Floating on Less
- What: Boogie boards
- When: Two years and up
- Why: Affordable, durable, fun
- Where: Amazon or your local discount store
We scored some boogie boards for less than $2. Since we live nowhere near a beach with waves, I decided to test them out at the wading pool.
Last summer, we made the mistake of taking a couple of inflatable floats to our local wading pool. It took me at least five minutes to blow them up, and much less time for my kids to scrape them on the bottom and put giant rips in them, rendering them useless. On the plus side, we bought them cheap years ago, and they packed up well for walking to the wading pool. On the downside, we hardly played with them before they both went kaput. (And don’t even get me started about the issue that we had three kids but only two floats). This summer, I’ve wised up.
The boogie boards still get dragged along the bottom of the pool, which has a rough surface to keep kids from slipping. But it doesn’t matter. While the fabric has torn, the styrofoam still floats. Our basic bodyboards can’t keep my almost eight year old afloat in less than six inches of water, but my other two kids do just fine, as does the rest of the population of the wading pool on any given day.
Boogie boards also come with a leash, since in their other life they hang out in actual surf, where you want them attached to you lest they float away. That means kids can pull each other around on the floats. My kids have to lay flat to get their boards to float, and just like the inflatables, they double as extra seating when not in use in the pool. Boogie boards do not pack up as well as inflatables. Luckily they weigh next to nothing, so I’ve carried one quite a distance when I had a hand to spare.
Overall, I wouldn’t buy them at their regular price simply because we don’t need more stuff that takes up room to store nine months of the year. But at the price we paid, I don’t feel bad about using them for a season to try them out.