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How to Build a Small Wading Pool

Updated July 18, 2017

A small paddling pool can keep kids occupied for countless hours during the hot summer months. These pools are cheap to buy, but maybe you have some extra plastic sheeting and you'd like to construct your own. There are many ways to build a small paddling pool, and the planning and building process can be fun for the whole family. Your kids will appreciate the pool even more if they helped build it, having pride and ownership in the finished project.

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  1. Clear all sticks, stones, and sharp debris from the area you're placing your paddling pool.

  2. Lay out the pieces of lumber in a square, with the 2-inch edges flat on the ground. Hammer three nails in each corner to fasten the ends of the wood together.

  3. Lay the plastic sheeting over the square wooden frame, with the edges of the plastic draped over the wood. Fold the plastic neatly around the edge of the wooden frame. Staple the plastic to the outside of the wood with a staple gun. Repeat with a second piece of plastic if desired for added strength.

  4. Fill the pool about 2/3 with water.

  5. Tip

    Buy twice the lumber and make the walls twice as thick, if desired, for walls that are easier to sit or stand on. If you have old bricks, concrete blocks, or telephone poles sitting around, you could use those for walls. You could even heap up walls of dirt if you prefer.


    While black plastic is better than clear plastic for absorbing the sun's heat, do not use black plastic if you live in a hot climate.

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Things You'll Need

  • 4 pieces of 2-by-8-inch lumber, 8 feet long
  • Hammer
  • 3½-inch 16d nails
  • 10-by-10-foot thick plastic sheeting
  • Staple gun
  • Staples

About the Author

James Werning has authored books and articles on various websites. His scripts have aired for more than 15 years on radio stations across North America. He is a small business owner and a world traveler with a master's degree in communications from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

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