspect of your life: Parenting, Work Relationships, Church Relationships and so much more.  It helps with every communication style. One of my favorite parenting books.
*Faith Based Toys
-There are so many to choose from... See this link for a big list.
Fisher Price Noah's Ark Play set
12 Disciples 

The spiritual training of children is an awesome responsibility and privilege. When you think that God placed your child specifically in your arms for such a time as this... well, it is overwhelming to think any of us could ever do a good enough job. But the amazing thing is... God knew we could never do it alone.

 In Matthew 19:26, Jesus said "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

Luke 1:37 reminds us that "NOTHING is Impossible with God."

(Enjoy this sample song from Scripture lullabies: "Everything is Possible")

God has promised to be with us EVERY step of the way.  He will give us just what we need in the moment to do HIS perfect will.

You CAN do it and you can do it WELL.

While I know the resources available are many, I hope some of these particular resources will be helpful to you!  I'd also love to hear what other resources you have found valuable. I hope you will share by commenting below.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Beach Bag Essentials

These are a few of my favorite things to keep in my beach bag:

X-tra large Beach Bag by Lands' End
This beach bag has a zip top, many pockets inside, flat bottom and is super sturdy! We can fit beach towels and all our other essentials inside easily.  The canvas fabric is also super durable and sun-proof (meaning the contents inside are not affected by sun exposure.) You can customize your colors for the tote and you may also select to have it monogrammed.

This bag is shown in pink, but for a beach bag, I actually prefer the darker bottom panel as it shows less dirt.  We have a Navy, Red and Black one.  (love this bag- also works great for a toy bag on car trips)

If you or your kids are especially creative, you can use fabric markers to decorate your bag. AND/OR, if you are feeling fancy, you could BeDazzle it and add some "bling."

Mesh Back Pack for beach toys.
While our beach toys would fit in our beach bag, I prefer to keep the sand and water out of our towels, books and snacks. I also think it is a good idea for kids to learn to help out, so this backpack style makes it easier for them to carry their own beach toys.  When we are ready to go home, I slip this bag into a plastic grocery bag (to catch any stray sand particles) before putting it in the car, and we are good to go.

Liquid Bandage (no sting)
This is great for those bumps and scrapes that occur around a concrete pool or in a rough surf.  Adhesive Bandages will not stay on once wet. However, this product sprays on, and after a few seconds drying time, your owie will remain clean, covered and protected.
Ziploc Bags
Ziploc bags keep everything dry and sand free!
If you have kids, you need portable TOYS!! 

These transport so well as they take very little space.

I love that this one comes in a plastic bucket.  Less Mess and a second pool/beach toy!

Paint Brush:
Such a simple toy, but my daughter LOVES to "paint" the concrete or wooden surfaces around us with nothing but WATER... Keeps her busy for hours!

Water Wow Books: These are AMAZING.  With just a little bit of water in the supplied pen, your child can create wonderful pre-designed pictures. Each page can be colored over and over again, just allow the water to dry.  They come in many different licensed styles such as Barbie,  Sesame Street, Dora the Explorer, Transformers, Disney Princess and so many more

Melissa and Doug also has a line of educational Water WOW books: ABC's, Numbers, Vehicles and Animals. Great quality products

Kid friendly spray bottle by Melissa and Doug
There is no point in bringing along a spray bottle if your child cannot make it work on their own. This one is designed just for kids!
Sand Toys: 
I absolutely LOVE the Melissa & Doug line of sand toys! (These are just a few)
Goggles (Kids and Adults)
In my childhood home,  we grew up with a pool (and frequent bouts of swimmer's ear, until we learned this trick...) and put drops of rubbing alcohol in our ears after swimming.  We'd let it sit for a few minutes and then dump it out into a towel.  Rubbing Alcohol evaporates taking the moisture with it.  But if you want a more "professional product"... Here you go!!

Other things we pack with us (that are individualized for each person) are: 
*A cooler bag and ice packs to keep drinks cold. 
*Beach Towels (we prefer the "sheet" size) and a Beach Blanket
*lip balm with sunscreen
*A good book, magazine or preferred music (but be sure to have an adult on duty to keep an eye on kids)
*Snacks (crackers, cut up fruit, granola bars, Gum, etc)
*Hair Ties
*Water Shoes
*Change of clothes or cover-up
*Hair de-tangler/spray in conditioner
*Portable First Aid Kit.
*A small amount of cash
*If everyone is swimming at once, you will want a pool safe for identification, valuables and keys.
*Powder (Did you know that if you sprinkle powder on your body after being at the beach, it will help absorb moisture and knock the sand right off?)
*I also think it is a good idea to keep a paper with you that lists the contact information for your closest relatives, medical providers, and insurance providers.  It should also list any ongoing/current medical conditions, any allergies, any medication that any in your party are using as well as provide current photos of each member in your party. This is extremely helpful if an accident should occur or if a child should wander away from your group.(consider laminating the information or placing it in a Ziploc bag to protect it from moisture)