“ Brand: ELC / Type: Water Toys „
As Baby Frank was born in April, she received lots of outdoor toys and activities for her first birthday this year. This activity was one such present, and it would be true to say that it has been in almost constant use since her birthday, come rain or shine! It was bought for £16 from Early Learning Centre which I think is really good value for all the use we've had from it in the last 5 months.
Baby Frank's pool has a pink base, yellow pillars and a green canopy. It came in an amazingly small box for the size it is when inflated. I tried to fit it back in the box without success and so have now thrown the box away which is a bit of a shame as I would have liked to have kept it in it's original packaging in the winter (if it lasts that long...). Also in the box was a puncture repair kit, the fact that we haven't had to use yet is testimony to the robustness of the pool, as it certainly hasn't been treated gently. If you are thinking of buying this pool for use as a ball pool as well as a paddling pool, then you will be interested to know that Baby Frank was given a bag of 100 ELC play balls with this pool which is just the right quantity to fill it sufficiently.
The activity pool is brilliant. Once inflated it has a built in canopy to provide shade from the sun, or alternatively shelter from the rain! This feature is unique as far as I have seen and extremely useful as I'm always worrying about too much sun, but love spending time in the garden with Baby Frank. The shade is supported by three inflated pillars on which three inflated C-shaped rings can be placed. These rings are great fun to play with in the water and to put on your head or arms or neck if you are one year old!
The pool can be used as either a ball pool (if you purchase the balls separately) or a paddling pool, or even a den. Once it's inflated, I would not recommend deflating it as it does take a lot of puff to blow it up fully. It is separated into different chambers which does make the task of inflating it slightly less daunting, and I suppose may mean you could carry on using it even if part of it had a puncture.
I would highly recommend this pool to anyone with a baby or toddler.
My daughter was bought this paddling pool last year during the summer when she was about 18 months old. When I saw it, I cursed the kind relative who purchased it for her! However, I am pleased to say that I was wrong.
This is a superb, inflatable paddling pool. I don't have a pump and therefore have to blow it up to inflate it. I thought that it was going to be hard work, however, it only takes about 5 minutes to inflate.
Once inflated this is a sturdy little paddling pool. It has been used and abused by a boisterous two year old leaping in and out of it and it is still going strong.
It has a handy 'palm tree' type shade on top, and a couple of inflatable rings which go around the frame. It appears to be a very comfortable paddling pool, as my daughter spends huge amount time lying in it, using the sides as a pillow.
In my opinion this is the perfect size paddling pool for little ones and I imagine that my daughter will still get use out of it next summer. She is very proud of it, especially as she is the only one to go in it. It literally takes two bucket loads of water to fill, meaning, it is easy to control the temperature of the water, and keep it fairly warm.
It also doubles up as a good ball pit (100 pack of balls are plenty enough to fill).
All in all, this pool has given my daughter hours of fun!
I bought this pool for my eldest son when he was a baby. I received a voucher which meant I would be buying the pool for a bargain £5! Even though it cost me more in transport to get the pool I definately felt it was worth it as I could also go and have a bit of retail therapy at the same time!
I wasn't really expecting too much from this pool as it only showed a teeny tiny picture of it on the coupon but when I got to the ELC I was very pleasantly surprised.
They had the pool set up in store filled with lots of coloured plastic balls and it looked great. It looks as it does in the picture, only better!
It has a fabulous ocean coloured base that it more or less flower shaped, that part is transparent. It isn't a deep pool, just the perfect depth for little ones. It has 4 yellow arms which hold a big inflatable palm leaf. This provides perfect shade for your little ones on a nice summers day.
It also came with three inflatable rings that were slightly C shaped and these would hook onto the yellow arms and acted like mini frisbees!
The pool is suitable from 9 months - 2 years which gives a rough estimate to the size really. It has ample room for 2 toddlers but I don't think my average sized 9 year old would get into it now!
I would recommend getting a pump to blow the pool up as I do remember it taking quite a lot of puff to get it nice and firm!
I bought this 9 years ago and used it for 2 summers before I moved house and unfortunatly lost it in the move, however it is still available to buy in ELC for £16.
I suppose that just goes to show the popularity of this pool.
It's fun and funky looking and has nice big sides, ensuring your little one is comfortable.
I'm a great believer in bargains, so we bought this pool last year when we spotted it on sale for half price. Even though our little man was literally only a couple of weeks old, I couldn't resist paying the miniscule £8 that Mothercare (on behalf of ELC) were asking for it. The pool stayed in it's box for the next six months, until Little Man was confident enough a sitter to be able to reach for toys without toppling. But it now has pride of place in the living room, filled with playballs. I know that it's not being put to an exactly conventional use, but it has had extensive use over the last few months and I'm sure that it will manage to find it's way out to the garden should we ever see anything of that ball of gas we call the sun.
