Summer is officially here and it’s getting hotter by the day.
As a family who doesn’t have a pool or even much of a kid-friendly backyard, we knew we would have to get creative when trying to keep cool this summer.
Let me explain…
When we chose our place several years ago, (a couple years before Baby Wagon came along), we were looking mainly for a space to store the trailer, and the boat, and a space that Cris could use as a workshop. Although we had planned to have a baby in the long run, we were not in a hurry, and not really focusing on trying to keep a busy toddler cool in the dead of summer. We should have been though, as we actually moved in on July 4th weekend, so we knew it would be HOT in summer. I went about searching for something, anything, that would help her get the enjoyment of playing in the water outside, and still keep her cool and safe. I remembered running through the sprinklers in our yard as a kid, and I never really felt deprived because we didn’t have a pool. So how did I go about turning a boring concrete slab behind the shed into a fun splash pad without breaking the bank, and spending a ton? I had seen these cute alphabet tiles at Ross for about $10, and knew they would come in handy for a fun project. They also periodically have anti-fatigue tiles, and I grabbed what I could find. These tiles fit together like a puzzle, and you can customize the size for your space, so they were a lucky find. I wanted something soft to land on, should Baby Wagon slip, or get going a little too fast. (Cris also found a phenomenal deal on the same tiles at Harbor Freight for about $7 for 16 Square feet. I checked to see if its something they always carry, and it is. Check local listings for sale prices before you buy, as the sales usually have awesome discounts)For about $10 at Ross, I got about 30 Square feet. Since we had received a plastic slide for her for Christmas, I went to Target and got a $5 sprinkler that didn’t need a lot of space to run (It can also be turned down really low if you want) . If you do the math, less than $30 in, and I was good to go, since we already had the slide and the hose. (We did find out though, that those alphabet tiles are super slippery when wet, because they are so lightweight, they actually float above the pavement, so we ended up saving those for something else, and went back to Harbor Freight for some more anti-fatigue mats. These are black, but they still don’t get super hot under the summer sun.) I also recommend shoes that will withstand water, and stay on, for running around outside, Baby Wagon picked hers out at Walmart.I fit everything together with the slide in the corner, turned on the hose, and let her at it. She has a blast out there now, and all we need is a sail for shade, which we are working on. I will also add a blow up pool soon, since they had a largish one at Ross recently for around $9. There you have it! for under $50, we have a fun, outdoor splash pad that we can use at any time!We are currently trying to get grass to grow in what I teasingly call the back 40, the way back yard behind the garage, but until then, we will use our improvised splash pad for summertime water play!
Leave us a comment with your favorite way to beat the Summer Heat!