Best Swimming Pools for Kids (The Kiddie Pools) in 2017
The best kids’ swimming pools in our list are geared towards toddlers from one to three years old, thus, their colorful designs, small sizes, and fantastical themes. We wanted to focus on these swimming pools because younger kids are even tougher customers than their older counterparts in their demands for truly engaging toys. While inflatable pools geared toward older children, teenagers and adults are more utilitarian in design, the younger kids’ swimming pools are more stimulating in their elements.
When choosing from among these kid-friendly swimming pools, we suggest choosing the one within your kids’ age range. If your child, for example, is just one year old, your best choice is the Smiley Giraffe by Intex. But no matter your choice, these inflatable pools are great choices for kids to enjoy the summer and beat the heat!
Best Pools for Kids - My Top Choices
- Best Pools for Kids - My Top Choices
- 1. Intex Dinoland Inflatable Play Center
- 2. Intex Kid’s Summer Sunset Kiddie Pool
- 3. Intex Whale Spray Pool
- 4. Intex Smiley Giraffe Inflatable Baby Pool
- 5. Intex Mermaid Kingdom Inflatable Play Center
- 6. Intex Sea Turtle Shade Inflatable Baby Pool
- 7. Intex Royal Castle Baby Pool
- 8. Recreation Circles Fun Inflatable Pool Set
- 9. Intex Mushroom Baby Pool
- 10. Intex Sun Shade Inflatable Pool
- Methodology Behind Choosing these Kiddie Pools
- Inflatable Pools and Child Safety
1. Intex Dinoland Inflatable Play Center
Suitable for: 3 years old and up
Kids love toys with a dinosaur theme so your kids will definitely love the Dinoland Play Center! The colorful dinosaurs featured are a T-Rex holding a hoop through which balls can be shot, a brontosaurus arching over the slide, and pterodactyl perched on a branch. The inflatable 74-gallon swimming pool also features a short slide and a large pool.
You can place a garden hose over the arching back of the blue brontosaurus to create a spray effect over the yellow slide, too. Your kids will also love playing with the colorful hoops. You should be able to fill the pool within 30 minutes or less while the inflation time is also short.
What's Great About It: Think of it as an affordable water playground for your younger kids. Aside from splashing in the relatively large pool, they can also slide and shoot small balls through the hoop, which develops their physical skills.
2. Intex Kid’s Summer Sunset Kiddie Pool
Suitable for: 2 years old and up
The Summer Sunset may be more utilitarian in design but kids will love it, nonetheless, for many reasons. The pool consists of three four-inch rings in yellow, green and pink, which are sturdy enough to hold water for splashing around. The floor has a soft and cushioned feel with a quilt-like appearance to ensure optimum protection for delicate bottoms and knees.
The inflation time is short, too, usually just 5 minutes or less depending on the pump used while the deflation time is even shorter. Cleaning the inflatable pool consists of spraying it with water from a hose and letting it air dry before storage.
What's Great About It: We like its simple design that allows older kids to play inside a larger pool area. More pool toys can also be placed inside so kids can have more fun splashing in it.
3. Intex Whale Spray Pool
Suitable Age: 2 years old and up
What better way to evoke the refreshing coolness of the oceans than with a whale-themed inflatable kiddie pool? The Whale Spray kiddie pool has a blue whale with polka dots, eyes and a smiling face, and a tail up in the air. Even its sight is a refreshing one especially when coupled with the clear water spraying from its tail.
You can connect the tail’s spray feature to a garden hose to create the shower-like effect while the kids splash about inside the pool. You don’t have to worry about deep water since the pool can only hold seven inches of water. But this doesn’t mean that you should leave the kids for prolonged stretches of time without adult supervision while they are in the pool.
What's Great About It: The clever design from the spray tail to the pool body immediately caught our attention, as it will the kids and their parents.
4. Intex Smiley Giraffe Inflatable Baby Pool
Suitable for: 1 to 3 years old
Small kids will be safe while splashing about inside the Smiley Giraffe inflatable pool, thanks to its 3-inch water level depth and 4-inch walls. The giraffe theme is cute, too, from the long neck with its three brown polka dots to its smiling giraffe’s head. Even the brown tail is cut but with a purpose – it can hold the red hoops – while the scalloped handle makes it easy to transport (i.e., without the water).
You don’t have to buy new pool toys since the inflatable pool already comes with several noisemakers, aside from the red hoops, for your kid to play with. You can fill up the 14-gallon pool within minutes, too.
What We Like about Its Product: We like the colorful yellow-and-brown theme that attracts the eyes, not to mention that you can easily spot it in the backyard.
5. Intex Mermaid Kingdom Inflatable Play Center
Suitable for: 2 years old
The Little Mermaid franchise featuring Ariel and Flounder is the main theme of the Mermaid Kingdom pool so little girls will love it on sight. Of course, Ariel as Disney imagined here isn’t actually featured here but your young daughter will not likely notice it. Instead, what she will notice is the adorable yellow slide in the middle of the kiddie pool, as well as the two arches with different designs behind and in front of it.
Your daughter can also have a spray effect – just connect a garden hose to its built-in sprayer and voila! You can place a few more pool toys aside from the colorful balls already included. Your child can splash around in the 30-gallon pool, which has a 5-inch water level and 6.5-inch wall height.
What's Great About It: The 178-pound maximum weight is definitely a big plus, especially when coupled with the durable vinyl. The colorful marine theme is icing on the cake.
6. Intex Sea Turtle Shade Inflatable Baby Pool
Suitable for: 1 to 3 years old
Even the adults will find the Sea Turtle Shade pool both adorable and practical. The blue pool has marine theme with cute drawings of turtles, fishes and octopuses while its 40-inc diameter and 5-inch wall height allows for a 4-inch water level. This means that a kid as young as a year old can safely play in it, albeit with an adult nearby.