==Several Lungs Full Of Air==
Billed as being suitable for babies and toddlers over nine months of age, the Baby Activity Pool (hereafter known as the pool) is a fairly large first paddling pool. Before being inflated it comes packed in a fairly small box and is actually surprisingly heavy. I personally was reassured by this weight as it gave the impression that the pool was made from higher grade material than most other paddling pools in the same price range. On removing the pool from the box, I was faced with the pool itself, three rings and a patch for repairing any punctures. The pool obviously needed to be inflated, and there are in fact three sections that need blowing up. Although this obviously should have been easier using a foot pump (or electric pump) we didn't have one available and so it was completely inflated by the power of our own lungs.
If you were to use a foot pump to inflate this then there is a very specific order that you will need to follow and with there being no instruction leaflet, this may not be particularly obvious. Instinct would tell us that the actual pool section should be inflated first, but if you do this then you will struggle to inflate the uprights and shade sections as these are just too far from the floor for a standard foot pump to reach. How do I know this if I inflated the pool by lung power? Well as with any inflatable toy, a small amount of air leaks over time, meaning that the pool will need topping up occasionally and we've since bought a foot pump to discover that very problem. I won't be removing a star for this, but it would have been nice to have been warned.
Actually inflating the pool isn't that hard, even using lung power alone it only took about half hour, but we did have a bit of a struggle pushing the valves in so they were flush. This was particularly a problem with the shade section, which we never actually succeeded with meaning that the valve does still stick out and look a little unsightly. The three hoops are also quite problematic, with these the valve is not one-way meaning that as soon as I try to close the valve the air escapes, so it takes a lot of effort to inflate them. As with the shade it's also difficult to push the valves flush, as in almost impossible.
Although the pool is also available in pink, with Little Man being a boy we obviously picked the blue version with yellow supports and green leaf shaped shade. Once inflated the pool is surprisingly large and deep, measuring approximately four feet across, it does dominate any room that it's kept it. The sides of the pool are made of thick, durable, transparent blue plastic in the shape of a flower, with the base being opaque. As I've already pointed out the sides of the pool are fairly deep, in fact at approximately 20cm, if I were to fill the pool to capacity with water I really wouldn't be happy with putting a nine month old in it. The sides are also rather too deep for a nine month old to climb in and out of the pool, which makes it brilliant for keeping the little one safe for a couple of minutes.
While the sunshade idea is a good one, I'm not convinced that it really provides much protection from UV rays. As it covers only half the pool, there's still plenty of scope for baby to get burned. So let's put it this way, when this pool does go out in the summer, Little Man will still be wearing a tee shirt, hat and sun cream. I'm not exactly sure of the point of the three rings, as they aren't closed they are easy to place over the supports, but with there being four supports and only three rings? As with all inflatable toys the pool does deflate a little over time, but we do only need to top the air up once a week, which is pretty good really.
Although we obviously haven't filled the pool with water yet, it will take quite a lot to fill it. To half fill the pool you are looking at approximately 100 litres of water, or ten trips with a standard bucket. When it comes to emptying the pool there is a rubber bung that can be removed from the base to allow the water to run out. What I do like about this bung is that it is attached to the pool, meaning it is less likely to be lost. When used as a ball pit, one bag of ELC play balls will just about cover the base, but two or even three bags are really needed to create a really good ball pit.
As a whole the pool has proved to be very durable, it probably gets far more use as a ball pit than it ever would as a paddling pool as we don't need to wait for a nice day. The seams have withstood being chewed (by Little Man) and stood on (by visiting children) without any sign of damage. Obviously we will be ensuring that we don't place the pool on any sharp stones but I'm perfectly confident that it is durable enough to withstand outdoor play once the sun does finally come out.
==Swimming in Balls==
As I've pointed out several times, we do not use this pool filled with water, but rather filled with play balls. Although the Little Man is nearly one, he is slightly delayed in his gross motor and has an unusual method of getting around (sort of a mix between rolling and crawling). Little Man is, however, quite tall for his age, being on the 75th centile and having been wearing 12-18 month clothes since the age of ten months. Bear with me, this is all relevant as you'll see in a bit.
When we first introduced Little Man to this pool he had just mastered the art of sitting unaided and would topple over every now and again. By allowing him to sit in this pool surrounded by play balls, we gave him the chance to sit up without worrying that he was going to hurt himself when he toppled backwards. The pool is the perfect size so that when he does go backwards he falls onto the side rather than banging his head on the floor. I have to say that this pool has done wonders for both Little Man's confidence and his balance as well as giving me a break from constantly worrying that he's going to bump his head. The sides are too high for the Little Man to be able to climb out, meaning that I can also leave him in here when caught short, without having to worry that he's going to get up to any mischief.
