Ultimate Splash Pad Guide - MetroFamily Magazine
MetroFamily Magazine

Where OKC parents find fun & resources

Ultimate Splash Pad Guide

by Skye Latimer

Reading Time: 3 minutes 

As we slip into the summer sun, it’s time to jump into the splash pads of the metro for a refreshing, family experience and the wonderful world of water play.

Toward the middle of the pandemic, splash pads became our safe space. An outside way to get the wiggles out and be around other kids and families without masks, fear or 6-foot bubbles. As a full-time working parent, the splash pad was also a surefire way to zap a toddler of their energy providing a solid two hours of silent work time.

Water play offers numerous benefits for children, including physical, cognitive, and social development. It promotes motor skills, coordination and sensory integration while providing a sensory-rich environment. When we entertain our children with water play, it enhances creativity, problem-solving abilities and language skills. It also fosters social interaction, cooperation and emotional development as children engage in collaborative play.

As you journey across the Metro from pad to pad, here are my must-haves and my do’s and don’ts for a productive and fun splash zone party.

Bag Packing Tips:

  • Sunscreen
  • Extra towel(s), at LEAST two per person
  • Change of clothes for all parties watching and participating (always be prepared to run in in case of an emergency)
  • Change of shoes for all parties watching and participating
  • Sunhat or ball cap and sunglasses
  • Kindle or audio books to keep the grown-ups entertained too (physical books, splashes and wind do not mix)
  • For children in diapers, bring extra wipes and swim diapers. Sometimes, all that joy and sun brings poop.
  • For kids with curls, kinks, braids and twists, don’t forget a shower or swim cap to protect those tresses
  • Lotion, in case you’re not going straight home after to bathe/shower
  • Waterproof bag for wet clothes. (Economy idea: plastic bags or a small laundry hamper from the dollar store. Throw open the trunk of the car, change the kid and toss it all in there.)
  • Insulated water bottles
  • Sandcastle toys like a bucket pail or something that will allow kids to scoop and dump water. It’s for science.

Splash Snacks:

Kal’s favorite eat-on-the-move, non-refrigerated snacks:

  • Tortilla chips, granola bar, Teddy Grahams, Cheeze-its/Goldfish, rice cakes and popcorn.

*Don’t take dairy snacks to the splash pad. We’ve already discussed poop.

Hunger crusher:

  • When possible, I’ll pick up a small pizza, chicken tenders or something that can be eaten later. PRO-TIP these items can stay in the sun and maintain their consistency as the Midwest sun continues to cook it

Grown-up goodies:

  • Your favorite seltzer or canned beverage
  • Apple juice, with frozen fruit as ice cubes and a splash of your favorite adult beverage
  • Summer sangria
  • Spiked Sonic slushes

*Just remember: no glass or littering in the parks.

PRO-TIP: keep your phone in the shade, and if it overheats, set a cold can on the screen for a few minutes.

Potty breaks:

Unless you have boys, there’s no easy way to navigate breaks. Potty at home. Potty before. Use those extra towels as a shield in case of emergencies.

Our Favorite Spray Grounds:

  • The Splash Pad at Andrews Park, Norman — This small and intimate splash pad is located directly across from the Norman Central Library and in proximity to Equity Brewing Company. We enjoy family storytime, hit the splash pad and then end with lunch at Equity.
  • Scissortail Park Water Fountains, OKC — For kiddos who like the water but don’t like the sensory overload of splash, this park has a still, minimal water area. Perfect for touching, rolling, dumping and reflection play! We always enjoy Spark while we’re there and take photos with the flowers in bloom.
  • Little River Park Splash Pad, Moore — While tucked away in the neighborhood behind Plaza Towers Elementary, this gem is no secret. Both a playground and spray ground, families typically arrive at the park around 9am and stay for hours bouncing between the two. This splash pad is more advanced than most, and has less visibility of your child as they play. Expect a sugar rush as there’s usually an ice cream or snow cone truck there in the afternoons.

more stories

Verified by MonsterInsights