Pool toys aren’t just limited to the days of sun and hot weather typically from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Sure, there’s a time and place for actually using pool toys in any type of pool that’s designed for outdoor use. However, there’s nothing wrong with giving a carefully selected pool toy as a gift for those people on your list who dream of summer days lounging in the pool during those frosty winter days. Here are ten of the most popular pool toys that will make a nice substitute for fruitcake and socks:
1. Swim Fins
Available in a variety of styles and colors, swim fins are great for smaller children (around ages 6-9) just learning to get around in the water. The mermaid style is especially popular among preteen girls. They’re easy to put on and most models come with comfortable foot pockets. Your little swimmer is going to love it.
2. Plastic Torpedoes
These mini plastic torpedoes are designed for use in either the pool or bathtub. Most models are lightweight and soft enough not to do any serious harm if another person is accidentally “hit” during the fun times.
Note: There are small parts, so this product is best for ages 5 and up.
3. Undersea Treasure Hunt
Looking for something fun to do in the pool as a family? This pool toy consists of a treasure chest and plastic “gold coins” that can be tossed around the pool to capture and place in the chest. For children 6-15, this is a good way to develop hand-eye coordination. Older kids can dive for the coins for an added challenge.
4. Underwater Rings
These rings can be used to learn swimming techniques for younger children or used as a visual aid for older children learning to dive. You can also use it to create your own family games. Some models come with a special part that allows the rings to stand up at the bottom of the pool for easy retrieval.
5. Shark Games
For convenience, these games are grouped as one toy, but there are many variations. One game is basically like tennis in the pool with rackets dressed up as “sharks” with a net to catch soft balls tossed from player to player. Another game involves a plastic shark and small floating “fish” that you have to capture using the shark. Then there’s the inflatable shark that can be used for random fun in the pool, probably involving a lot of splashing.
6. Inflatable Waterslide
Is going to the water park getting a little too expensive? All that’s needed for this inflatable waterslide is a hose to provide the water part of the slide, which is placed right along the side of the pool. Most models have a reinforced base for added safety as your kids slip slide away.
7. Noodle Chair
This is basically a piece of mesh that serves as a chair with a noodle (a long piece of foam) slipped through the mesh. Some models come with the noddle already included. Be aware of the weight limit for each chair since some are only designed for children while some larger ones can be used by adults too. Keep in mind that you’ll be partially submerged.
8. Inflatable Tube
An inflatable tube is nothing new, but it’s still a fun pool accessory. It can be used to relax and enjoy a lazy day or beginning swimmers can use it for support while working their way to the deeper end of the pool. There are many colors and styles, ranging from solid colors to themes such as pirates.
9. Floating Habitat
This spherical pool toy is a floating playground that kids will enjoy for hours on end during those hot summer days. It can also serve as the centerpiece to a children’s pool party. Make sure to get one that’s fairly durable.
10. Dive Characters
These are soft and flexible dive toys that can be used to teach kids how to comfortably go underwater to fetch something that can easily be seen. Some of the most popular dive characters are from Cars and Spider-man.
Bob Quigly is a landscaping and family fun enthusiast who contributes to many blogs on the greatest outdoor trends and great pools tips on behalf of Backyard Ocean inflatable pools. Quigly suggests visiting their websites to explore the best rated above ground pool pumps!