Summer is here!

It’s the first day of summer and most kids have already been to the pool at least once or twice! There is something so incredibly refreshing about jumping into a cold pool on a hot summer day. Want to know what tops even that? Having your very own backyard oasis! Think your yard is too small or that it will cost way too much? Not the case! I have some backyard pool ideas and tips that can certainly help. You don’t have to have a huge yard or pocket book to put together a great backyard pool either.  How do I know? I’ve done it! Check out my list of summer essentials for creating your own amazing backyard pool, plus get my tips on how we did it under budget.

Top 10 Summer Essentials for Creating your Backyard Pool Oasis

Pool itself

While this probably sounds like a total no brainer, I had to include it on the list. You can’t exactly have a great backyard pool, without the pool. Am I right? Now, I’ve not tried out a ton of different pools in our backyard. Our family has only purchased one to be exact, but I kind of view that as a good thing! If we had gone through multiple pools in the past 3 or 4 years, I would take that to mean we haven’t found a good one just yet! Thankfully, that hasn’t been the case.

Our Intex Pool has been an incredible investment for summer time! This is our 3rd year putting the pool up and countless hours of fun have been spent in there every single year. Not only are my kids getting off screens and outside, they are also getting exercise! Having a backyard pool is a huge win for this mom. Plus, we now have no need to for those overcrowded public pools that I have never been a fan of anyway!

*Best tip for staying on budget – if you’re serious about getting a pool for your back yard, but can’t afford the price of a brand new one, my best advice is to wait! Wait till summer is nearing it’s end and make frequent trips to your local target. Check back weekly, or even multiple times a week. We did this about 4 years ago and ended up getting our pool on clearance for around $90! The original price of our pool was $499!

High Quality Pump

As much as I love our Intex pool, I’m not a huge fan of the pump it comes with. Our pump lasted the first entire year, then about 2-3 weeks into our second summer the pool turned green. I’m not kidding you guys. It happened fast and it was gross! The pool was still in wonderful shape, but the pump was unfortunately dying… and dying quick! We broke down and made the (not so) tough decision to put our old pump out to pasture. Did some much needed research and bought the pump of our dreams!

We decided on this sand pump, and it’s been worth it 100%! Now if you know me at all, you know I hate paying full price for anything. However, this pump was definitely worth the investment! Plus, with only paying a fraction of the original cost for the pool, getting a heavy duty pump wasn’t that huge of a deal!


When we first got our pool set up, we had absolutely no idea what to expect or even purchase chemical wise. There are a ton of different things out there! However, not everything is essential for every pool. The first thing you will want to start with is the pool maintenance kit, which will enable you to figure out the exact chemicals you might need for getting your water off to a good clean start. Other chemicals we consider must haves for keeping your pool water clean and clear all summer are pool shock & chlorine tablets.

*Best tip for staying on budget – Sign up for the Clorox mobile app or deal emails to get a $10 off coupon every single summer! We typically print this coupon twice, do 2 large purchases, and are done for the season. Another great tip, purchase at the end of the season on clearance as this stuff will easily keep for the following year!


Once you get the pool set up and filled, the pump hooked up, and the water treated – pool tools should be the next thing on your list. These tools are essential for keeping your backyard pool at it’s absolute best. You really only need a handful of items to care for your pool on day to day basis. The important starter tool? A good quality poll that can be attached to all your cleaning tools, then you just have to get a brush head, hand skimmer, and vacuum head to attach to the pole. Skip the tools that come with their own poles and get a system that is interchangeable. Less supplies = less storage room needed (it also means less money spent!)

While all those supplies are great (and needed), my top pick for any backyard pool has to be this amazing automatic pool skimmer that you can add on to the side of your pool. Simply attach and run the skimmer 15-20 minutes before you hop into the pool and the surface will be completely clean! This beauty definitely cuts down on your hand skimming time, but keep in mind it does work better with a stronger pump (such as the one mentioned above).

Suits & Towels

These are definitely essential for an enjoyable experience in your backyard pool! I don’t know about the neighborhood you live in, but I’m pretty sure skinny dipping would be frowned upon in mine – haha! Everyone definitely needs their own swim suit and towel. Target has some super cute beach towels this year! Check out the Target swim shop to find your perfect suit and towel!

*Best tip for staying on budget – While new suits and fun beach towels are great, they can also get pretty costly! Luckily, Target always offers great deals throughout the summer. For suits, I typically try and catch their BOGO 50% off deal that runs towards the beginning of summer. Towels however, are always best to stock up on when things go on clearance at the end of the season. Bonus tip – if you aren’t in need of beach towels specifically, Target always offers wonderful bath deals throughout the year as well! So stock up during the off season.


A true essential for the pool loving kiddos. Not just any goggles will do though. I learned rather quickly that it’s super important to get the right goggles for your children. After purchasing a few different brands, these amazing Speedo goggles passed the test for sure. Now, my kids are super hard on their goggles, so I almost always end up buying them a new pair every single year! However, what makes these better than the rest is how well they keep the water out. The other brands we have purchased in the past have been tossed or given away for breaking quickly, leaking water, or physically causing harm to my children. Year after year we trust Speedo to get it right. My older boys prefer the snorkeling set by far.