While I couldn't see any purpose for the three rings, Little Man certainly could. He absolutely loves to chew and bite on them, especially on those days when his teeth are bothering him. It's a real testament to the quality of the materials that this pool is made of, that these rings have felt the full fury of some very sharp teeth without popping or even puncturing. As well as chewing the rings, Little Man has also had a good munch on the actual pool section, which again is still intact.
Little Man also enjoys laying in the pool of balls, but he's a little too long to be able to fit with his legs stretched out (see I told you the bit about how tall he is was relevant). Although the Little Man isn't yet standing unsupported, the actual shade is so low that his head touches it when he's upright. This leads me to think that it may not be suitable for children much above the age of two.
As well as Little Man, other older children have also had a go playing in the pool (as a ball pit) and they have obviously been quite a lot rougher in their play. My fears that children above the age of two would find the shade a little low have been confirmed, as they do struggle to stand in the pool. As with the chewing, the pool has easily survived being jumped in with the sides being used as a spring board without popping.
All in all, this pool has been a success with both Little Man and his slightly older friends in it's guise as a ball pit. And that's what I really like about this pool, while I'm sure it will be fantastic as a paddling pool in the summer, let's be honest how much actual use would it have got solely as a pool? Not a lot really, thinking about it, there were probably six weeks where I would have been happy to have a pool set up in the garden last year. But because it's so deep this pool is also brilliant as a ball pit, meaning that it gets far more use than if it was solely in the garden full of water.
As with all the toys they sell the ELC suggests that this will help your child's development in various ways and for once I think that they are spot on. Firstly they suggest that this toy will help instil confidence, and I completely agree, it will help your child gain confidence in many different ways. I've watched Little Man become far more confident at sitting , knowing that if he does fall it won't hurt and have watched him steadily learn to move from sitting to laying without bumping his noggin. When filled with water, the pool will also help your child gain confidence in water. Not that we've ever had a problem with Little Man and water. But one of my older children was terrified of water and wouldn't even get into a bath. One of the ways we solved this problem was to start by just putting a tiny amount of water in a paddling pool and then steadily increasing the amount of water, until one day he was sitting in water up to his tummy.
Another skill that the ELC suggests this will help your child develop is their physical development, in particular coordination, balance and strength. I don't need to repeat myself, but we have seen definite improvements in Little Man's balance and coordination while using this pool. To begin with he struggled to stay sitting upright, but over time he's become better and better and now will sit and reach for toys without a hint of wobble.
As to the recommended age range, well I do think the upper limit is just about right. Children over the age of two will probably find the pool a little small and the shade a little low. But with the lower age limit, I would actually say that babies younger than nine months would enjoy playing in the pool. It all depends on how willing you are to spend time allowing your child to access the pool as to when they are ready to use it. The first thing I will say is that there is no way I would leave any child to play unsupervised in this pool, even those over the age of two. It only takes seconds and an inch of water for a child to drown, so much as I wouldn't leave a child in the bath unsupervised, I wouldn't leave them in here. Taking that supervision into account, I really don't think that there is a lower age limit for the pool. Even quite small babies can be held in the water for a few minutes, just make sure the water is warm and you have a towel ready. While when used as a ball pit, babies from about three months will enjoy the sensory experience and being able to make the balls move.
For the price I paid for it the ELC Baby Activity Pool is excellent value for money. It is a fairly large and deep pool that doubles up as an excellent ball pit for use indoors when the weather is less than clement. The material it is made from is much tougher and more durable than most other paddling pools in the same price range. My Little Man also loves this pool, and will happily spend twenty minutes at a time sitting in it playing, while I'm safe in the knowledge that he is safe. I'm not, however, convinced that it's worth the full asking price of £16, so while I am recommending this pool (and giving it five stars out of five), I am also recommending that you wait until it is included in one of the ELC's regular half price sales.
My son has very pale skin and for his second summer I decided to invest in an ELC baby activity pool simply for the reason it would provide him with some shade.
It does come packed in a small box which once opened it will never return to again. I did blow it up with a lot of puff and it is exhausting work. After my first attempt at blowing it up I vowed that I would buy a pump.
The version of this pool we owned did have more toys than is on the product currently been sodl. It came with three inflatable rings which were always pulled off the pole and last summer were mostly used for running up and down the garden pretending to be swimming with rubber rings by my son and his friends. It also had an inflatable ball and bumble bee which was hung from ribbons with poppers so it can be pulled down. Now the pool only comes with the inflatable rings. I am left wondering why the ball and bee were removed.
When inflated it has four posts which are meant to look like palm tree trunks and then large leaves which create the shade. I found the sides to be quite sturdy. Once inflated was secure enough to support my son when he leaned against the sides.
