Kiddie pools are a staple of summer fun for kids. And with the pool, you won’t need to get the car packed up for the beach to enjoy a nice refreshing dip.
Like any outdoor activity, it’s important to make sure your little ones are protected from the sun while they enjoy the water. Just one blistering sunburn during childhood can double a person’s risk of developing skin cancer later in life.
Fortunately, there are many different options for kiddie pool shade that are sure to fit your needs. They can range from store bought shades, natural shades, or even creative DIY shades. These options will not only provide that important protection, but can also add a fun and colorful element.
In this post we’ll look at various types of kiddie pool shade that will hopefully inspire you with a way to keep your kids protected this summer. And don’t worry, there are ways to keep the kiddie pool warm even if it’s sitting in the shade!
Let’s hop in!
Natural Kiddie Pool Shades
Shade is often naturally found throughout the yard. Here are a few examples to shade the kiddie pool, which may also double as decorative features:
1 – Trees
Trees are often the best source of shade in the yard.
A broad oak or maple tree can provide plenty of cover for the kiddie pool and then some. You’ll just want to choose a tree that has thick coverage to ensure maximum protection against the sun.
When placing a kiddie pool under a tree, you’ll want to consider covering the pool when not in use to avoid leaves and other debris from falling in.
2 – Shrubs
If you have shrubs, such as boxwoods or hedges, they may be able to provide shade for the kiddie pool.
The shrubs will cast a shadow at various points throughout the day based on the position of the sun. You may need to place the kiddie pool fairly close to the shrubs depending on their height and how far their shadow extends.
Aside from shade, shrubs can also provide a natural fence to give the kiddie pool privacy.
3 – Vines
If you have a trellis or pergola in your yard, consider growing ivy or vines on them. As they grow and spread out, they can provide a source of shade for the kiddie pool.
Unfortunately, if your vines are not already established, it could take the better part of a year before they’ve grown enough to provide shade.
4 – Sunflowers
Sunflowers are a fun and colorful addition to the yard. They may not provide as much shade as other options, but if you already have enough of them growing, you may as well take advantage of them for your kiddie pool.
The biggest downfall with sunflowers is that they may only provide shade during the later summer months. They’re typically in full bloom in July or August, and will start to droop after 20 days or so.
Nearby Structures for Kiddie Pool Shade
Existing structures in the yard can be a great source of shade for the kiddie pool. Sheds, pavilions, playsets, and even the house can all provide shade.
When determining the ideal location for the kiddie pool, monitor the shadows being cast by the various structures on your property. Look for where the shade is in the afternoon hours as these may be decent locations to land the kiddie pool.
Buying Kiddie Pool Shades
Some yards may just not have a layout that promotes shading for the kiddie pool. Fortunately, there are plenty of shades available in stores to keep the kids protected at the kiddie pool.
1 – Umbrella Shade
An umbrella shade is a classic option that can be used pretty much anywhere, including at the kiddie pool. It can be set up quickly and is sure to provide plenty of shade for the kids.
They come in many different sizes that can suit a kiddie pool of nearly any size. Look for umbrellas that can tilt in order to maintain shade as the sun changes positions throughout the day.
The umbrella shades come in a variety of fun designs that will add a pop of personality to your backyard setup.
You’ll just need to ensure you have a strong base to mount the umbrella shade so that it doesn’t tip over.
2 – Awning
An awning is a great option to not only provide shade for your kiddie pool, but to also liven up your backyard.
Awnings come in many different styles that can match nearly any patio layout. They can be mounted to the house, pergola, or can be freestanding with its own support frame.
They are often able to retract for easy storage and to avoid damage from heavy winds.
3 – Shade Sail
Shade sails have risen in popularity over recent years. They’re often triangular shaped fabric that is held in the air through use of cables attached to posts or other structures.
Depending on the size, these sails can add a lot of shade while also adding a unique twist to your backyard. They’re a perfect spot to place the kiddie pool under, and have the ability to also provide shade for parents keeping an eye on the kids.
4 – Pop-up Tent Shade
A pop-up tent can provide convenient portable shade to accommodate wherever you place the kiddie pool. Similar to an umbrella shade, the tent can be set up and taken down quickly.
DIY Kiddie Pool Shade
If you’d rather not purchase a shade, you can always make a DIY shade for the kiddie pool. Making your own shade allows you to customize it to fit your exact needs in the backyard while keeping costs cheap.
One simple method for a DIY shade is by using PVC pipes and fittings to create a frame. 1” PVC is generally sturdy enough to withstand moderate usage.
Measure out the pipes to allow you to form a box or cube configuration with enough height to fit the kiddie pool underneath. You can then attach a sheet to the top of the frame to provide shade.
Disassembly is easy, and will allow you to take it down for storage when not in use.
Other Ways to Protecting Kids from the Sun
While you can do your best to keep the kids shaded from the sun, there are other measures you can take. Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to sunburns on their delicate skin.
Regardless of how much time the kids will spend in the shade, sunscreen is the best way to avoid those nasty sunburns. Choose a sunscreen of at least 30 SPF that is designed to withstand water, especially as the kids will be splashing in the kiddie pool.
You should also consider dressing them in protective clothing, including hats and sunglasses. Rashguard shirts are designed for swimming while still protecting skin from UV rays.
Also, consider avoiding direct sunlight during peak hours, as this is when the sun’s intensity will be greatest. If you’re relying on adjacent structures to provide shade, their shadows may be almost non-existent when the sun is high at noon.
Even with all of these precautions, heat exhaustion is also a danger for children on sweltering summer days. A cool kiddie pool can help keep them refreshed, but maintain a close eye on them for any symptoms of heat exhaustion.
While kiddie pools are great summer fun, keeping the kids protected from dangerous UV rays is essential. A blistering sunburn will not only cause short term pain, but can also have long-term effects later in life.
There are many options for shade that should be able to accommodate any kiddie pool. Some yards have natural shading or even shadows from adjacent structures that can keep the pool protected.
Otherwise, you can purchase shades, such as umbrellas, shade sails or even pop-up tents. If you’re feeling crafty, you can make your own DIY shade for the kiddie pool using simple PVC pipes and fittings!
Even after you have the shade in place, remember to take other important precautions to protect the kids from the sun. Sunscreen and protective clothing are essential, and will allow the family to have endless summer fun at the kiddie pool!
Happy (Safe) Swimming!
Husband and father of three (actually, four if you include the pool). I’m an avid DIY-er and weekend warrior that enjoys taking up new projects around the house to help us maximize leisure right at home. I enjoy researching and sharing various tips, tricks and knowledge to help others make their home an oasis.