At the Rowley house, we think that outdoor water play is an essential part of our summer camp at home… and something that we like to indulge in often. Since our house is not blessed with a swimming pool, and up until this summer I haven't felt comfortable taking all six kids to the town pool by myself, we have created our own water fun in many other ways.
I remember way back when… water play was an easy adventure. Simply add some warm water to the this stand alone water table, give the kiddos a few buckets and spoons to dip and pour with, and they were thrilled! You could even do it indoors in January if you wished, with three feet of snow on the ground (as evidenced in this photo)!
As the kids grew a little older, our water play moved towards Slip ‘ N Slides… purchased at Target for a relatively small cost, all that was required was rolling it out, adding a few stakes at the ends, and attaching the hose. The kids would run and slide for hours- and had the best time!
And then we moved into the outdoor water play “big leagues”… the blow up water slide! This one came courtesy of Uncle Brian as a Christmas present a few years back (they all wanted to blow it up and try it in the basement Christmas morning, but Steve and I put our foot down on that one!). This requires a bit more effort, it's heavy (especially when wet), and must be attached to a blower to keep the thing inflated while the kids are playing on it. So out come the extension cords and more stakes to keep everything in place. Well worth the effort- because this provides serious fun!
But as you might imagine, six kids pounding away at a water slide all summer long for several summers… and its days were numbered. We managed to create a small tear in the middle of the slide (just in the outer layer)- which quickly became a large tear, and the darn thing would just fill up with water on the inside… making it weigh about two million pounds (give or take).
So we graduated to this monster… it comes complete with two slides- a long twisty slide and a small run and jump through the hoop slide, as well as two water cannons to squirt the sliders as they ride down. And a small pool on the bottom. My kids LOVE this thing. Mom…. not so much. It's HUGE- weighs a ton and is absolutely impossible to drain completely before it is time to put away.
We've only been out of school a week, and the kids have been begging me to drag it out… but with the temps only reaching the high 70's so far, and our water coming from a very cold well…. I know that it will take my 1 hour to set up, leading to exactly 10 minutes of play time before they declare it “freezing”, and head back into the house while I then spend 2 hours to take it all down.
Ahhh… but when I see these smiling faces from last year's pictures- I know what I need to go and do… right now….. It's time to set up the slide!
And here are some other Fun Things to Do as part of your Summer Camp At Home: