Please, Don’t Invite Us to the Splash Pad

Summertime is about to begin! For moms of little ones that means play dates at the splash pad. What’s not to love about the splash pad? Water, shade, time to socialize with your friends. Added bonus: you don’t really have to worry about drowning.

As good as it all sounds, this summer I’m making one request:

Please, don’t invite us to the splash pad.

First, let me explain. I’ve brought my son to the splash pad several times already. I dressed him in his swim suit, slathered him with sunscreen, and packed towels and snacks. On our way to the splash pad, he seems super pumped! He talks about the water and how much fun it will be, but when we get there his entire attitude toward the splash pad changes.

He wants nothing to do with it!

I think we both like the idea of the splash pad, but in reality, it’s just not for my kid. He spends the entire play date running around the splash pad. Or wandering to other parts of the park. Or asking to go home. To be honest, I worry about him overheating because he spends no time in the water at all!

Thinking it was the “type” of splash pad, I tried other parks. He still wanted nothing to do with it. We’ve gone to the splash pad by ourselves, with one other kid, and with a whole slew of them – still not interested! Each time, I would leave the splash pad feeling defeated and frustrated. Why can’t he just play in the water?!

I’m admitting defeat.

My kid does not like splash pads. As much as I would love to go on that play date with you and your kids, it’s just not going to end well. You’ll get to spend time sitting on the bench, watching your child do what children do at the splash pad–have a nice cool time in the water. Me? I’ll be running around, trying to keep my kid within the boundaries of the place he wants nothing to do with, kicking myself for trying the splash pad thing, again.

Maybe we’ll try splash pads next year.

Jaime Mackey
Originally from Florida, Jaime has lived in Southern Louisiana for most of her life (so, that makes her a local, right?). She currently resides on the Northshore with her husband and son and teaches high school English. An enneagram 5, you'll most likely find her doing hot yoga solo, on her phone researching a random topic or sitting in the comfort of her home with coffee and a book within an arm's reach.


  1. My daughter absolutely hated the splashpad last summer even though she loved the pool, but we tried again last weekend and she loved it. Maybe your son will like it this year or next.

  2. Maybe try putting on your suit and splashing with him? Or if he’s just running the perimeter, just go in by yourself and squeal with joy so he sees he’s missing something super fun? I start at the edge with my son, he loves them from a distance but as soon as we get beat he gets nervous for the first few moments. We stand together at the edge of the water, I start by slowly putting my hand in the water, he follows suit. I slowly stick one foot in the water, he follows suit, and eventually within a minute or two he is fully engaged and it is impossible to get him OUT of the water!!

    Good luck momma, and try not to get too frustrated. Remind yourself that it takes multiple introductions to get kiddos used to new things so no trip is wasted … Each time is hopefully just one step closer to little man gaining the courage to jump into the fun!

    Or you know, there’s always next year like you said haha 🙂


  3. Give it time. My daughter went through a phase where she absolutely hated water. It was so bad that for awhile I was having to wash her with wipies.

    Turns out, it was just a confidence thing. My mom took her to the pool a few times (kicking and screaming), but once she figured out there was nothing to be afraid of she had a blast. She now requests to go to the pool everyday and wants to swim on her own.

    Hang in there! It will get better!

  4. My grandson was the same way, one year, then he absolutely loved them; kids are fluid, try adding “for now” to end of that statement because you never know how things will change. Maybe your child likes to be around his friends too so don’t think it’s impossible to ever enjoy that play date to the splash pad.


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