A swimming pool is kind of like a puppy. Before you have one, everyone in the family wants one. They beg. They find pictures of the type of pool they want. They promise to vacuum the pool and cover the pool and use the pool regularly. Yet once the pool is installed and the newness wears off, all those promises seem to go forgotten. Who ends up doing all of the pool maintenance? Mom and Dad. Right after they pick up after the dog.
Swimming pools are an investment. However, your pool should be worth the time and money you put into it. If you feel that you and your family are not getting what you should from your pool, it’s time to make a change. Your kids can help out with pool chores once they are in school, and this will relieve some burden from you. Aside from that, giving kids responsibilities of their own encourages them to enjoy the pool and the hard work they put into it.
Age-Appropriate Pool Cleaning Tasks
Below are some of the pool chores that kids as young as 5 can start doing. Even if it’s tough getting them motivated, stick with it! There’s nothing wrong with teaching kids how to care for their things and take pride in their home.
All Ages: Pick Up Around the Pool
The first thing you can do is have everyone be more responsible when it comes to keeping the pool area clean. Everyone should get into the habit of cleaning up after themselves after each swim: towels, toys, floats, sunscreen and other items should be placed in the appropriate spots. This keeps the space clean and tidy, plus prevents items from blowing away or falling into the filter.
Ages 5-8: Empty Skimmer Baskets
Children in this age group can empty the skimmer baskets every couple of days. Just make sure that the filters are not running, as you don’t want any of the debris to get sucked down into the filter. Teach your kids how to look for bugs or insects that might be swimming near the basket before reaching in. You can also let your child help you turn on the automatic pool cleaner.
Ages 9-12: Skimming and Brushing
Bigger kids can take on more complex jobs such as brushing the steps, using cleaning poles and skimming the water surface. This is the age where kids often become more interested in spending time in the pool and want to invite their friends over. With their hard work, they will take more of an interest in pool etiquette concerns, too!
Ages: Teens 13+
Once your child is 13 years old, they can start testing the water and adjusting pH and chlorine levels, per your discretion. Your child must be able to handle the chemicals responsibly, so go through the warning labels. Supervise your child at first, and never let them use the chemicals when you’re not home. You can also let teens set up and clean out automatic pool cleaners, empty out filter baskets and assist in filter cleanings.
Use your best judgement when assigning tasks to your children. Some will be ready to take on some of these jobs while others may need more time. Either way, kids of all ages can take responsibility when it comes to caring for the family pool.