A Family Affair: Age Appropriate Pool Cleaning Tasks for Kids

Once children reach school age, they are ready to start helping out around the pool. Summer is the perfect time to assess kids’ abilities and establish a new pool maintenance routine. Just like indoor chores, this helps children develop an appreciation for their material advantages as well as responsibility and an understanding of how to take care of their things.

Start by creating the habit of having family members of all ages pick up after themselves. Scan the pool and surrounding area at the end of every swim. Remove and stow all toys and floats, and put away towels, sunscreen and other items. In addition to keeping the pool area tidy and attractive, this will greatly extend the life of your pool accessories, as well as prevent these items from causing damaging filter blockages.

Ages 5-8

Children of this age can empty skimmer baskets every other day. Be sure to schedule this task at a time of day when filters are not running to ensure that debris does not get sucked into the filter. Teach kids to carefully inspect the contents of baskets for creepy crawlies before reaching hands in. Special hooks for pulling out baskets can also be purchased to lessen the risk of unwelcome surprises.

Small kids often get a kick out of turning on automatic pool cleaners and watching them get started sucking up debris!

Ages 9-12

Bigger kids are typically able to begin handling cleaning poles and can assist with such maintenance items as skimming the water surface and even brushing steps and benches. Be sure to do an introductory training session on keeping poles safely away from power lines, windows, and any other nearby dangers.


The 13 and up crowd is able to begin testing water pH and chlorine levels. Gauge responsibility levels and go through warning labels and safe handling procedures thoroughly before entrusting teens with the addition of chlorine and other chemicals. Supervise closely for the first several weeks, and it is always a good rule of thumb that no one handles chemicals while home alone.

This age group can also be schooled in the appropriate method of setting up and cleaning out automatic pool cleaners, as well as periodically emptying filter baskets and even assisting in filter cleanings or backwashing.

Perhaps the best thing about having teens help with pool duties is they are usually capable of doing the weekly brushing of the pools’ interior! Essential for disrupting the growth of algae and dislodging dirt, this is many pool owners’ most hated task. Hint: You may consider offering teens monetary compensation for this one!

Swimming pools are a wonderful backyard asset enjoyed by the whole family. Appreciation for them can be increased and the work load lightened by getting everyone involved in pool maintenance. When you build a pool with Tampa Bay Pools, we walk you through a comprehensive Pool School and are happy to have the whole team sit in. But we don’t just stop there! We are always available to answer questions you may have about caring for your pool, operating your equipment, or any repairs, replacements, or remodels that you desire. Give us a call anytime!

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