Turn a large plastic storage container into a splashing pool

920594965 A3D3025563 MFun in the sun, with prolific blogger Sherry:

Based on the hack for the water play set, I got inspired and went one step further.  I live in an apartment building and though we have a courtyard, we don't have a private yard.  We also live on the top floor.  I often bemoan our lack of a yard with a pool when it gets hot and humid.  Then, after seeing the Rubbermaid container turned play set I went and turned one of ours into a mini pool.

I dumped all the toys out, filled it about half way with cool water, and put it on the balcony.  Then I coated my toddler in sunscreen and took her out there with a few cups and a ladle.  She sat, quite happily in her makeshift pool, playing in the water, and laughing when I would take a cupful and pour it down her back.  When it was time to come in, I simply carried it back inside and dumped the water into the tub, then dried it with a towel.  It's much more fun as a pool that a toy box!  I also imagine you could buy sand and make a little sand box just as easily.  Regardless, my daughter really enjoyed cooling off on a ridiculously hot day!


Fill baby's high chair tray with water for warm weather splashing


  1. wdskmom says

    Our homecare provider does this to allow the kids to cool off, but containing the water area & therefore safety of all of the kids in her care.

  2. Leigh says

    Our son does the same thing, but I have to admit it was his idea, not mine. :-)

    We do have a yard, and live on a lake with lots of swimming opportunities. We were outside one afternoon and he was talking about going swimming, and I told him we’d go later. A few minutes afterwards, he was sitting in a large plastic dish pan that had an inch of rainwater in it from the previous night’s rain (my stepsons had left it outside after washing the cars). He just fit into it, and was having a ball “swimming.”

    Since then, we’ve done it on purpose, but in a swim diaper and not his regular clothes!

  3. Hands Free Heart says

    It also can be used as a baby bathtub. We used a transparent one. For an infant, we used a bath sling inside it. Once he could sit up well, we laid a piece of sturdy rubber shelf liner in the bottom to prevent slips (a hand-towel would probably work too). Then we put the plastic tub inside our large regular bathtub and, voila!– our baby could take a bath with big brother without fear of big brother getting into his space.

  4. Cynthia says

    Funny, I have a rubbermaid tote in my living room filled with water at this very moment.

    I live in an apartment building as well, and have no yard and no balcony (sadly, no air conditioning either). In order to keep my toddler cool, I dug out those old colored foam mats I had saved from when she was crawling, and laid four out on the carpet to contain any mess. Put the container on top, and voila! Instant cool. And, since we’re inside, I don’t even bother with a swim diaper. She prefers to be naked :)

  5. Joy Johnson says

    I was going to fill our son’s huge pool this afternoon, but this inspired me to inflate the two person boat we have and fill it instead. Less water waste, the water warmed up faster, and much easier to empty!

  6. Cynthia says

    Forgot to mention, I also give her “freezies” (pedialyte pops when it is extremely hot, homemade water/juice pops or frozen yogourt tubes) when she is in her indoor pool. Adds to the cooling effect, and no mess to clean up.

  7. Jason says

    Great idea, and much easier to fill up, heck and even take down, than a plastic swimming pool — it even conserves water!

  8. Dith says

    My mom used to use those “underbed boxes” when I was little, they were very shallow but great for splashing!

  9. Stay At Home Dad, Geek Style says

    My 16 month old is *always* sitting in the one bucket I have outside for her water toys. She has one of those water/sand tables, and whenever she is playing with that, she wants me to fill up the bucket so she can hop in. She loves the pool, too!


  10. Kim Adams says

    I used to bathe my little ones in a Rubbermaid container too! Our cabin has two showers, but no bathtub. Our kitchen sink is on an island, and I would just put the container next to the island, swivel the faucet all the way around and fill it like that, from the faucet directly into the box! The kids loved taking their baths in the Rubbermaid box.

  11. Candace Prosser says

    We have done this as well. It was especially helpful for my oldest because the tubs are deeper than kiddie pools and she could sit and get really soaked. I recommend a really large tub, it makes a wonderful impromptu bathtub when the kiddos are muddy.