The best splash pads to beat the heat

Beach babies in the backyard.

Odds are your parents figured out in your early years that a garden hose was the simplest thing to simultaneously occupy you and keep you from overheating. Now you can do the same for your kids but with a lot more style and finesse. Splash pads come in a dazzling array of shapes and sizes, and frankly offer some delightful designs that might make you decide you don’t need the excuse of a Caribbean beach to make you put on your bathing suit.

Osmose the alphabet. Amazon

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This shallow water pool provides a safe space for your toddlers to interact with water while exploring the alphabet. The gentle sprinklers will keep things entertaining without overwhelming apprehensive tykes.

Everyone just wants to have fun. Amazon

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What better way to take in some sun than in a neon pink shell as water gently rains down on your crowned head? Functioning as a splash pad and wading pool, this should be a dream come true for mermaid and princess enthusiasts from ages four to ten. Crowns and wands are included because, of course!

Under da sea. Amazon

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Light, sturdy, portable, and 54 inches in diameter, the Sprinkle & Splash Play Mat can accommodate a number of small kids and be cleaned and packed up in a jiff. Perhaps most importantly, the product is phthalate- and BHP-free.

Baby shark doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo. Amazon

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With a 68-inch diameter, this splash pad can accommodate a veritable shiver of baby sharks. Its placid blue exterior and fun shark design are sure to be a hit with just about everyone. And it’s made from sturdy and kid-friendly materials.

Island in the sun. Amazon

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For some, a simple water pad is just not going to cut it. So maybe this portable water enclave will. Featuring a slide, jump pad, water pool, climbing wall, and plenty of safety measures, this will keep the kids busy. It takes about 10 minutes to inflate and 10 minutes to take down, and weighs around 70 pounds so it is, technically, portable.