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Dive into Summer Fun: Exploring Pool Toys, Pool Toy Storage, and DIY Creations

While it might feel like spring has only just started, summer will be here before we know it. With the warmer months quickly approaching, you might be planning some fun family trips to the local pool or even preparing your own pool in the backyard after a season or two of being closed. To help you prep for summer, we provided this handy guide to cover all things pool toys, from the best options to smart storage solutions, so your family will officially be ready for some ultimate fun in the sun!

How to Choose Safe and Hygienic Pool Toys

Safety and hygiene are paramount when it comes to swimming pool toys, especially for kids. Remember, pool toys, floats, and life jackets are not substitutes for adult supervision. There should always be at least one designated “water watcher,” or adult set of eyes, to ensure every child is safe, while playing in the pool. When shopping for pool toys, consider these key factors:

1.     Material Safety – certain materials quickly disintegrate in the pool water and can fall apart that much faster if left out in the sun for long periods, when not in use.

2.     Age Appropriateness – if you have a baby or toddler, some toys can easily present as choking hazards. Likewise, younger children might have a harder time operating water guns or playing with diving toys. Pick out toys that suit the age and level of ability your swimmer is at.

3.     Durability – if your children play in the pool often, it might be worth investing in higher quality pool toys that can withstand regular use and still last multiple seasons.

4.     Ease of cleaning – some toys have small parts or nooks and crannies that make them difficult to clean, leading to hygiene issues, like slime or mold. You may wish to opt for pool toys that can easily be wiped down and disinfected on a regular basis, so you never have to worry about your children touching items that could result in illness.

Two children swimming in the water with their pool floats

Coolest Pool Toys for Endless Fun

Depending on the type of swim toy you determine is best for your children, there are plenty of fun and safe games your whole family can play together! Our list below offers some great toy options you can find in stores or online. Just remember to discuss with your child that anytime they are playing in or around the pool, an adult must be with them at all times.

·      Inflatable Floats and Loungers – perfect for relaxing in the pool when everyone needs a break from playing and splashing.

·      Water Slides and Sprinklers – these pool toys are always a hit, especially for bigger kids.

·      Dive Rings and Torpedoes – if your child is ready to start practicing swimming underwater, toys that encourage them to safely go beneath the surface can be a good option.

·      Pool Noodles and Kick Boards – in case your child wants to practice their floating or kicking techniques, either of these two swim toys can be very helpful. Pool noodles are also known to double as makeshift water-cannons to unsuspecting siblings and parents!

·      Underwater Games and Toys – if your older child spends more time in the water than on land, toys they can play with underwater will never go untouched.

·      Interactive Water Toys – no pool toy collection is complete without iconic water guns, water balloons, or floating hoop/ game sets!

·      Educational Pool Toys – we know more than anyone that learning can be fun if swimming is involved! A pack of dive sticks with numbers or letters can be a fantastic way for your child to work on their basic math or spelling skills, especially when they’re on summer break.

Two children playing with water toys together in the backyard

DIY Pool Toys: Creative and Budget-Friendly Options

If your family enjoys crafting or you’re looking for a fun and easy activity you can all do together this summer, this list of DIY pool toys is for you! Like store-bought swimming pool toys, check that your DIY toys are safe, durable, and hygienic as well.

·      Pool Noodle Obstacle Course – a big benefit of pool noodles is that they can be super versatile both in and out of the water! All you need to do is bend the noodles into different shapes and use either tape or cones to hold them together.

·      Floating Sponge Boats – have some unused, clean sponges laying around? Simply, cut out a triangle from construction paper for your sail, stick a straw (or something similar) through the top and bottom of your paper, then place the straw into the sponge, and watch it float!

·      Homemade Dive Rings from PVC Pipes – this one is easy, too! Just attach the PVC pipes to each other and voila, no need for store-bought dive rings!

·      Water Bombs and Splash Balls - if you have additional sponges leftover, they can quickly be turned into another fun craft. Cut about three to four sponges into four to six strips and stack them together. Next, pinch all the strips together in the middle and use a rubber band to wrap the center as tightly as possible. That’s it!

·      Floating Tic-Tac-Toe Game – don’t use up all your pool noodles yet! They can be cut and tied together in shapes used for tic-tac-toe, so you can take this kid-friendly game to the pool.

Smart Pool Toy Storage Solutions

To keep your pool toys clean and ensure they last a long time, always take care to store them out of the sun, with proper ventilation. If the toys are still wet when you put them away in the shed, garage, or storage room, or you leave them outside in the hot sun, they can grow moldy and eventually break down. Here are a few innovative solutions to ensure your pool storage for toys is so easy and convenient that your kids will also want to help clean up after playtime!

·      Mesh Bags or Baskets for Quick Drying – are super handy to have around or carry from storage to the pool. They’re easy to hang up or stack together and prevent harmful mildew from forming. Bonus: mesh bags and baskets can be relatively inexpensive!

·      Poolside Storage Bins or Caddies – in case you don’t have space away from the pool to stash toys, either of these options are helpful to place nearby. Plus, it’s much harder to forget where to put everything, when containers or caddies are right by the pool area. Many storage bins are offered in various styles to match your outdoor pool or patio aesthetics as well!

·      Hanging Storage Solutions – if you prefer to keep your larger swim toys off the ground, try containers or baskets specifically designed to be hung up. They’re often versatile and stack together nicely.

·      DIY Storage Using PVC Pipes or Repurposed Containers - the possibilities really are endless! With some netting and PVC pipes, you can easily put a DIY pool float container together. PVC pipes can be turned into a practical pool toy or towel ladder, too. Recycled laundry baskets can also be an inexpensive pool storage solution.

Two children splashing in the swimming pool together

Extra Tips for Maintaining Pool Toys and Equipment

Remember to store all pool toys in a cool, ventilated area, free from the sun and humidity. If you notice that any toys are broken or heavily sun damaged, throw them out, since it is not worth risking your child’s health and safety. To further prolong the lifespan of your child’s swim toys, regularly clean them with a disinfectant, such as bleach water or vinegar water, and a rag or brush. After thoroughly rinsing, don’t forget to allow ample drying time before storing or playtime.

Finally, don’t forget to embrace the summer splash and create unforgettable family memories with pool toys! To best ensure your kids can safely enjoy endless fun in the pool, we encourage you to sign up for swim lessons at a Big Blue Swim School location near you. We can’t wait to see you!