Oh let me count the ways… the creative ways we mamas need to keep these kids entertained that is. If you are anything like me I love setting up fun activities for my kids. One of the best things you can buy as a mom is a kiddie pool to help keep kids entertained all year long.
You see a waterless less plastic pool or inflatable pool is gonna up your mom game here. Starting from when they are infants and up until they are older.
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I am gonna share a few fun ways you can use a plastic or inflatable kiddie pool to keep kids entertained for hours. With and without water. Many of these make fun indoor and great inflatable pool backyard ideas.
Some of the ideas can start as early as when a baby is a few months old. Such as for tummy time or newbie crawlers.
There are many ideas for when kids get older and for seasonal/holiday theme fun!!
The first few will be for infants/crawlers. Allowing gross motor skill development and a way to place them in a safe environment. You can set this up near you and get some chores or work done. (That’s a win-win, isn’t it mama friend!) 😉
The first 5 kiddie pool activities are for infants/toddlers. You can scroll down to see ideas for older kids.
1. Tummy time with balls
For your infant blow up a small pool without water add a few balls to allow them tummy time with stimulation. You are gonna wanna get a pool that has colors, glitter, or decoration. Something like these can be fun.
2. Tummy time with foam blocks
Encourage your infant to begin using those motor skills. Like reaching for blocks and feeling different shapes. Using the pool without water. These soft blocks and toys would make it a hit.
3. Tummy time with an inflatable balloon
Blow up a few ballons add them to your inflatable pool without water. As your young one looks at them they can view colors and round shapes. If they are older they can begin to grab them and learn cause and reaction.
Some may try to put them in their mouths so be careful and watch for any reaction to ballon material. You don’t want them popping and scaring themselves.
4. Infant/ Toddler plush toys
Collect fun plush toys that stimulate your little one to touch and feel.
5. Tummy time with mirrors
Get a few of these activities with mirrors and place them all around. Let baby/toddlers get a kick out of seeing themselves.
6. Splash pad
Using the smallest amount of water let your baby/toddler create their own splash pad. For extra fun you can add food coloring.
Kiddie pool activities for older kids.
As we progress to the rest of the ideas these are ideas for older kiddos.
Enjoy and get creative get good use out of that pool year-round.
7. Lay under the stars
This neat Idea from Crafty morning blog. She shares how to use an inflatable pool in your backyard with pillows and blankets to gaze under the night sky.
8. Pool noodle fishing
9. Bobbing for apples in the fall
Good old bobbing for apples is a fun game for anyone. Fill up the pool with warm water and add some apples. Adding a fun festive activity for fall.
10. Corn pool -fall activity
During the fall season if you have ever visited a pumpkin patch and seen those huge corn kernels towers.
How fun to get a smaller version for sensory play. Add toys or roll around in it.
Public sandboxes are not the best. Plus backyard plastic sandboxes can be costly. Instead, get a cheap blow-up kiddie pool and create your own. Fill it with this sand and boom instant sandbox.
12. Ball bit
This one is an obvious one. But ball pits are so fun for any age. Create your own indoor or outdoor ball pit. For hours of fun. Bringing it indoors means a permanent place for the kids to roll around in.
13. Foam blocks
15. Water ballon tub
My kids love these instant water balloons but I always use to struggle on where to place them.
Not anymore. I fill up my inflatable pool and load them in. The kids can grab from the pool or jump in and play.
16. Rubber ducky fishing
Fill up the kiddie pool halfway with water. Grab these character fun rubber duckies and a net. Let the kids fish and collect their favorite ducks.
17. Swim with the ducks
Using the same method above. Load up the pool with ducks and water and let them swim around with fun rubber duck friends.
(Be sure to get these kinds of rubber ducks to avoid mildew and mold). The water ducks with holes can get yucky and grow mold inside. They aren’t easy to clean and not good for kids.
18. Glow stick party
After a hot summer day dip in a glow stick water-filled pool. Lots of fun with colors and lights.
19. Create a lounge
Grab the comfiest blankets and pillows and create an outdoor chair. This idea is from DIY joy.
20. Create a reading nook
How about a comfortable nook to read a book. Add whatever pillows you want to sit back and relax. This is great for indoor or outdoor.
21. Create a foam pit
22. Water Easter Egg catch with net
Did you know that Easter Eggs can float? Fill a pool with Easter Eggs and goodies inside. Then give the kids a net to catch their own Easter Eggs.
