Shopping column: Easy to get in the swim of shopping for these goodies

June 21, 2013 

It was a wet Tuesday afternoon this past week, even if it didn't rain. I was in search of swim toys and accessories for the BND Magazine's issue dedicated to summertime water fun. (Look for my top 10 suggestions in the June 30 issue.)

Of course there were some leftovers that didn't get used, so I'm including one that looks like a whole lot of inexpensive fun for pool owners: The Ocean Blue Flower Fountain ($22.99). You can find it at Leisure Time Pools & Spa in Swansea. Basically, it's angled PVC pipe with a flower-shaped fountain head on top. You stick the end of the pipe in a return fitting in your pool and instead of the water going directly into the pool, it first goes into the pipe and out of the fountain. Adjust the spray up to 14 feet and point it in any direction. Kids will love it. Plus, the sound of a fountain is pretty relaxing.

One more water toy: Dollar Tree in Fairview Heights (by Best Buy) has these cool floats call Noodle Boards. Made of the same foamy stuff as water noodles, the boards are molded small paddle boards with indentations for little arms. They're so lightweight that any child can handle one and learn to do the dog paddle!

OK, the last one: If your little princess is heading to the beach anytime soon, help her build her own castle with the Disney Sand Castle Mold Set, $19.99 at Toys R Us in Fairview Heights. It includes pink turret molds, purple stone wall and roof molds, castle door and some tiny flags to fly from the sandy towers.

Beachy cool: Menard's in O'Fallon has a Guidesman Portable Ice Bucket that really is an insulated and zippered cooler with collapsible legs. I really like the idea that you can keep your cold drinks and ice a couple feet off the ground or sand. It's on sale for $19.99 through July 7.

Spotted at St. Clair Square

Headband message. Announce your loyalty in a bright way with glittery headbands with St. Louis Cardinals and other team logs for $11 at the Headband Hut, located upstairs at the mall near the Food Court. They're made of stretchable fabric and will fit anyone.

Fit right in. It was easy to spot the collapsible coolers at Hallmark. The bright red, green, orange or blue hexagon-shaped coolers ($19.99) have a 12-quart capacity, wide adjustable strap, removable hard lid and fold down so they can be easily stored.

Seeing red ... and white. Nifty and patriotic canvas striped totes are just $10 at Macy's -- while they last. Look for them upstairs close to cosmetics and handbags.

Give a cook a hand. With JC Penney's renovations comes a gaggle of cool kitchen gifts. Claude the smiling (but weighty) chef opens his arms and lets you rest a cookbook, magazine or tablet for hands-free reference while you cook. He's made of durable polyresin with a glossy finish in white, black, red or green. He can also hold rings when you're making a mess. Cost: $35. Look for him near the new demonstration kitchen upstairs at Penney.

Also at JC Penney, furniture, mattresses and big area rugs are back in the mall store.

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