It's so hot here! We put the kiddie pool room up again. This pool, green outdoor carpet, and screened tent are going on their third year. The tent has some small holes which have been patched, so I think this will be the last year for the tent. Family Dollar had one for about $30.00, so I went ahead and bought this for next year. They had it up in the aisle, so I was able to see it before purchase. This is a really good price, and it looked sturdy. The one we are using now was purchased from the camping section at Walmart.
This pool room is great for a few reasons. It has an outdoor carpet running right up to the back door to keep the little ones feet clean. Clean feet means a clean pool and house. The outdoor carpet is easy to sweep when it does get dirty. The zipper screened tent keeps it cool and bug free. Placing it right outside the back door of the den means that I can watch(pool guard) my daughter from inside, which is a must for me when it is sweltering outside. The only way I'd stay out there was if I were sitting in the pool. When it's very hot, I hook up the hose to a side pole and put it on "mist". My son and daughter loved this last year. My son is getting a bit too big to even sit in the pool, but he does it anyway in hot weather.
This was our set up in 2007. That blow up pool sprung a leak after only one season, so we went a hard walled pool.
When the daughter is six, we'll get a bigger pool. I've got my eye on a nice 10 ft. x 30 inch circular Intex pool(ages 6 and up). These metal frame inexpensive pools snap together easily, and are simple to take down when the weather cools off. I have seen mixed reviews for this pool online, so I'm hoping this pool works for us. Most complaints were about the weak pump, and leaks during the seond year. The tarp has to be purchased separately; without the tarp, the bottom is prone to leaks from sharp objects. Amazon reviews, four out of five stars.
The Intex Metal Frame Pool - 10'x30 is $79.00 + $55.00 shipping(heavy to ship) at Amazon.com. ToysRus might carry it as well. Target.com has got it for $129.00, and I think they may have free "ship to store" for pick-up much like Walmart. I'm keeping my eye on this one, but we have another three years before I'd feel safe enough to purchase this pool for the little one.