By peoplestaff225
June 16, 2009 03:00 PM

This summer’s perfect pool toy search started in early spring for me. I was looking for the ideal combination of inexpensive, safe and fun. Swim School’s Deluxe Toddler Racer ($20) fit all three categories. Even before I pumped it full of air my kids were playing with the yellow and red steering wheel. Once in the water my toddlers had a ball “driving” their racing boat around the pool.

Made with double-laminated vinyl for extra durability, a comfortable seat back, holding handles and a turning steering wheel with horn, it’s suitable for ages 18-36 months, 20-35 pounds. The toddler seat with leg openings ensured that they were fairly secure. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can lounge in a chair drinking a Margarita leaving the toddler unattended — I was never a step or two away from the racer, and usually had my hands on it at all times — but it gave me a chance to give my kids a little independence in the water.

— Sarah S.