Summers on the Atlantic coast are brutal. I spend a good amount of time just strategizing ways to keep my kids cool and happy, and it gets really tiring after a while. There are only so many trips through the sprinklers and outings to the beach that a family can do before it becomes tedious. That's why when I saw this water-misting swing set, I was immediately intrigued.
The IronKids Challenge 300 Refreshing Mist Swing Set from Wayfair is only $360, and it comes with a ladder, slide, two swings, a rope climb, and a monkey bar with hand grips. It also has a built-in mist system and a UV protective sun shade to provide extra comfort during those long, hot summer days. IronKids noted in the product description that up to five kids can play on this swing set at one time, and that the weight rating for the mesh platform is 100 pounds, so most parents should steer clear of the platform. Its max weight per child playing is 80 pounds, so it's really best for younger kids. The swing set is made of a composite frame, with corkscrew ground anchors that are designed to prevent any unsafe movement of the set while in use.
But let's talk specifically about that mist function. According to the product description, the cooling system has an "adjustable mist volume control and 4 brass nozzles" to cover all stations of the swing set. You just hook it up to your hose or another external water faucet. The mist can help keep your kids cool and hydrated, but it also has an easy-to-use shut off valve when they've had enough.
My siblings and I had a swing set growing up, and it was one of our favorite warm weather activities. We fought over the swings and slide like all normal kids, and like most kids, learned about gravity really quickly when we got a bit too rambunctious. Growing up in an extremely humid environment, this mister would have been a boon to our playtime, but alas, nothing like this existed in the '90s. Back then we just sprayed each other with the hose and went back to play. Fun in its own way, but nowhere near as sophisticated as all of that. Plus, we totally trashed a patch in my parent's lawn every summer with how we mucked it up.
I will admit I was a bit concerned about the safety of a misting swing set — slippery bars and all — but my husband was quick to remind me that the mist from the water sprayers at almost all the New York City parks end up spraying the whole of the equipment, and our children manage to play just fine. They adjust. Children are much stronger and more balanced than their mothers, it would seem. (Not hard to do, I am far less than graceful.) Plus the product description promises that the misting system won't soak everything either.
I mean, it's not like they're going to cover the slide in dish soap like my siblings and I did. I honestly have no idea how we all survived the '90s.
Kids don't play outside enough, according to The Journal of Children's Geographies. I know that it's a struggle to get them to put down their Xbox controller, Switch, or iPad, and get them out in the real world, engaging their bodies and their minds. Sometimes it even requires a bit of bribery. The fact that this swing set has a mister can do just that. Kids are going to love the novelty of it and the newness in the idea. They're going to love playing hard in the shade, and being comfortable in an area that's not a "virtual" space, but an "actual" play area.
IronKids is devoted to getting kids outdoors and experiencing life through exercise and activity in fun, new ways that encourage a lifetime love of the outdoors and movement. They knew that when they made this swing set, that kids would be excited about it, and want to be outside. They developed it to meet or exceed the Consumer Products Safety Commission standards, and put it at an affordable price point.
Everyone is going to want one this summer. I know I do.