When the sun comes out and we have a chance to go out into our back garden and have some fun (which mainly consists of a football these days) and I hear the children laughing, I always think back to the days when the kids would sit in their Thomas the Tank paddling pool, splashing in the water and throwing the soft play balls around.
We bought the Thomas the Tank paddling pool from the Early Learning Centre about 12 years ago now, but it still comes out in the Summer as a way to keep my 8 year old daughter cool and a little protected from the sun, when she needs a break from football.
The great thing about this paddling pool is that as it has a half covered top to it, my fair skinned daughter is shaded from the sun without realising it. Unfortunately, my 13 year old son is way too big and long legged to sit in it now, although he has tried, much to the annoyance of my daughter!
He enjoyed so many years of fun in it though and that has more than made up for the cost of it – which was about £40 when we got it. And it seems the price for these pools or ball pits as they are often referred to has pretty much stayed the same.
It took us ages (and a lot of huffing and puffing) to blow up all the separate sections, so we decided to buy a 220-240v electric pump – it was one of our best investments ever. Next time, the paddling pool was up and ready within 10 mins – not the usual 45 mins it took us!
So if you are thinking of getting a large paddling pool like the Bouncy Castle and small paddling pool with soft play balls, I would highly recommend the electric pump!
The pleasure and fun my two kids and their friends have had over the years in these paddling pools are so worth it, as the photos, videos and memories we have are priceless.
I would suggest that you keep to the guidelines of how much water you place in these pools and always be close by, especially with toddlers as they slip and slide quite easily in them without seeing or knowing the potential dangers.
Of course you don’t even have to fill it with water, you can just use it as a ball pit – which is just as much fun and you don’t spend ages filling it with water either.
Unfortunately, Early Learning Centre no longer provide the Thomas the Tank pool, but they do have many others to choose from, such as the crab baby shade pool or a red racer car pool.
For something a little bit different and for the more adventurous of youngster, why not try another favourite of my two children, the Race’n’Slide mat.
What my son loved doing the most was watching his Daddy slide and run over it, with the water splashing over him, we have some fab video footage of my 18 month son laughing so much that he falls on his bottom, still laughing!
As time went on and he got more daring, he would also run along and slide on the mat, hollering with squeals of delight as the cold water splashed over him.
So take a look at some of the amazing outdoor toys and games at Early Learning Centre and invest in some fun time with your youngsters this Summer.
Jump in or on with them, it’s a great excuse to be a big kid, keep cool and more than anything make some memories your children and you can reminisce about when they’re older, just like we do with our 13 year old now.