Filling up the pool has been a bit of a nightmare for me. Obviously a young child should never be left unsupervised near water so I had to plan out the whole thing. As I don't own a hose pipe I had numerous bowls full of water and having to shut my son back inside the house each time but due to it been smaller than a standard pool this was far quicker.
My son had three summers full of fun in this pool. He has played in it with up to another two children although it is a little squashed for three but two is quite comfortable. One he was two he was easily able to jump in and out of the pool. It has provided him with adequate cover so even in the height of summer he was able to keep cool in the shade.
We also used this pool as a ball pool when it wasn't ideal paddling pool weather and if you want to use the pool for this I would advise you buy three bags of balls for ultimate fun and games.
It is recommended for children 9 months to two years. My son continued to use this till he was over three and it is only the size that meant he didn't have room to play. I did however use the extra toys in his new paddling pool. I found this to be a sturdy pool and despite my son crawling in and out the pool it never suffered any damage.
This pool is currently available at ELC for £16.00.ELC toys are also available at Mothercare. Despite them taking my sons favourite two toys out I do consider this to be value for money.
Another good buy. I bought this activity pool last summer for my daughter when she was six months old. Yes, she was able to sit up, but too young to make the most of it. It is suggested on the box that it is suitable for children 9-24 months , and I think that is about right.
This year it is a different story! She has had hours of fun out of it already this year. I've been using it in the living room for the past few months s a ball pit, and she has had so much fun, diving in and out. It is quite small, but large enough to hold at least 100 play balls. She does tend to get quite mischevous in there, I think that is because it has a little shelter and she doesn't think that anybody can see her! Quite entertaining for the parents!!
Now that the nice weather has arrived, I've put it out in the garden. She has used it as a pool, as you would imagine, it doesn't hold a lot of water, but it is enough for a child up to 2 years. They still need to be supervised because they only need a little water to drown. I don't think she will fit in it next year as the shelter will be too low. The shelter is brilliant in the sun, even when she is using it as a ball pool, that and some suntan lotion gives her good protection from the sun.
Easy enough to blow up. It has three valves to blow up different parts, which means that someone can help you!
I bought it from Mothercare last summer for £16. It comes in blue and pink. The pink isn't too girly as it has the shelter in the shape of a leaf and is green.
I spotted this pool half price in Mothercare in the middle of winter so bought it for my son. With the weather and my aversion to being outdoors he has only used it as a paddling pool once, but has used it a few time with a bag or playballs I bought separately.
The different sections of the pool take a bit of blowing up (we've generally kept it inflated in the shed inbetween uses so it just needs topping up) and the sides are very sturdy to allow an active baby to clamber in and out safely.
The pool comes with a sunshade that provides a little protection from the sun depending on the angle but a good suncream and hat are still essential when using outdoors. It also has 3 infltable rings, a ball which rattles and a bee that attach to different parts of the canopy and kept my son amused for a while. He enjoyed being in it but when inside still finds the tv wires more interesting and I'm starting to think I should have bought one without a canopy / sunshade bit as that's a bit pointless, although the toys on it were a bonus.
As we have been promised a "Barbeque" summer, I went to ELC and purchased some outdoor fun for my nearly walking baby (10 months).
This may have proved a little premature seeing as the last few days have been wet and grey, but fingers crossed.....
Amongst my purchases was this baby activity pool for £16 and a big bag of plastic balls to use in it instead when I didn't want baby getting wet. The balls were £10 but as I had a Muller Little Stars 20% off discount (still available in my local sainsburys) I paid £20.80 for the lot. I have seen a very similar pool (no balls) in Argos for just under £10.
The pool has three parts, each blown up seperately. The base, the 4 arms and the sunshade. Blowing up the full pool takes a good 10 mins of puffing, it may be wise to buy a pump if using frequently. The plastic of all parts seems good quality.
The base is padded which is a real benefit when using outside. It is big enough for one baby, two at a push but certainly no more than two. It would not be large enough for a 18+ month in my opinion, although the product is quoted as ages 9 mths to 24 mnths.
The sunshade is an excellent idea and is one of the reasons I chose the product, however it is fairly redundant as it blocks out a small section of the pool and certainly would not provide enough cover to alleviate need for factor 50. I guess I should have spotted that even the baby on the box only has the top of his head in the shade. As so often, good idea but poorly executed.
Three inflatable hoops come with the pool. Okay as an extra, but difficult to fully inflate (by the time you get the valve closed they've half emptied).
So, all in all, a bit disappointing. Having said that, baby seems to enjoy it (the water more than the balls, but balls in the water even better) and it is possible to use year round with the balls if we don't get the aforementioned weather.
One handy little extra is that it comes with a repair patch.
The packaging is a fairly small cardboard box, good for environment, not so easy to get the deflated product back in to for storage.
An ideal first pool with sunshade and 3 inflatable rings to play with. Great for splashing around in the garden, or filling with playballs for indoor play. For 9 months+.