These days, many adults are finding themselves baffled by the complexity of kid’s toys. Touch screens, motion capture, voice recognition, and more are setting modern toys apart from the familiar playthings of the past. However, there is one place where the toys of old continue to dominate: The pool. Whether you’re at your community pool or on vacation visiting Canada’s best indoor water park, your kids will spend hours splashing around when they have these time-tested toys.
1. Pool Noodles
While it may seem overly plain, the pool noodle’s genius lies in its simplicity. The noodle is infinitely versatile: It can be a seahorse to ride on, a water cannon to shoot or even a trumpet to entertain with. Kids of all ages see these toys as much more than the cheap tubes of foam that they are.
While many toy makers have tried to improve upon the noodle’s simple design with lights or complicated connecting parts, most kids are happy enough to swim around with the regular, unadorned version.
2. Floating Rafts
Adults and kids alike love these pool necessities. While you might see the raft as an opportunity to experience the pool while only getting minimally wet, kids use them to splash around with one another all day long. With just a little imagination, a raft becomes a marooned sailor’s only salvation or a floating kingdom to be protected. Plus, when playtime is over, you can work on your tan while sipping a drink.
Rafts come in all shapes and sizes. Some additions to the simple design, like cup holders or arm supports, do add value to rafts, but others simply overly complicate an already enjoyable pool accessory — you don’t really need speakers or a pool-within-a-pool.
3. Squirt Guns
So much of playing in the pool is comprised of getting everyone as wet as possible. Splashing and dunking are crucial activities for swimming kids, but squirting each other can be one of the most fun of all. While the new models of squirt gun certainly do pack a punch with their pump action and seemingly unlimited water storage, the old fashioned trigger models are just as entertaining. Whether there’s an organized game or chaotic squirting pell-mell, squirt guns never get old.
4. Pool Rings
In some respects, children and dogs aren’t that dissimilar — especially when it comes to games of fetch. Pool rings’ only purpose is to be tossed and retrieved, but this activity can keep kids occupied for hours. While many adults may scratch their heads at this simple pleasure, you may not realize that diving for pool rings does help in a child’s development. Continuous underwater activity will increase their lung capacity and strengthen their muscles. While pool rings have been around for centuries, their usefulness (as well as easy fun) is quite obvious.
5. Goggles and Snorkels
This toy isn’t just for exploring ocean reefs. While many associate the humble snorkel with tropical destinations and colorful fish, plenty of families love using their snorkels at home in their backyard or community pools. For those who struggle to open their eyes underwater, goggles offer the unique opportunity to see exactly what’s going on underneath the chlorinated (or salinized) waves, and anyone can get a kick out of being able to breathe underwater. Coupled with some of the above toys, like noodles or rings, goggles and snorkels can make for an exciting pool playtime.