It’s been another summer of heatwaves – and the best way to cool off with your kids is to turn your garden into a mini water park. Here’s how we did it…
If your kids are anything like mine, they probably love stripping off and splashing about in water the second the sun comes out. But rather than traveling miles and spending a fortune on overcrowded water parks, why not make one at home instead?
Slip and slide
On the first bank holiday of this summer we realised our 3-year-old had outgrown his paddling pool, so we decided to up the fun levels by spending possibly the best £13.49 we’ve ever spent on the Chad Valley Double Slip and Slide from Argos.
It’s the easiest thing in the world to use You just stake it into the ground with a couple of plastic pegs at one end, attach your hose to it, then you’re off. The highlight has to be the mini pool you crash into when you reach the end. We must have got this thing out more than 10 times this summer, and trust me it never gets boring.
One Slip and Slide doesn’t make a water park! So recently we also added a giant inflatable water-spraying palm tree into the mix.
This thing is hilarious. I thought it would send out a small trickle of water, but instead it pumps jets about 10 feet into the air and sprays the whole garden with water. Works brilliantly if you aim it down the slip and slide!
That’s the grand centerpieces of your mini garden water park sorted, so now you need to add a few bits around the edges. Paddling pools are the obvious first step. We keep ours dotted around the edge of the slip and slide in case anyone wants to do a rogue dive off the edge into a small pool of water while they’re sliding.
We bought our first paddling pool from Poundland a few years ago (for a pound, if you hadn’t guessed), and it’s still going strong today. It’s about the size of a dustbin lid, but perfect for babies and young toddlers. We’ve also added a slightly larger one for our big horrible toddler, but I’m resisting the temptation to upgrade further to one of those stand-up pools that need cleaning every 10 minutes!
Football, buckets and water guns
You’ve now almost managed to turn your garden into a mini water park, but it’s not finished until you add a few basic toys too. I can strongly recommend chucking a small football down the slip and slide, then racing each other to see who can smash it into a goal at the other end first.
Buckets, spades and watering cans are the staple of any young kid’s summer garden toys. Then of course, you need a water gun. We’ve got about six of them, ranging from one you strap to your back with its own storage container, to a mini foam one perfect for swimming pools and a full-on super soaker.
Now, all you need to do is get out into your garden, have loads of fun with your kids, and try not to think about the water bill at the end of the summer!