It’s Summer, and you’re spending more and more time outdoors. Your kids want to splash around and cool off, but you don’t have a pool (or if you do have a pool, they’re too young to go in it). If that describes you, then getting a kiddie pool can be the perfect choice for those hot summer days. It’s an easy, relatively inexpensive item to add to your backyard. And having one can be so much fun for little kids (and even for adults, too, if you want to dip a toe in and cool off).
Here are some top tips for choosing the best kiddie pool for you, and using your kiddie pool as effectively as possible to cool off and have fun in your backyard this Summer.
Kiddie Pool Basics
- Consider the size of the pool. It should be big enough that your kids can splash around and play in it, but not so big that it’s overwhelming or takes up too much space.
- Consider the shape of the pool. If you have younger kids, a round pool may be better because it’s more like a big bathtub. If you have older kids, they may prefer a pool with more of a slide or other features.
- Consider the material. Plastic pools are the most common and affordable type, but they can also be the most prone to leaks. If you’re looking for a more durable pool, consider a metal or vinyl pool.
- Consider the price. Plastic pools typically range in price from around $20 to $50. Metal and vinyl pools can be more expensive, but may last longer.
- Consider the ease of setup and takedown. If you want a pool that’s easy to put up and take down, choose one that is inflatable or has a quick-release drain plug.
Plastic Kiddie Pools
Plastic kiddie pools are one of the most popular types of kiddie pool. They come in all shapes and sizes, and are fairly inexpensive. In many cases, you can get one at a local hardware store or Target for as little as $10.
They’re easy to set up and take down because you don’t need to do a bunch of inflating, and they’re lightweight and easy to move around. The main downside to plastic kiddie pools is that they can be a little flimsy. They can easily be tipped over if someone leans on the side of the pool, and they can also be a little tough to clean.
Plastic kiddie pools are often fairly basic, too. Unlike bigger inflatable models, it’s hard to find one that has extra features like slides, sun shades, and the like. And storing them can be challenging since you can’t deflate and compress them.
Still, for an easy pool for basic uses, I like plastic kiddie pools a lot.
Inflatable Kiddie Pools
Inflatable kiddie pools are nice because you can easily deflate them and fold them up at the end of a season. They’re also lightweight and easy to move around, making them a good choice if you want to take your pool with you on vacation or to a friend’s house.
However, they’re not as sturdy as some other types of kiddie pools, and they can be punctured more easily. They’re not a great fit if you’re using your pool on a hard surface like concrete that could cause a leak, if you’re planning to keep the pool out all season, or if you want to use it with your dog or other pet.
There’s also the challenge of blowing your inflatable pool up! Don’t try to do this by yourself–invest in a good automatic kiddie pool inflator.
Kiddie Pools for Dogs
Kiddie pools aren’t just for kids! Lots of people love to use them to bathe dogs, too, or as a place for your dog to splash around in the Summer. If you’re considering a kiddie pool for your dog, I’d recommend going for a hard-sided plastic model. Inflatable pools can easily be punctured by a dog’s sharp toenails.
These pools are an especially good fit for dogs if you have a breed that loves water. It can be a great way for your dog to indulge in some instinctive play and practice skills their breed is trained for, all in an easy environment at home. You can even use it for other animals. Some people fill the pools with sand and let their backyard chickens dust bathe in it!
Of course, remember to clean your kiddie pool well after your dog uses it, before you head in there again!
Is it Safe to Put Bleach in a Kiddie Pool?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it is not safe to put bleach in a kiddie pool. Why? There are a few reasons.
The CDC says that a lot of water tends to spill out of these small pools. That makes it hard to choose the right amount of disinfectant to add. Also, small pools don’t have filters to remove debris. That makes it harder for disinfectants like bleach to keep them clean.
That said, the CDC does advise that it’s okay to clean a kiddie pool with bleach. They suggest mixing 1/2 cup of bleach with one gallon of water, applying it to the pool, and then rinsing well with clean water.
How Many Gallons is a Kiddie Pool?
Kiddie pools range tremendously in size, so the number of gallons they hold can vary a lot, too. On the lower end, small plastic pools tend to hold about 30 gallons. Bigger ones–especially inflatable ones with slides and other water features–can hold as many as 300 gallons!
That means a fully-loaded kiddie pool can weigh hundreds of pounds. Remember to set up your pool in its final location before filling it, since you probably can’t move it once it’s full.
How Deep is a Kiddie Pool?
Again, the size of these small pools cover a huge range. But in general, they tend to be between 1 foot and 3 feet deep. Make sure to supervise your kid whenever they’re using it, though, no matter the depth. Children can drown in even a tiny amount of standing water, so supervision is always essential.
Are Kiddie Pools Recyclable?
Some pools are built to last, and can be used again and again for multiple seasons. Others aren’t built to stand up to more than about 1 season of use. Especially if you keep your pool outside, it’s certainly possible that it could degrade in a year or two.
When you’re ready to dispose of the pool, it helps if you can recycle it. If you want to recycle your kiddie pool, make sure to get a LDPE pool and not a PVC one. Also, check with your local municipality to make sure your pool is actually recyclable before you put it in your bin.
If your pool isn’t recyclable, you can still upcycle it. Lots of people love to turn old kiddie pools into planters and other elements for your garden.
Kiddie pools are an awesome and easy to use accessory for your yard. Whether you choose to go with an inexpensive, small plastic pool or a giant model with slides and other features, it’s an easy and fun way to stay cool in the Summer months.