Have you heard of water blobs??
I figure if you’ve been on Pinterest at all over the past couple years, you’ve probably stumbled across one, maybe even pinned it to your “Summer Fun” board! I posted the picture above, on Instagram last night, sharing my endeavor to make one. I was surprised that several of the moms who came out for my playdate had never heard of them!
I always kind of figured they would be great for toddlers… and then my brain just stopped paying attention and hey look, a squirrel.
I had this playdate thing scheduled and was trying to think of something different to try out with the kids. This seemed like as good a time as any.
So was it worth it?
Yea… and no.
The concept was really cool. I even thought it was fun pushing on the “blob” with my hands and watching the water swish back and forth. We had about 15 kids playing this morning in my backyard, ages 2 to 13. Between the other inflatable kiddie pools, swing set, and trampoline, the blob received about 15% of the attention.
The kids thought it was cool, but many of them just didn’t get it. Several of the older kids kept staring at it nervously, muttering, “what is it?”
I think it would be a really fun, stand-alone activity for toddlers. It would even be fun on a back porch or deck. Because mine turned out long and skinny, I suggested that the kids run and slide on it. They did try, but without much success. In the end, other activities won, but this was still cool.
What you need:
- 4 Mil painters tarp. I used the 3 ft wide kind because that’s what my husband picked up! It ended up being long and skinny, more like a slip and slide.
- Duct tape (for leaks!)
- An iron and ironing board.
- A paper bag or parchment paper.
I cut the tarp to double my desired length and folded it in half. I used a paper bag because I did not have parchment paper. I set my iron to the hottest setting with no steam. Cut a strip out of the paper bag that is about 4″ wide and a single sheet. Fold the paper bag in half so that it folds over the plastic and covers the top edge and the bottom. Iron along the edge, pressing firmly so that the plastic fuses together and forms a tight seal. I would melt the plastic about 1 1/2″ to 2″ in from the side. Allow a couple seconds to cool before removing the paper bag and working along to the next section. Remember to leave a hole big enough for your hose! Ironing my blob took about 30 minutes.
- Overlap the section you’re ironing so you don’t miss any spots.
- Don’t touch the plastic with your iron directly!
- Use duct tape to seal any leaks you come across, once it’s filled with water. I had a couple spots that didn’t seal all the way and duct tape worked great!
- I added blue food coloring and vinegar to my water… the food coloring made it look pretty and the vinegar just made me feel better for some reason!
- After a full day of use, I punched a hole and threw mine away. It only took about $5 worth of tarp and 30 minutes to make, so it wasn’t worth it to me to try and save it.
The Summer is so busy for my family. We have lots of family trips and church events that use up a huge chunk of our time. I wanted to make sure we had time set aside to get together with friends, so I threw some dates on the calendar and sent out a facebook invite to everyone in the area!
Here’s what I do to make get-togethers (like this one) fun and low stress:
- Simplify the time frame – I thought hosting a playdate in the morning would beat the heat of the day, stay away from most nap times for younger kids, and leave out the hassle of lunch
- Simplify the food – I like simple, inexpensive snacks that can be prepared in advance and don’t need refrigeration. For today, we just did watermelon and banana bread (that I had made last month and froze), water, coffee, and iced coffee.
- Lay out simple ground rules – I don’t want to over-complicate things with too many rules or expectations. My rules are: No kids inside (except for using the restroom), the porch is also a kid-free zone, and 3 kids on the trampoline at a time. The rest should be a given (no pushing, be nice, etc.)
- Don’t worry about the mess! – For times like today, most of the mess stays outside. When I have people over inside my home, the last thing I want them to worry about is their child spilling a drink or tracking in some dirt. I can (and believe me, I will) clean it later, but not while they’re here having fun.
- Enjoy the moment and be present! – I try to have things taken care of ahead of time so I can enjoy time with my guests.