Short of a real trip to a tropical island, a kiddie pool is an easy way to give the kids a place to play and keep cool on hot days. The new Play & Shade Pool by Step 2 ($60) has a lot of bells and whistles and I'??m whistling right along. Our blow-up pool just popped, so we were in the market for something new. This one is perfect for the preschool-sized kiddies. It's just big enough to be fun, kind of like a water table, but they can get in it and keep cool while you look for deals on-line for that real vacation getaway! (Except don't really do that while they're in the water!)
The Play & Shade Pool had me with the umbrella. Our yard doesn't have a lot of shade, so the umbrella is a fabulous feature. Since the pool isn't too deep, the water warms up quickly and is easy to dump out when the water gets dirty. Two molded seats make the pool comfy for two to sit and play. The pool comes with three funnel cups and a spinning water wheel that attach to the umbrella. I also like the cute sea animals shapes at the bottom of the pool that provide traction, so the kids don'??t slip.
I'??m no fan of the molded plastic outdoor toys, but if you happen to own a few Step 2 products (and I do), it'??s nice to see that the blue and green colors all look really great together. (If you're looking for a kiddie-sized picnic table, the Play Up Jr. Picnic Table and the Play Up Jr. Slide match perfectly with this pool.) The pool would also make a great sandbox, but since it doesn'??t have a cover I would be careful about stray cats. Maybe make your own cover or store it in the garage between play times.
Momtrends was not paid for this post, but we did receive a sample. And we like it very much.