Thursday, June 14, 2012

Welcome Summer

With summer only a week away and the temps getting warmer already I was looking for some new pool toys.  Some that are safe and gentle enough for the kids and the pool.  This year we upgraded the pool for the kids as they are no longer babies and the 3 of them didn't fit in the kiddy pool at the same time any longer.  I needed some toys that wouldn't risk popping our inflatable pool because being a single income family we really can not afford to have the expense of getting another pool and actually we probably will have to go back to using the kiddy pool if this one gets damaged.
I searched the internet looking for some inexpensive suitable toys.  Of course they are all too expensive or not something I want to risk popping the pool with.  Then I discover some cute do it yourself pool toys on Pintrest that used 3 sponges cut and tired into sponge balls.  These were just what I needed since they were soft and gentle enough for my kids and my pool.  So I set out to our local dollar store in an attempt to recreate them.  Each ball required 3 colored sponges so I figured I would need to buy 10 sponges (5 of the 2 packs) which would make 1 ball per kid with a left over sponge for me to use for cleaning.  However when I got there the store had no sponges so I searched the shelves looking for an alternative and discovered the automotive sponges and the gears in my head started turning. 
Here is how I turned 3 automotive sponges into 12 pool toys and only spent $3.00 on them.
I started by slicing the automotive sponge in half thus doubling the amount of sponge I had to work with.  If you would prefer a bigger fatter sponge you could probably leave it at is original thickness.
I then cut the sponge into strips across the sponge.  If you wanted a bigger ball you could cut it the long way.  Since my kids are little still I opted for the shorter balls.
I followed the same procedure with all three sponges.  Then took them in groups of 12 to make the sponge ball.
I used a rubber band to hold the sponges together and then trimmed of any longer ends.

My end result was 12 very nice sponge balls for only $3.00 ( my 3yr old helper is holding one so its not in the picture).
These were actually super easy to make and my kids love them.  They do not hurt when they throw them at each other and float so my little guy doesn't have to struggle to reach them at the bottom of the pool.

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