Related: Non-Candy Easter Egg ideas
23. Messy Play foam bubbles pool
Fill up the empty pool with foam and add food coloring for a colorful twist. Let the kids play with the foam. Best as an outdoor idea. This one can get messy.
24. Mega bubbles with a hula hoop
Fill up the pool with bubble solution. Might work best with a smaller inflatable pool. Then grab a huge bubble wand from Amazon. Have fun making enormous bubbles.
25. Slime pool
Another messy play option but loads of fun. Make a slime pool with this slime. This easy to setup slime mess with powder and water. It will have the kids laughing while they roll around in a gooey mess.
Warning: This activity can be slippery and you may also want to consider old clothing that you don’t care for.
26. Fall leaves jumping pit
It’s a right of passage as a kid to jump in a pile of leaves during the fall. But for every parent who has been there knows the hard work of raking the leaves. Adding the pool can help keep them together.
27. Ultimate foam canvas
What kid doesn’t like to get a little messy?! Add some foam and toys to let your kids create their own craft masterpiece. Once done just rinse out the pool.
28. Flashing lights water toys
This one requires water. There are some pretty neat flashing lights water toys on Amazon. For the younger ones you can get squish ones and let them experience a new sensory.
For the older ones let them swim later in the evening. When it is dark add flashing colored toys to the water for a swim at dusk. Nighttime flashing lights party fun.
29. Bring the snow indoors
Too cold for the little ones to play outside but need a boredom buster. Bring the snow indoors inside an inflatable pool. Let the kids play.
Plus us moms all know it’s takes like 45 mins to get them in their snowsuits only to last like 30 mins outside. Lol.
30. Water bead-filled pool
Waterbeds are cool for many reasons. A science experiment, sensory play, and entertainment for hours.
Fill up a small inflatable pool with the beads. Let the kids pour water into the pool. Watch the magic happen as the beads absorb the water.
Have a conversation about why this is happening and the science behind the beads.
Once the beads are ready let them dig in.
I would recommend staying away from cheap versions of water beads. Because the color tends to transfer onto little hands.
These waterbeds work well. Also, a little bit goes a long way because the beads absorb like 4 times their weight.
31. Mud Dig
Fill the pool with play mud. Let your kids dig for dino bones or use their construction trucks to create their dig site.
32. Mud kitchen Piemaker station
Make a DIY mud pit for mud pie making and mud play. Let the kids pour water and create whatever their imagination can create.
33. Packing Peanut Nuts
Buy a whole bunch of peanuts like these. Let the kids jump in for a peanut surprise.
34. Take it to the beach
If you have a little one in tow. Taking an inflatable pool makes the perfect sidekick at the beach. You can create a smaller swimming area for them. You can keep them contained while watching older ones. It can be a play/nap area.
Just make sure there is shade. You can find some that actually comes with an inflatable shade which is so helpful on the go. Bringing fun toys along can keep them entertained outside of the water.
You might wanna check out this one too. This popup pool from Zulily is pretty neat low maintenance and no need to inflate.
Some mommy tips: if you choose to go with an inflatable kiddie pool
What are some things that you should know before you decide on an inflatable one?
- Storage for inflatables are so easy because you can deflate them
- You can take your inflatable with you a recreate a play area on the go
- They are very affordable
- So quick and easy to set up and use
- Portable for on the go fun
- They are safer for younger children since they are soft and taking it down reduces the risk of anyone falling in.
- They are much easier to clean. I just spray it out with soap and water. For hard to clean parts a magic eraser works wonders. It can take out stains and more.
- Inflatable pools need to be blown up. The bigger the pool the longer it can take. However, I just use our mattress electric air portable pump. You can get one too like ours here. Saves so much time and makes it less of a hassle.
- You need to be careful not to puncture the pool and where you lay it on the ground. If I know we are placing it on an area that might have rocks or something that could cause a hole. Just had a simple tarp underneath it.
- Can damage easily if you get a hole. Some patches only work so well.
**NOTE: When you store your inflatable pool be sure to dry it out completely. If it has moisture mold will grow and in some cases, the plastic can end up sticking together and melt. Making it unusable.
In conclusion, inflatable pools can make playtime and entertainment fun all year long. Water play is only one of the many uses. Get the most out of your inflatable pool.
I hope you found this list helpful with fun ideas to entertain your little ones. If you have ideas you wanna add to the list mention it in the comments below. The more ideas the better. I would love to hear.
When it comes to choosing the pool my personal preference is an inflatable pool.
How have you used your inflatable pool?