It's hot out there, gang! Even those of you up north are feeling the summer heat. Which means, if you don't have a pool in your backyard, it's time to get one. No, not a monolithic underground pool that will cost you your entire life savings, but rather a small tub of fun that you can blow up yourself and de-flate once those leaves start to change colors.
Gone are the days of the hard plastic turtle pool (although, hey, that one is cute too). This summer, check out these pools that will keep your kids cool and add some flavor to your backyard as well.
One safety note -- be sure you drain your pool as soon as water time is over, even if you're planning on using it the next day. Standing water around little ones is a drowning danger, plus, mosquitoes. Ouch.
Here are the best blow-up pools for Summer 2011:
Jungle Play Center Kiddie Pool (above)
Two pools in one will help keep battling siblings in their corner, but still cool in this jungle play center kiddie pool ($54.99). Palm trees and a slide remind me that a lot of things have improved since I was a kid.
For those of us with really pale children with an aversion to sun screen, you'll appreciate this extra layer of protection with the sun shade pool ($29.76). It's also small, so your little ones will be in their tiny element.
Because 3-D needs to be EVERYWHERE, you can get up close and personal with a shark in this 3-D Shark Lagoon Pool ($10). This might just be your best summer entertainment buy.
I don't even know exactly what this rainbow ring pool play center ($38.24) does, but it looks like wholesome family fun. Yes?
Debatable in this category since it's billed as a "water slide" rather than a pool. But that pool is way big enough to splash around in as part of the cannonball splash backyard inflatable water slide ($20). And anything named "cannonball" is going on a "best of" list for the summer.
Do you blow up a pool every summer?