The obvious option for giving kids something extra in a pool is a water slide. However water slides have come along way in the last couple of years. First they are incredibly way safer then ten yaers ago. Along with the safety factor, the aesthetics of slides have improved immensely. Generally speaking you have two options for slides: First a prebuilt slide that is free standing. This option is a little more budget friendly and also helps if your property is on a flat slope as it can be incorporated with the landscaping easier. The other option is a custom slide built in between rocks (fake or real) Usually this needs have a hill built up (or a hill thats already existing) and on some properties can look “forced”. However on the right pool it can look beautiful and amazing.
Deck (Laminar, or Water) Jets
Defck Jets have many names, but are a small stream of water that shoots from the patio into the pool. Usually used for linear or roman ended (Italian inspired) pools, they can be incorporated into any design, especially if the main goal is for kids to have something to “run” through, In the last couple of years, Pentair has released colored deck jets that also shoot a color (you change the color from your phone) into the air along with the water. The last advantage is the ability to turn on the water jets and hear the sound of water gently hitting the surface of the pool, which can be so peaceful.
Cabanas, Pergolas and Shade Structures
Shade structures around a pool are great for many reasons such as: giving a spot for grandma to watch the children playing, having lunch away from Cambodia’s incredibly hot sun, and a place to hide out when a quick thunderstorm rolls through.
Shade structures can be as simple as 4×4 wooden posts and wood joists at the top creating a pergola or a typical asian straw thatched roof. Conversly they can be engineered to be more complex then house as they can include saunas, full glass walls, complex restrooms, billiards rooms, etc.
My favorite feature for families is a incorporating a sundeck. The sundeck has numerous advantages with really 1 disadvantage which can be designed around. The best advantage is it gives the pool a super shallow area. IE a kids pool within the pool and is a great barrier to tell kids you can play here, but you can not go down the stairs. If the kids are older, the sundeck can be great for grandma to be “in the pool” watching the kids while in reality she is sitting on a lounger under a shade umbrella relaxing, but being super close if in case there is an emergency. Finally the sundeck can be great just for adults to sit on a lounger and enjoy a nice cocktail without actually getting in the pool or getting wet above the waist.
Diving boards serve their purpose for fun, but if the pool can incorporate a diving rock instead, I believe the aesthetics are greatly improved while still providing the same amount of fun that a diving board gives. Obviously a rock doesn’t give any spring or jump to it like a traditional diving board, but most of us are not Olympic divers, and we also dont realize how non-springy residential diving boards are.
Underwater LED Lights or Star Light Floor
First underwater lights have become a lot more reliable then their older incandescent pool light cousins. This helps them last longer, they are more cost efficient and they are a lot smaller giving a better look for the pool. With the smaller leds (and initial cost) I usually try to put 3 or 4 small lights in the pool and the lights will have pre programmed shows that display color combinations or you can pick the individual color you want.
If you want to go out of the box, we can do customized stars on the bottom of the pool floor. We can include any constellations and/or designs (initials, logo, etc) that you would want the stars to show. The stars are definitely pretty cool to see in person.
The last must have addition for a kid friendly pool is an outdoor kitchen. The main benefit is allowing a quick bite to eat or lunch being prepared outside and right next to the pool. Also who doesnt like a barbeque poolside? Usually most people will also add an outdoor shower since a clean (non pool water) water line has to be ran to the outdoor kitchen.