7 ways to use kiddie pools (that don’t include swimming)

Summers always go by too quickly for kids. They’re constantly on the go. Running, swimming, hiking, playing ball and a host of other outdoor activities. Before they know it, school starts up again.

For parents and grandparents taking care of young children… not so much. By the time the new school year finally rolls around, they’re ready for it. Even if the kids are not.

One of the activities that many parents and grandparents engage in when summer comes to an end is disposing of the kiddie pools in which children spend so many summer hours splashing around.

But what if at the end of this summer you did something different with those used pools? Instead of tossing them out, what if you found other usages for them? Some of those usages could expand your preparedness efforts, especially for when the electrical grid stops functioning.

Here are seven of them:

  • An obvious one is water storage. The smaller pools hold anywhere from 30 to 250 gallons of water. After cleaning them thoroughly, fill them with water from your hose, cover them with tarps or plastic sheeting, and then save that water for when you need it. Filter it before consuming or using for bathing.
  • Construct a raised garden bed. Pour soil into a hard pool and then plant your vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs. This is ideal for areas that have no natural (or poor) soil. If your pool has a few holes in it, no problem. Actually, that will help with drainage.
  • Mix foods together. Some people like to mix their bulk ingredients before placing them into storage. An empty kiddie pool is a nice, large space in which to do that. Buy a variety of different beans, then mix them together to your liking. You can do the same with grains, pastas and other food.
  • Save as a survival raft. If your area of the country is prone to flooding, a raft might be just what you need for yourself or a family member when you have standing water in your backyard. A rigid pool could even be strong enough to support a small outboard motor for transportation in a flooded area.
  • Wash laundry. When the grid is down and the washer doesn’t work, it’s time to improvise. Set the kiddie pool on a patio table first, then add water and detergent and start washing what you wear. If you don’t mind doing laundry on your knees, you can place the pool on your lawn.
  • Use for rainwater collection. Assuming there are no laws against collecting rainwater in your town, use a kiddie pool once your barrels are full. When the power is out, you can use this water to flush your toilet, wash your car, water your garden or bathe your pets.
  • Create a small fish pond. It will be difficult to keep meat fresh without refrigeration. Once you’ve caught some fish, why not keep them alive for a while in a makeshift pond? Who knows, you might even be able to breed them and get many more meals out of your first few catches.

Now that you have a variety of different ways to use kiddie pools, you may just want to stock up on a few more of them. Whether made of rigid plastic or inflatable vinyl, they’re generally inexpensive and can be used for so many different things.


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