How to Use a Kiddie Pool for a Lawn Pond

Denise Schoonhoven

If you are not quite ready to put in a permanent lawn pond, enjoy the refreshing beauty of a small water feature anyway by using a kiddie swimming pool. Maybe you don't know exactly where the best location is for a pond.

Show off aquatic plants in your kiddie pool lawn pond.

Setting a kiddie pool in one of the spots you're considering will give you a feel for just how well that space works in the overall landscape scheme. Because it's created with chemicals to retard algae growth, a kiddie pool doesn't make a good long-term pond. Use it for a season to bring a touch of liquid brightness to your garden.


Place a small fountain in the pond for added water movement. Hide the power cord by tucking it into the landscape stones and potted plants.


Be vigilant if children have access to the area of your garden where the pond is located. To prevent drowning accidents, which may occur even in a small volume of water, set up the pond in a fenced-off area.

Grass underneath the pool will die, so plan to reseed after the pool is removed.

  1. Scrub the insides of the kiddie pool with mild dish soap and a sponge. Rinse the pool with bucketfuls of warm water. Spray thoroughly with a nozzle on the end of a garden hose to remove all soap residue.

  2. Set the kiddie pool in an area of the lawn that receives full sun for six to eight hours a day. Avoid areas where leaves and fruit may fall in the pond from nearby trees. Use a dark green or blue pool, without cartoon characters or neon colors, so that it blends in with the surrounding landscaping.

  3. Cover the bottom of the pool with small pebbles. Add several larger rocks and colorful agates for visual interest. Fill the pool with water from a garden hose and let it sit for a week before you add any plants.

  4. Surround the outside of the kiddie pool with natural stone blocks. Since the pond is temporary, select stones that can be used elsewhere in the garden at the end of the season.

  5. Submerge a potted, miniature waterlily plant at the edge of the pool so that its lily pads float on the water surface. Add a water hyacinth, a water fern or water lettuce plants. Avoid overcrowding by including just enough aquatic plants to cover approximately half the pond's surface.

  6. Arrange a collection of potted annual and perennial flowers in attractive groupings around the perimeter of the pond. For height, position a lacy-leaf maple in a container at the side of the pool. Use plants that you will place in other areas of the garden in the fall when you remove the temporary pond. Annual flowers may be discarded at the end of the season.

  7. Maintain the kiddie pool lawn pond throughout the season. Routinely scoop out any leaves, twigs and debris that fall into the pool. Replenish the water that evaporates from the pool when you water the potted plants around it. Add a time-release fertilizer tablet to the waterlily pot once a month.