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Best Swimming Pools for Kids (The Kiddie Pools) in 2017

The best kids’ swimming pools on 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 may be 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

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 also place a garden hose over the arching back of the blue brontosaurus to create a spray effect over the yellow slide. Your kids will love playing with the colorful hoops too. 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 optimal protection for delicate bottoms and knees.

The inflation time is also short, 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 storing it away.

What's Great About It: We like its simple design that allows older kids to play inside the larger pool area. More pool water 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 ocean 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. Just looking at it is a refreshing sight, 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 your 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 your 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 for your kids, who will quickly learn to love it.

​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 high walls. The giraffe theme is also cute, from the long neck with its three brown polka dots to its smiling giraffe’s head. Even the brown tail is cute, but with a purpose – it can hold the red hoops – while the scalloped handle makes it easy to transport when it has been emptied.

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, making it a fun feature for your kids.

​5. Intex Mermaid Kingdom Inflatable Play Center

Suitable for: 2 years old and up

The Little Mermaid franchise, featuring Ariel and Flounder, is the main theme of the Mermaid Kingdom pool, so little girls will love it at first sight. Of course, Ariel as Disney imagined 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 add a few more pool toys to the colorful balls that are 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 adults will find the Sea Turtle Shade pool both adorable and practical. The blue pool has a marine theme with cute drawings of turtles, fish and octopuses, while its 40 inch 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 different 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 a 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 your one year old child can safely splash while on his or her belly thanks to the low 4 inch water level, although adult supervision is still a must. The 4 foot diameter is enough space for one toddler to play with his or 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 also only need a small space because of its small size. Your worries about your kid’s prolonged exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays can be calmed thanks to the protective castle-like shade over the pool.

What's Great About It: The colorful castle theme provides visual stimulation for your 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 all in one. The 20 inch inflatable ring is the hoop to the 20 inch inflatable pool so there’s plenty of fun to be had from using them. The splashing pool with its 10 inch high walls and 28 gallon water capacity can also be filled with pool toys 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 into the pool to make it into a ball pen.

What's Great About It: The large size allows for more uses for it, such as a pool in summer and ball pen in winter so your 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 10 A.M. to 2 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 these colors.

​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 fish can also be used in teaching kids about these creatures.

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 inside the pool, even with four kids playing in it.

What's Great About It: We like the umbrella-like canopy to protect your kids from the sun’s rays. The large size also means that more kids can play in it, unlike many inflatable pools that only accommodate 1 to 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 designs with vibrant colors and familiar themes, such as the Little Mermaid, castles, and turtles, so that your kids will be encouraged to play in them
  • Durable materials and construction, such as thick vinyl (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 ease 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 also looked at the depth of the water, 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 always 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, and 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 developing 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 your 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 a few hours, at the very least.

Conclusion

Water is not just for washing your baby (of course with organic products, wherever possible), it can also be a source of great fun for your children.

We hope that our guide to the best kids’ swimming pools has enlightened parents who only want the best for their toddlers, and that you will now be able to pick the best swimming pool for your little one.

    Sandra Cobain
     

    Sandra is the head of content for BestForTheKids. When she’s not busy crafting posts & researching about compelling content ideas, she can be spotted playing outdoors with her two adorable children.

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