I discovered the best summer hack ever: splash pads.
Our state is in a serious and unprecedented heat wave with numerous consecutive days of 100+ degree days. It is pretty day. Now while I realize the best course of action for many is to just stay inside, a certain 4-year-old girl has other ideas. Sloan needs to be outside and doing things.
So, we have been making the rounds at various parks in the Spokane and Spokane Valley areas. As I have mentioned before, the parks in this area are beautiful, green, and spacious. They have creative playground equipment, hiking trails, designated picnic areas, plenty of shade, and more. They almost all have splash pads too.
For parents, the splash pad is a perfect attraction because kids can cool off without getting too wet to do anything but swim. Splash pads are usually situated right next to the playground so Sloan can go back and forth between each one. On these days that are scorchers, Sloan can run through the splash pad and then hit the play equipment that would otherwise be too hot to play on if not for cold water protecting her body. She can then spend time swinging on the monkey bars and going down the slides until she needs to cool off again on the splash pad.
The splash pads are terrific social centers. From what I have observed, they bring kids together as they laugh and splash as water shoots up and pours down. A camaraderie develops around the shared experience of getting drenched with cool water. Sloan has met several other kids on the pads and their newfound friendship expands to the playground as well. It is like magic.
Splash pads help parents fend off heat strokes too. It is a way for us to stay cool during these sizzling days. Although I don’t run through the pad myself, I do put my hands in the water and cool down my neck or arms. Also, the mist that develops and finds its way to the adults standing on the perimeter of the pads is very much appreciated.
From what I have seen so far, all splash pads are different in Spokane, making it even more fun. Layouts, fountains, geysers, and funnels are all unique at each park, making for a special experience at each one. Variety is the spice of life, right?
Perhaps I am just on such a splash pad high because we were taunted by them last summer. Sloan and I would visit all these Spokane parks and see the elaborate but roped-off pads. Damn you, COVID. You sure know how to break a little girl’s heart.
So maybe we are making up for lost time. Or maybe it is just really hot out. Or both? Yeah, both. Thank you to our area parks for installing splash pads, they sure are fun! Don’t Blink.