*Best tip for staying on budget – Waiting for these to go on clearance can be super tricky. Most years, the selection is pretty slim and you may just miss out on the correct sizing for your little swimmer. I highly suggest keeping an eye out for those holiday sales towards the beginning of the season.  Typically the week leading up to Memorial day, as well as the week before Fourth of July tend to be a great time for shopping pool items. My suggestion is to buy early in the season, then check back in late summer for the random clearance find! It doesn’t hurt to have extras on hand, especially if your kids are anything like mine!


From floating rafts to doughnuts, inflatables can be a ton of fun in the pool! My top pick is hands down these awesome little Speedo arm floaties for the littles. While other floats are great too, these have been a wonderful addition to our backyard pool. They cost a little more than traditional arm floaties, but they last (and work) so much better! We have tried some other floaties in the past and let me tell you, these hold air better than the rest. My 5 year old still doesn’t swim unassisted, but she’s able to be completely independent in the pool with these babies. Love, love, love them!

*Best tip for staying on budget – While you can typically find small deals or cartwheel savings on things like these throughout the season, I’ve actually found that there is usually a good selection left at my particular target at the end of the season. If you’re in almost immediate need, hitting up the savings and sales will definitely help. However, if you can wait – do! I got my daughters on clearance a few years back and it was the best investment ever.


Yes! With toys, your kids will want to spend hours and hours in the pool each and every day they can! My kids go absolutely wild when I come home with new pool toys, it’s seriously like Christmas morning to these guys. Top must haves are dive rings, torpedos , kickboards, and strangely Oballs. I know Oballs aren’t exactly pool toys, but boy are they fun! I’ve played many monkey in the middle games in the pool with the Oball. They are super easy to keep in the pool simply because they are easy to catch and hang on to.

*Best tip for staying on budget – Pool toys can be super hit and miss when it comes to finding deals. I typically get a couple small things throughout the season when cartwheel deals or ad sales pop up. Then check back for clearance finds towards the end of summer. There are the occasional great finds though!


Sunscreen is incredibly important when enjoying your backyard oasis! Sunburns are no joke, and the right sunscreen is key for ultimate protection. Our go to brands are 100% Babyganics and Young Living. I have never had a child burn while using the Babyganics sunscreen, I even use it for myself. Young Living is our a huge part of our family’s lifestyle, so I trust their products fully as well. The Young Living sunscreen is a new product to our home collection and I look forward to trying it out this year.

*Best tip for staying on budget – Stock up during the target summer essentials sale! Target always runs awesome deals on sunscreen during the summer. Typical versions of this would be BOGO 50% or buy x amount of sun essentials and get a $gift card. Definitely the best time to stock up on your must needed sun protection for the season.


Aside from the actual pool, this might possibly be the most important step to creating your backyard oasis! Storage is key to a functioning back yard pool. Without the proper bins and totes, you will have suits, towels, and toys spread out all over your backyard. Trust me, I’ve been there! Having all your pool things in it’s proper place will ensure a smoother finish to your summer. The 2 things I consider essential for summer organization are an outdoor storage bin for toys and floats, as well as a large or deluxe utility tote for towels & suits. I also like to keep a summer organizing tote handy for things like sunscreen, and after pool flip flops.

*Best tip for staying on budget – Stock up on these things during sale times! Thirty-One tends to offer great monthly deals on orders of $35 or more, I love when the utility totes are a part of those special offers!! Grabbing them when the insert is also available at a discount is a double bonus! For your outdoor storage needs, waiting till Target runs an patio deal is key. You can generally find excellent prices in the fall for this sort of thing!
REDcard Savings add up at Target

The Best Deal

*Ultimate tip for staying under budget – Really want to get the best bag for your buck? Sign up for the Target REDcard and hold off on ordering those pool essentials until your REDcard anniversary rolls around! Target always sends out an awesome 10% off your entire purchase coupon! I just recently got mine and I totally stock up on everything when it arrives. Plus, don’t forget about that awesome 5% you always get with your REDcard.

If you’re ready to get started on your backyard pool planning, Target is the place! While purchasing immediately might be exciting, holding off and creating a great plan is best for saving some money along the way. I highly suggest you get a handy notebook and start making out your wish list now, that way you can catch sales as they come along! Then, next year you will have built the pool oasis of your dreams! Happy Swimming 🙂

Until Next Time

Everything you need for your family pool!! Learn how to create your very own backyard oasis. Easy to set up pool, backyard storage, and budget friendly ideas are all essential to creating the perfect swim area of your children! Find out the best time to shop and get tips and tricks on what really works. Pool ideas, products, must haves and more! This can be a budget friendly project! #Summer #Pool #backyard #activities #deals #budget