5 Ways to Use a Kiddie Pool

Updated June 2, 2016
kiddie pool garden
You don't have to be a kid to use a kiddie pool. Use one to start a garden! (Photo courtesy of Kate Pabst)

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We all see them, stacked up near the entrance of major box stores and dollar stores alike — the cheap, blue, plastic swimming pools. Designed for kids to have endless hours of water fun during the summer, right?

Well, what if you don’t have kids? Or what if your kids (like most kids) get bored with it after 20 minutes? Not to worry. We’ve come up with some alternative uses for the kiddie pool — maybe one will suit you!

1. King of all coolers

When hosting an outdoor party, keeping folks hydrated is important. But constantly running to the fridge for cold drinks or rummaging through half a dozen coolers lined up in the backyard looking for a soda isn’t ideal. That’s where the kiddie pool comes in to play.

Fill the pool with a couple bags of ice and your favorite drinks. Guests can easily see and access what’s available, and you’re able to keep an eye on the drink inventory and level of ice. You might want to have one pool filled with kid-friendly drinks and one with adult beverages — just be sure the teenagers know from which pool they’re expected to pluck.

2. Doggy potty

Have a smaller pet that needs to pee but don’t really have a yard? Create your own! Fill the bottom of the pool with quality topsoil and then cover the dirt with sod. Train Fido to hop up on the grass when it’s time to go. Include a fake fire hydrant or small palm tree to give it that extra touch.

A pool potty is perfect for apartment or condo dwellers who might only have a concrete patio or balcony to use as outdoor space for their pet. Don’t forget to water the sod, and use scissors to keep it trimmed. Replace the grass as needed year-round.

3. Garden starter

If you don’t have a pet, but the idea of filling a pool with dirt intrigues you, consider using one as your garden. Again, it’s a great option for those with limited yard space, or those of us who don’t want to bother with tilling the earth or building a raised bed.

Focus on planting herbs or vegetables that have a shallow root system, such as varieties of lettuce. The pool offers a particularly good way to keep certain flora (like mint!) from spreading too much and taking over your landscape.

4. Toddler entertainment

Kids are a fickle bunch. Inevitably, the novelty of swimming in a perfectly sized pool will wear off, but don’t store it away just yet. Try filling the pool with other stuff and let the kids use their imaginations to take it from there.

Sand is always a crowd pleaser, especially when you include buckets, shovels, trucks and diggers to move it around. Bury a “treasure” in the sand for the kids to discover. Or, fill the pool with soapy water and use hula-hoops to make it a giant bubble maker.

If the kids are old enough, give them each a can of inexpensive shaving cream and let them sit in the pool and spray it wherever they see fit (just hose ‘em off afterward).

5. Critter containment

If your pets are along the lines of turtles, gerbils, hamsters or mice, consider turning a kiddie pool into an outdoor adventure for them – minus the possibility of escape. Creating a contained environment for your pocket pet gives them an opportunity to stretch their legs and get some fresh air.

Include different materials such as rocks, dirt, straw, grass, and water, and cover the pool with a wire mesh if you’re concerned your pet might hop out. Move the pool from the sun to the shade as needed, and be sure to bring them back inside when you go inside. You don’t want something to swoop in and make a meal of your beloved.

What other ideas do you have on ways to use a kiddie pool? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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