10 Ideas for Creative Play in a Splash Pool

A splash pool is a kids’ essential for cooling down on a hot summer day! Here are some ways to stay cool and encourage creative play while splashing away!

  1. Throw in some balls! This is a great way to add in play objects. Young kids can explore learning to throw and sorting colors too.
  2. Add a slide. We once had a splash pool with a slide attached, but it didn’t last too long. We have a lot more success using a play slide we have in the yard & setting it up to land in the splash pool. The kids love sliding down it and also love racing cars down into the water!
  3. Dive rings. Not just for diving in deep pools! Dive rings are fun in splash pools too. Try to catch them on your feet, wrists, see who can gather the most… Pick up a multi-color set and try challenging kids to compete to find the colors you yell out, “Blue! Now, red!”
  4. Include a sprinkler. I love having the kids run through sprinklers on hot summer days. My husband hates wasting water. We compromise by putting a sprinkler in the middle of the pool. It sprays water for them to play with and the pool catches most of it for further splashing!
  5. Make a science lab! Add a few buckets or bowls or items from a toy test tube set and get to work creating your own backyard science lab! What happens when you mix water with rocks? With dirt? With leaves? Mix and play and mix some more!
  6. Toy wash! My kids’ outdoor toys get dirty! Super dirty! This is a great way to have them clean and play at the same time. We like to make a pool car wash with some scrub brushes and rags and they clean all their sandbox cars and leave them to dry off in the sun!
  7. Underwater picnic:  On days when it’s just to hot to do anything, even play – fill up the splash pool, climb in and eat lunch as a picnic in the water! It’s a lot of fun and is a great twist on the everyday backyard picnic. A friend of mine even hosted a Fourth of July party one year where everyone sat in pools & watched fireworks!
  8. Ice cube hunt: Throw a tray of ice cubes into the splash pool and have kids compete to see who can find the most. Add some toys in too and make the hunt more challenging!
  9. Mud fight! This option isn’t for those who don’t like a mess. My kids can’t go long after seeing water before they want to mix dirt in with it. Embrace it. Get messy. This can be a ton of fun – and you can always hose everyone down before they go back inside the house!
  10. Outdoor bathtime! If a mud fight wasn’t the right option for you – how about a cleaner one? Bring out the bubbles and the bath toys for bathtime in the great outdoors!

Do you have others? I’d love to hear them! 

Stay cool & have fun!


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35 thoughts on “10 Ideas for Creative Play in a Splash Pool

  1. Lukeosaurus And Me says:

    This list is great! We don’t have room for a nice big splash pool, which is a shame, but we have a lovely paddling pool and I’m looking forward to trying a few of these ideas with my little one!
    Thanks for linking up to #ToddlerApprovedTuesday Ray xx

    • Claire Louise says:

      It also helps you cool down. Our splash pool eventually gets warm out in the sun so throwing ice cubes in makes everyone happy again! πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading!!! πŸ™‚

  2. Alice says:

    I love your ideas! I am definitely getting the cars out for some slide action next time we fill the pool – I never thought of that. I also love the idea of getting them to wash their toys.
    Here’s my suggestion – we build boats with lego/duplo and see if we can make them float – they always take on water, but it keeps my son really busy.
    x Alice

    • Claire Louise says:

      That is such a great suggestion! My sons ADORE Lego building and it’s one of the few times they don’t fight! I had never thought to build ships to try sailing. Brilliant!!! I am definitely going to do this! Thanks for the suggestion!

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    • Claire Louise says:

      I used to take my daughter’s little baby bathtub outside because I was worried about spilling water everywhere indoors. Lol. Poor thing started only getting baths when the weather was nice enough! πŸ™‚

  4. Hannah Mums' Days says:

    Love it! I say add mum and dad to the mix too πŸ™‚ Some wonderful ideas that should keep little ones busy while we sip on some fizz in the sunshine! Thanks for linking up to #TheList xx

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