Now that you have all the tips on keeping your pool clean, you can lounge gracefully in and around your beautiful swimming pool. However sometimes it needs a little injection of fun to make it the place to hang out around your home. To this end we suggest a small investment in some of the many wonderful, and often wacky, pool toys that are available on the market. They cater for the smallest child to the most mischievous adult. Here’s a selection:
Kids toys - Learning
Kids toys encompass many forms. For nippers or those in the early stages of learning to swim, a pool toy should have the dual purpose of a learning aid and entertainment. One of the challenges of instilling water confidence in a child is for them to be submerged. Rainbow hoops are a great aid for this. The hoops float below the surface of the pool and are easy to spot being brightly coloured. Children of all abilities can have endless hours of fun, diving and swimming through the row of hoops which can be arranged to set challenges for themselves. Taking the child’s mind off the lesson of swimming and on to the fun of swimming is a vital part of the make-up of a good pool toy. Magnetic dive gloves are excellent for this. The toy contains several ‘fish’ that are dropped to the bottom of the pool. The child dons magnetic gloves and has to dive down to retrieve all the metallic ‘fish’.
Kids toys – Sport
Once your children have reached total confidence in the pool then it is natural for them to play competitive games. The days of throwing a sodden tennis ball from one end to the other are history now that it is possible to play most ground-based sports, poolside.
Floating soccer goals will allow you to remain partially submerged while your child attempts to hurl a miniature soccer ball past you and into the net behind. While having a ball fired at your head for hours on end may not sound appealing to you, your child will adore it! For something with a little less risk of you attending work with a bruised face, but no less frenetic, how about a floating aqua-hockey table? This waterborne version of the classic air-hockey table sees you try to outscore your opponent on a large inflatable table, complete with hand mallets.
For a poolside sport you can’t go past the timeless basketball hoop. Choose from a small-framed, low model for easy scoring, or a larger, extendable pole that makes it feel more like a court. If you want to guarantee a victory against shorter opponents just locate the ring at the deep end!
If your idea of a fun time in the pool consists of shooting one another with water-guns then you have plenty of choices. The water-gun has evolved from the cheap plastic toy that we used to buy at the newsagents into mammoth and elaborate super-soakers capable of holding half a litre of water (and spare magazines to boot) and capable of firing an incredible 8 metres!
Kids toys – Traditional
Now, no list of pool toys would be complete without mentioning the ubiquitous pool noodle, or ‘poodle’ as some have affectionately named it. Since it was apparently patented over three decades ago, this humble foam tube has become a staple of backyard pools the world over. They have a vast range of uses, from simple floatation aids to pool chairs for both kids and adults. Kids can sit on them and race from one end of the pool to the other, staging their own aquatic Melbourne Cup Day in the process. They can be trimmed into smaller sections and attached to the sides of a plastic tub which, when filled with ice, can become a floating Esky! The uses are limited by your imagination.
Kids toys -Inflatables
For those who have children that can spare the lung power (tell them the electric pump is broken) you can spoil them with a range of inflatable pool toys. For larger pools, and looser purse strings, there is The Eruptor, from Wahu toys. This mock pool volcano contains an opening hidden within. Attach a hose line and the top of the volcano sprays a refreshing blanket of water over its surrounds. The interior also disguises a cubbyhole for the kids to relax and grab some shade from that searing Aussie sun.
Other inflatables in the large category include toys such as the Seesaw and the paddle wheel, a child-sized inflatable wheel that can be ‘walked’ across the surface of the pool. If floating leisurely across the pool is more your thing then the kids can choose their favourite animal from a selection of themed animal swim rings. Take your pick from animals such as manta rays, giraffes, sharks or crocodiles. Maybe your children can solve that age-old mystery of who would win a fight between an inflatable shark and a crocodile!
Adults don’t get left in the shade these days when it comes to pool toys for people that never grew up. For the card-sharks amongst you there is the waterproof Texas Hold ‘em poker set. If you are tired of sitting in a gloomy room with your friends watching your chips slip away, take it outside! The poker set comes complete with waterproof cards, chips and four loungers set around a table.
For peace and tranquillity try a fashion lounge. From a basic model offering single air chamber support all the way through to a top of the line model offering twin air chambers, dual cup holders, snack tray and recliner headrest. If you can think of a better way to laze away a day on the pool we’d like to see it. And if you run out of room on your floating palace you could always have someone launch you the floating beverage tray. This sturdy container can hold several drinks on a bed of ice and will mean you never have to leave the comfort of the pool for refills.
For the sporting types who feel basketball requires far too much energy, there is the floating golf green. This most challenging hole in the ultimate water course will have you practicing your short game for hours. When you tire of chipping off the side of the pool (or have dispersed your bucket of balls on the pool bottom) then cool off by diving in to retrieve your overshot balls.
So whatever your age, size or sporting ability, there is a pool toy to suit your needs. Grab some today and be prepared for those long summer days around the coolest spot at your place!