5 Things to Bring to a Splash Pad
Splash Parks or Pads are awesome summer fun and this isn't much of a new idea. Especially now that we are living in sunny, humid Mississippi, we are all about finding ways to cool off. When in the midst of a project about water, there are also some more focused benefits to these delightful spaces. I am probably going to seem like a complete wierdo here, but I like to bring some materials with us when we go to the splash pad. Just a few things. Sometimes they don't get used, but often times after our twins run through the sprinklers or go down the slide a few times they are looking for something more to do. I am in no way trying to detract from the awesomeness of a great splash park or suck the fun out of splashing, these are just things I throw in a bag with our towels.
Here are some ways materials we pack to maximize exploration and fun at splash pads:
1. Pack Plastic Containers (think recycled food containers) for filling and dumping. When our children were two this was pretty much the extent of their play. As they get older, having various sized containers offers them chances to explore volume.
2. Bring Toy Watering Cans for filling and pouring. These work well in conjunction with the clear containers and on their own. At one splash pad, my twins spent most of the time watering the nearby flower pots.
3. Sponges for soaking and squeezing. These are great for developing gross motor skills in little hands and often lead to some interesting experimenting or pretend play.
4. Toy Boats and Little People are great for imaginative play. We use these a lot in our sensory table as well.
5. Tea Kettle and Cups This is an idea I got from a mom who see a lot at our gym pool. So simple, but the number of kids that have borrowed her tea kettle and little cups tell me it is a winner!
It works best to just bring one or two of these materials each time. This allows some more focused explorations and enables you to keep track of items a little more easily. I also make sure to bring several of each material. This reduces conflict between my twins and allows them to share with other children who might be interested.
A few other reminders:
*Always remember sunscreen! Make sure to reapply if you are staying for more than an hour.
*Pack some water to avoid dehydration. Between the hot sun and all that running around - this is essential.
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