But the green turtle-shaped shade over it is what the parents love most. Even its design has an umbrella-like feel to it with its sections while the turtle’s head, tail and limbs add to its realism. The pool and shade are connected by three inflatable clear vinyl connectors with the marine theme, too.
What's Great About It: We like the shade mainly because it provides protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. But it’s still a must to use the right sun protection products, placing the pool in a shady area, and letting your child use it in the early morning or late afternoon hours in summer.
7. Intex Royal Castle Baby Pool
Suitable for: 1 to 3 years old
Your young prince or princess will like splashing around in the Royal Castle pool simply because it’s a chance to play with water. Even a one-year old child can safely splash while on his/her belly, thanks to the low 4-inch water level, although adult supervision is still a must. The 4-feet diameter is enough space for one toddler to play with his/her pool toys, such inflatable ducks.
Your water bill shouldn’t skyrocket with its use since the pool only requires 18 gallons of water with each use. You only need a small space, too, because of its small size. Your worries about your kid’s prolonged exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays can be allayed, too, thanks to the protective castle-like shade over the pool.
What's Great About It: The colorful castle theme provides visual stimulation for the kids while the shade over the pool is a feature after a parent’s heart.
8. Recreation Circles Fun Inflatable Pool Set
Suitable for: 1 to 2 years old
The Recreation Circles is a two-in-one toy, namely, a hoop-and-ball toy and a kiddie pool in one. The 20-inch inflatable ring can be the hoop to the 20-inch inflatable pool so there’s plenty of fun to be had from them. The splashing pool with its 10-inch walls and 28-gallon water capacity can be filled with pool toys, too, for added fun under the sun.
You can even allow three more children of the same age as your child to play in the pool, thanks to its large size. You may even let the kids use the inflatable pool during the colder days of autumn and winter without the water – just place plastic balls to make it into a ball pen!
What's Great About It: The large size allows for more uses for it, such as pool in summer and ball pen in autumn so kids will always have somewhere fun to call their own. The simple design also makes it easy to inflate and deflate, as well as transport and store.
9. Intex Mushroom Baby Pool
Suitable for: 1 to 3 years old
Red, blue and yellow are primary colors that kids are immediately attracted to. It’s no wonder that the mushroom-themed inflatable pool is a hit with them, while the mushroom head-shaped shade is a hit with the parents. Keep in mind that toddlers shouldn’t be exposed to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, especially from 9 A.M. to 4 P.M. when the sun is at its strongest in summer.
You can fill up the inflatable pool, which has a 12-gallon capacity, within minutes. Your toddler can then play safely in it since the water level is only up to 4 inches. Again, an adult should be nearby since drowning even in an inch of water has been known to happen, especially among toddlers.
What's Great About It: The colorful mushroom shape introduces a new concept while the vibrant colors can be used in teaching kids about them.
10. Intex Sun Shade Inflatable Pool
Suitable for: 2 years old and up
The Sun Shade is just as its name says it is – the entire pool area is actually covered with an inflatable shade. The simple blue-and-white scheme is complemented by the riot of colors depicting a wide range of marine animals on the pool rings. The colorful drawings showing pink whales, violet octopuses, and yellow, orange and lilac fishes can be used in teaching kids about these creatures, too.
As many as four toddlers can fit into the pool, thanks to its 62-inch width on all four sides. Wading, splashing and even “swimming” on their bellies can be done because of the 8-inch water level. The 9.5-inch wall height is deep enough to hold the water in even with four kids inside.
What's Great About It: We like the umbrella-like canopy to protect the kids from the sun’s rays. The large size also means more kids can play in it, unlike many inflatable pools that only accommodate 1-2 kids at a time.
Methodology Behind Choosing these Kiddie Pools
We recognize the importance of recommending the safest inflatable pools for toddlers where parents are concerned. We then chose our top 10 pools using the following criteria:
- Attractive design with vibrant colors and familiar themes (e.g., Little Mermaid, castles, and turtles) so that kids will be encouraged to play in them
- Durable materials and construction, such as thick vinyl (i.e., the higher the gauge, the better), multiple air compartments for structural integrity, and sturdy connections between the parts
- Ease of inflation and deflation, as well as in cleaning the interior and exterior surfaces
- Slides, sprayers and shades, as well as pool toys are a great plus, too, since these add to the fun of using the inflatable pools
Of course, we also considered the overall safety of the inflatable pools. We looked at the depth of the water, too, so that even a one-year old child can safely splash in the inflatable pool.
Inflatable Pools and Child Safety
Even with a shallow water depth, such as 4 inches, the risk of drowning is still present. Parents should still adopt safety measures to ensure that their toddlers enjoy being in the pool while staying safe. In fact, adult supervision is a must when toddlers are in inflatable pools filled with water since they can drown in as little as an inch of water!
But that’s not all. Small inflatable pools are also hotbeds of diseases since kids can be in contact with, even swallow, the germs in unclean pool water. These germs can include the E. coli, Shigella, and Crypto, which causes a wide range of diseases, many of which can be fatal for toddlers with their fragile immune systems.
For this reason, safety measures should be adopted before, during and after use of the inflatable pools. These include not allowing sick kids to use the inflatable pools with other kids; giving the children a soap shower before swimming; and instructing them not to swallow the pool water. The pools should also be drained of water, disinfected, and allowing it to dry before leaving it in the sun for four hours, at least.
We hope that our guide to the best kids’ swimming pools has enlightened parents who only want the best for their toddlers!