Best Pool Toys for Kids
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Turns out we spend a lot of time here in Florida in the water. I’m always on the lookout for the best toys to keep the kids playing and not hanging onto me. With swim time built into almost every day since April, I’ve honed in on the best pool toys for kids.
Our three littles, ages 7, 5 and 2 all the love the water. The seven year old is a strong swimmer (read about his Dutch swim lessons) while the five and two year old still swim with floats for assistance (particularly when I have all three on my own) but are quite confident in the water.
When I looked for the perfect pool toys I tried to find things that didn’t promote splashing or soaking someone else in the pool. These sorts of games are great when everyone is in on them, but with my boys it often ends up with everyone ganging up on one of the boys, so I looked for toys that encouraged cooperative play.
We really love the Puddle Jumper floats for the Middle and Little Littles. They have both had some swim lessons, but need a lot of supervision. These floats do not replace an adult in the water, but they do allow me to have two not-strong swimmers in the water with me at the same time. They also travel well – Bonus!
The Little Otter Webbed Swim Gloves are pool time gold. They are fun to wear and lead to so much pretend, plus they make swimming a little bit easier. They help the boys focus on their hands and the role they play in keeping you afloat and moving you forward. My creature obsessed kids love pretending they are the animals on their gloves. Plus, they are a dream to pack, so they can go anywhere with us.
My Big-Little is now seven and a competent swimmer. He loves to dive for things at the bottom of the pool but can grow tired of the same games over and over. This variety pack of diving toys was the perfect solution. There are a variety of objects to dive with including the Torpedo divers, which are always a favorite. The gems are pretty unique and always end up being one of their favorite things to dive for since they are small and sit at the bottom of the pool. The collection comes with a carrying bag, which helps with storage.
Another fun option is the Swimways Mr. Ray’s Dive & Catch Game. My littles love Finding Nemo & Dory so this is a big hit. Each character sinks to a different depth which ads some fun to the game.
We did take the time to write our last name on each piece since we are sure to leave a few of these behind.
These swim-through hoops fill with water so that they sink down, but a small float at the top keeps them sitting at the surface of the water. The Big Little and his friends love setting up obstacles with these hoops. They space them apart and see if they can get through them both without coming up, or they can jump in and find one to swim through. They are a bit large for transport to and from the pool.
Green Toys makes a variety of bath toys that are prefect for my Middle Little and Little Little to enjoy at the pool. Not only are Green Toys sustainable, they are perfect for pool play. We have the submarine and float plane and are thinking of adding a boat to the mix, because they have been such a hit with all three kids at the pool.
These clip back goggles were a tip from a friend whose swim instructor recommended them. The clip back makes them easy and painless to get on a toddler’s head. My Middle Little, who wouldn’t put on normal goggles, happily wears these without complaint. Wearing goggles also made a huge difference in his water confidence and willingness to put his face in the water.
The Gobble Guppies are a big hit with my Middle and Little. These little fish stay on the water surface. The shark is simple to operate so even the Little Little can easily operate it.
Water Watch Dog Tags
Finally, any time you have the kids near the water make sure at least one adult is designated as a Water Watchdog. This means that this person is actually keeping an eye on everyone in the water. We love the FREE Water watchdog tags from Abbey’s Hope and SafeKids to help remind parents who is on duty. The tag is a simple way to remember who has been assigned the official task of keeping track of the kids in the water, particularly when we are hanging out with a larger group of adults.
Luv Bug Towels
When the littles hop out of the pool I wrap them in the Luv Bug Towels. They provide SPF coverage and are heat and moisture wicking. I love how small they are, so they easily travel in my pool bag. Plus, The Littles love the hoods and fun patterns. The kids towels do run a bit on the short side. If you want something larger, consider one of the full size options.
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