Heat Wave Edition

Four summers ago, we went through a heat wave just like this one. Only recollectable difference: I was nearly eight months pregnant last time. With Ryan in tow (then three years old), I climbed our playscape with a power drill and expertly installed the water slide adapter my husband said would not fit on our swingset. Or would fit, but would be a tripping hazard. Or some other reason that seemed insane to a very hot and bothered pregnant person.

I slid down too, with such impact into the playground mulch that I spent the next 24 hours rehearsing how to tell my husband, my doctor and my mother what had triggered early labor.  Somehow I made it to my due date some weeks later.

Four years later, that $19.99 water slide adapter had both my kids singing “it’s the best day ever” (sponge Bob version) after a multiple water slide sessions this week, including one pre-bedtime slide, topped off with outdoor showers on the playscape deck.


Last night, with the help of two friends, the kids set up a tarp catch basin at the bottom.  Before long, they had a few inches of a splash pool to land in.  Instant water park in your backyard.

You can order one from Timbergyms and other swingset retailers.  You could of course simply position a garden hose or sprinkler near your slide, but we sure have gotten our $20 worth of this device.

Since my local news team keeps teasing that the heat isn’t going away just yet, here are a few other ways we have been keeping cool:


My kids had never tasted creamsicles before, a major staple of my summer camp experiences.  Now they’ve been spoiled with these homemade ones, made from fresh oranges, vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.  Recipe and photo from a wonderful blog called A Beautiful Mess.



Like hundreds of thousands of others, we’ve been smitten with the Rainbow Loom bug. This clever loom, created by an engineer-dad for his two daughters, provides great fine motor work with quick colorful wearable results.  It takes a bit of patience to get started, but spending a few minutes watching a nine year old’s tutorial on YouTube will get you and your little ones up to speed quickly.  The box says 8 and up, but my almost-seven year old picked it up quickly, and my almost four year old can make the simple stitch with assistance.  Available at Learning Express stores and on-line; $14.95 for the basic kit, $3.99 for additional bags of rubber bands.

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