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It’s not that easy to pick out a good kid’s wading pool. They are definitely NOT all created equal. Up until last year I would use a hard-sided toddler wading pool for my grandkids’ visits. It was easy to fill, easy to empty and didn’t get holes easily compared to a small, inexpensive toddler inflatable pool. For that matter, it also didn’t require an energetic but not necessarily strong-winded grandma to blow it up.
One of my grandkids has a special needs’ condition that led to him spending four years having a difficult time dealing with water of any kind, including in a swimming pool. Once we understood that, I started using a separate smaller wading pool for him.
The rest of the grandkids could cavort happily all summer in the bigger wading pool, splashing to their hearts’ content. My youngest grandson could take his time with the smaller pool, one toe at a time if necessary. It was always the highlight of my summer when, after weeks of summer play, he was finally able to jump in the pool as quickly as the others! After that, it was always a free-for-all as they all enjoyed running back and forth between the two pools
This year the tiny wading pools have been passed on to the Salvation Army and all the kids, youngest included (YAY!), have graduated to their very cool new inflatable pool at their house. Their mom sets it up using an electric air pump (Yay! Grandma still doesn’t have to blow it up!) It’s actually big enough for four kids (6,6,7,12) and they can even bring some toys in the pool. I’ve also been pleased to notice that it has proven to be very sturdy. Even with four very active children playing in, and sometimes ON the pool and its sides, no hole in the vinyl and the summer is almost over!
Before settling on this simple, yet fun, inflatable pool, we each tried a couple of “cool” inflatable “swimming” pools with lots of bells and whistles. Unfortunately they looked great but weren’t much bigger than our original waders. We didn’t want to spend over $50 so that definitely limited our choices. My grandkids’ big inflatable swimming pool is about 6 feet by10 feet and was under $50!. It is much more fun because there is plenty of room to play, have toys, and even float with a couple of smaller pool toys.
This is not to say that having a pool guarantees a problem-free summer. Grandkids being grandkids, there will be fusses, feuds, and finagling. I’ve been royally splashed when it felt good and royally soaked when I didn’t want to get wet. There have been fun times and there have been time outs for misbehaving. Overall though , these pools are a great boon to Sandwich Generation grandparents everywhere.
In fact, even our aging parents can enjoy them. I have such great memories of my dad sitting – at a safe, non-splashing distance – and laughing and smiling as he watched his happy great-grand-tots playing happily. My senior mom loved turning on the sprinkler over our little wading pool and helping them play in water coming from the top and the bottom. It was our own mini water park. 🙂
Yup, fun times in the summer time for this Sandwich Generation family always include some kind of portable wading pool or inflatable pool in our back yard! How about you?
For more Family Friday fun ideas, be sure to pop over to Homemaker Barbi. This week is part 2 of a two-part series on helping train a grand-toddler to help around the house. 🙂