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10 Different Types of Backyard Pools for Kids and Adults

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Mother and kids relaxing in swimming pool.

What would summertime be without family barbecues and kiddos running around searching for their next fun adventure? Having a backyard swimming pool is one of the most surefire ways to entertain your children when it warms up. With that being said, there are so many different options when it comes to pools.

Whether you have a tiny or gigantic pool in mind, inexpensive or high-class, there is something for everyone on this complete list of backyard pools for kids and families.

Splish Splash in a Kiddie Pool

Kids playing in kiddie pool.

Perfectly fun for a small child, a kiddie pool will have your toddler splishing and splashing with happiness. Kiddie pools range from the very basic plastic round variety to more elaborate inflatable models with a slide and other fun accessories. A kiddie pool has all the basics for your little one: water and fun.

If you are looking for a swimming pool with the least amount of commitment and dollar bills required to purchase it, you can’t go wrong with a kiddie pool. That is, unless your kids are older than toddler age, of course.

Make a Larger Splash in a Portable Above Ground Pool

Inflatable above ground pool

Essentially a temporary above-ground pool, a portable above ground pool is great for those who don’t want to or can’t place a permanent above-ground or inground pool. Deeper than kiddie pools, these portable pools are large enough for adults and kids alike to enjoy. They have rigid walls that allow the pool to be taken down and put away when it begins to get cold for the wintertime.

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They generally hold only 3,000 gallons of water or less. Even though they are temporary, they still need to be maintained in order for the water to remain sanitary. This means it will need a pump and filtration system to add chlorine and other chemicals. You will also need a large area of level ground in order to place it upon.

Dive Deeper in a Permanent Above-Ground Pool

Above ground pool in the backyard with deck.

If you are able to install a permanent pool for your kids and you are looking to save thousands of dollars, your best option is to secure a permanent above-ground swimming pool. You are even able to build decking around it and still save money, compared to what you would spend on an inground pool.

Above-ground pools are also quick and easy to install, which is a big benefit. In many cases, it only takes one day to get it up and running in your backyard. That sure beats having to wait half of the summer for an inground pool to be designed, built, and filled. 

An above-ground pool also takes up less space than an inground pool when you consider all of the surrounding concrete or decking. However, you are still having fun swimming.

What if you are ready to move houses? Some manufacturers provide instructions for you to disassemble your above-ground pool with relative ease so you can take it with you to wherever you are going next. 

Create a Return on Your Investment with an Inground Pool 

In-ground pool in the backyard.

If it lands within your budget, adding an inground pool in your backyard for your kids is definitely a great thing to do. The aesthetics of an inground pool make the home look more upscale. As a result, adding an inground pool to your home makes the value of your home soar.  

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There are several materials that can be used to manufacture your inground pool. They can be made from a vinyl liner, concrete, or fiberglass. Which one you choose should depend on both your budget and aesthetic appeal.

Having a standard inground pool is often the most desirable choice when it comes to backyard pools for kids. They are beautiful to look at and are a permanent fixture of the home. Children don’t have to worry about having something to do in the summertime, and vacations can happen within the privacy of your own backyard.

Enjoy a Lap Pool if You Love to Swim 

Lap pool with concrete paving.

If your children love to swim for the purpose of exercising, a lap pool may be the perfect option for your family. Usually about 50 feet in length, lap pools are long, narrow, and rectangular. They are usually the same depth throughout, so no worries about anyone entering an unknown area where their feet suddenly cannot touch.

An integral part of a lap pool’s design is its surrounding deck. Wood, concrete, paving or tile are all appropriate materials for framing your lap pool. If you have the space and desire it, you might want to consider adding a hot tub on one side.

Think about whether you would prefer doing your laps in heated water or in cold water so that you can decide whether or not you would like your lap pool to have a heating unit in it or not.

Go to Saltwater to Enjoy a Gentler Swim 

Saltwater pool with stone landscaping.

Most swimming pools use chlorine to keep the water and pool sanitary. However, as the name suggests, saltwater pools use salt. It produces a softer form of chlorine, minus the smell. Compared to chlorine swimming pools, saltwater pools are less damaging to you and your family’s eyes, hair, skin, and swimwear.

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You won’t recognize a saltwater pool by looking at the pool itself, because it isn’t a style or pool design. It is simply a regular swimming pool that has a saltwater chlorinator or generator built into it.

However, you should understand up front that a saltwater pool is much more expensive than a chlorinated pool. Installing an electrolytic chlorine generator for a saltwater pool can cost significantly more than a regular chlorine system for a pool. In addition to this, a saltwater pool has another added expense, which is its generator cell, which will need to be replaced every few years. 

Have an Infinity Edge Pool to Impress

Infinity pool with stunning mountain views.

The sight of infinity-edge pools always invokes ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from house guests. Having water flowing over one edge as if it is cascading down into nowhere is somehow so appealing to the eye. This is the only difference between a regular inground pool and an infinity pool.

You may also notice the ultra-relaxing sound the water makes as it flows downward. Adults will enjoy swimming in this luxurious backyard masterpiece, and children may be intrigued by it. 

Also known as a zero-edge pool, an infinity pool makes it look like the water is disappearing into the horizon. There are no pavers or decking that let you know that an edge is present there. Designed to fool the eye, an infinity pool makes it look as if there is no separation between the water and its surrounding landscape.

Wondering how an infinity pool works? The water that cascades down like a waterfall flows into an unseen lower level and is captured in a lower pool, where it is pumped up and returned to the upper pool.

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Bubble Away in a Spool Pool

Illuminated spool pool

Do you really want a hot tub but want a pool that your older children can also enjoy? A spool pool may be right for you. A merger of a spa and a pool, a spool pool boasts powerful jets that provide a resistance current for you to swim against.

Since they are heated, they act as a hot tub when it’s cold outside. Spools are a great choice when you have only a small backyard space to work with, and a smaller budget than an inground pool requires.

Manufacturers call their spool pools “swim spas.” In most cases, a swim spa is placed above the ground on a large concrete slab. They can even be installed inside of the home, in a basement, or garage if you like. At least twice as large as an average spa, a spool pool measures about 10 to 20 feet long and 6 to 8 feet wide.

Their powerful jets are meant to create a strong resistance current against which you can swim or jog. Perfect for exercising, a swim spa often has a separate sitting section for relaxation and a larger area designed for swimming. The only thing you need to be sure of is that the jets and temperature are not too powerful for smaller children trying to swim in the water. 

Jump into a Plunge Pool 

Plunge pool with ladder.

A plunge pool is essentially a small, deep inground pool that is meant to be jumped into after heavy exercise. Strictly a cold-water swimming pool, a plunge pool is designed to be used after a heated workout or sauna session. Plunge pools can only accommodate a few people at a time, and because they are little, they don’t make a grand impression.

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Though they are too small for swimming laps, a plunge pool still has plenty of room for getting wet, cooling off, and for kids to play with each other.  

Feel Good About a Natural Swimming Pool

Natural swimming pool surrounded by palm trees.

Known in Europe as swimming ponds, natural swimming pools are self-cleaning pools that feature swimming areas and water gardens. Many feature stone borders and waterfalls, others are more modern in their design. Within the pool is an area that has aquatic landscaping that works organically to clean it.

Pumps and skimmers draw the water through the landscaping and across a wall of rocks, gravel, or tiles where it is cleaned by friendly bacteria. As a result, the water becomes crystal clear. Natural pools are ideal for those who don’t wish their kids to swim in chlorinated water or saltwater.

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