Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hounding Them About Hydration

We got this playset for the kids 2 years ago. We anticipated having 4 children, so we figured that it was worth the investment to get a large scale set that would grow with the kids. The swings are high enough for any adult to swing freely and comfortably. We always thought that older preteens avoided playsets because they were too mature, but we've found that they enjoy playing here because they aren't too big for it!

The mulch is recycled tire rubber. It's the industry standard for safety. From a farm perspective, the bugs hate it. I suppose it gets too hot for them. We haven't had issues with spiders, ant beds, or webs on the playground. Our mulch came from International Mulch. The NuPlay nuggets are large enough to find and toss back in if they get misplaced in the grass. We are still recovering from the heart attack that accompanied the price of the rubber mulch, but if you do the math on tree bark mulch that needs amending every year, it pays for itself eventually. Pea Gravel and sand were out of the question. They are annoying and messy in your shoes, a cat-haven, and they aren't rated to prevent a head injury from the maximum height of our set.

While most children go to their swing-sets to exercise, we've found that the kids gravitate to the playground to cool off! They will run around the farm and then stop for a while to swing, play in the sandbox, or sit up high and pet the cat for a while. Because this is where the kids usually stop to rest, I think it would be the perfect spot for a water fountain. In the south, we call them water fountains, but I've learned that there is no such thing on eBay. The proper term is "drinking fountain."

I've been stalking eBay for a "drinking fountain" for about 5 months now. I've bid on a few, and the one that I really wanted got away at over $80.00. Can't you just imagine the kids stopping by for a refreshing sip of water from one of these beauties?

I prefer the really old porcelain fountains that are petite and have the gear turn. I've resisted the urge to bid on some of the pretty nice ones that have only a push button. I'm afraid a button will be too difficult for the little ones to press.

I've also entertained the idea of purchasing a bubbler with handle. They run about $40. I've been brainstorming ways to make my own basin and stand. We have some 8"x8" Cypress post remnants laying around, but I can't figure out what I would use for a bowl. Even though it would drain into the grass, I think a bowl would prevent them from getting themselves soaked. I considered a few things, but it really needs to be shallow so it doesn't fill with leaves and spider webs.

No matter what the fountain looks like, I know my kitchen floors are bound to look better! No more muddy footprints inside, and no more empty cups strewn about the backyard!