After years of summer aquatic fun in 6 inches of baby pool magic with toddlers, my conscience took over and had issues with the unsustainable reality of the kiddie pool: Most inflatables get holes in them and whether they’re air-filled or hard plastic they’re made of PVC and laden with Bisphenol A, a toxic cocktail for earthlings just starting out on the planet.
We recently found a kiddie pool under our guesthouse deck, left behind by our renter, a mass of vinyl, pine needles, and hidden slugs. We cleaned it up with some high powered squirts from the garden hose and some serious scrubbing. I started inflating the thing by mouth in that way that Moms, Dads, and loved ones dedicated to preserving summer bliss can do, only to find that there was a small leak. Summer bliss had hit a road block.
Repairing inflatables is as simple as fixing a bike tire tube or Thermarest for camping. We got out the tube repair kit and made a quick patch and the inflating resumed. But it got me thinking. How many plastic kiddie pools are thrown out in our community each year? Likely hundreds. All that vinyl, headed to the landfill because someone didn’t have a patch kit or couldn’t deal with the gross slug slime-n-pine grime.
When you’re done with your pool, hopefully it’s still in working order for you to pass your pool on to another family that will frolic freely in their BuyNothing-ed frog pool. Or, if you have a hard plastic kid pool, donate it to your nearest animal rescue center for use by aquatic birds, fowl, and domestic animals escaping summer heat.
You might want to hang on to it, however, when you discover some of the upcycle options for that prized pool.
Hard Plastic Kiddie Pools:
1) Turn your pool and a few others into a raised bed garden. Wandering Chopsticks has a simple tutorial for you to follow for adding some green (and veggies) to your backyard.
2) If you have a party coming up and need to keep a lot of food cold while serving, Thrifty Fun’s wading pool cool food server might be just what you’re looking for.
3-6) Here are 4 more great ways to reuse your hard plastic kiddie pool, presented by Hint Mama. Among them are a ball pit, a beach playpen, and a toy bin.
Inflatable Kiddie Pools:
7) Turn your deflated pool into a slippy slide! Just turn it upside down on a little slope and add a trickle of water.
8) Then add a few drops of environmentally-safe liquid soap and watch the fun and bubbles explode!
Our kids are now older and I can proudly say that we never had to take a kiddie pool to the landfill. The reuses were too good and then the pools were passed on to others. Do you have a reuse we haven’t mentioned here?