Inside-out Swimming Pool!

It's been hot here in Tiny Town this week. Now I'm not one to complain, since we will barely blink and the drab gray rain that cloaks the majority of our days will return, but I can hardly stand it. When the curls on Aspen's head are kinky and wet with sweat, the food sits untouched on the table and the notion of being anywhere indoors seems laughable, it's time to get outside and do some waterplay... but what?

Today's project? An inside-out swimming pool!

6mm painter's plastic drop cloth (I bought a 10'x25' roll, but you can choose your own size)
parchment paper
non-steaming iron (or one with a no-steam setting)
duct or gorilla tape
foam shapes to add in (obviously optional)

Similar projects have been done before by a large crowd of people ala Pinterest, but I hadn't seen it before today. I gave it a try and ended up wowing my boys and cooling us all down--win! My experience was not flawless, but for the $20 I spent and the amount of time it busied up the boys it's still worth sharing for the hot days ahead.

Punk rock domestics FTW!
I started by unrolling the plastic and cutting a large piece off. After matching the edges of the plastic sheet I set my iron to its highest setting, set up a towel folded multiple times to serve as an ironing board on the floor, and tore to large sheets of parchment paper.

Folding the parchment paper evenly around the edges of the plastic as I went, I ironed along the edges. Since the paper sheets were only 2' long, I was able to work in manageable sections and alternate to let each sheet of paper cool in between. I made quick work of the edges, about 20 minutes of work in all.

Before sealing the third and final edge (since one of them is made by the fold in the plastic) I put a set of foam alphabet letters inside the bag. Then, after sealing the third edge, I took the bag outside to fill it.

I cut a slit in the top to accommodate the hose, and then let it fill until it resembled the waviness of a water bed (remember those?). After it was full I just stuck some gorilla tape over the hole in the plastic and let the kids go to town. This larger than life reverse swimming pool was a total hit, and I expect it to be the first thing they ask for in the morning! As much as the little guys liked it, Cedar also gives its supreme cooling powers a 10/10 rating.

Cedar cooling down after school.
For added fun you can drizzle a little dish soap and water on the surface, put some food coloring in the water to create an ocean or a purple cloud or whatever you can dream up, or add other soft buoyant objects or foam shapes to the inside. The alphabet worked as a great mini-lesson; Birch looked for certain colors and letters, and even spelled out a few words. If you end up making your own inside-out swimming pools I'd love to see what you come up with!

What's the weather like where you are? 
How do you beat the heat? 
Tell me all your hot-weather secrets!

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