Let your children explore the fun world of water play! Oak Wells Aquatics offers an exciting range of water fun attractions aimed at younger children and toddlers to add to your facility. We are currently based in Jacksonville, Florida. Get in touch with us to discuss the features of the water play pool you desire. We can even design for you a unique, custom-made water play pool per your preferences.
What is a Water Play Pool?
A water play pool can be defined as a 'shallow man-made structure constructed from materials other than soil or natural earth with water and has a good drainage system to prevent the accumulation of water.' Water play pools are recreational facilities, specifically designed for children and toddlers. They are often found in public parks, schools, and childcare centers. Currently, water play pools are quite popular among children, and some homeowners have also decided to incorporate them in their private residences.
Typically, water play pools have little or no standing water. The water used is either fresh, recycled, or treated in the same level of quality as swimming pool water standards.
Types of Water Play Pools
There are two main types of water play pools: spray pads and interactive fountains. Both of these types have similar features: spray nozzles, little or no standing water, and non-slip surfaces.
Spray pads are also referred to as splash pads or spray parks. Typically, they have ground nozzles that can spray water upwards out of the rain-deck of the splash pad. Spray pads can also have other features like a tree or mushroom-shaped showers, and rainbows (semicircular pipe showers). Some pads may have movable nozzles that resemble those found on fire trucks to enable the users to spray each other. Often, a hand-activated motion sensor controls the ground nozzles and showers to run for a specific period. These spray pads are normally surfaced in crumb rubber or textured non-slip concrete.
Interactive fountains are visually appealing, and they are specifically designed to allow easy access, especially at the ground level. Their surfaces are non-slip, and they have little or no standing water. Multiple fountains may start and stop according to a pattern or in unison to create an artistic effect.
Common Features of Water Play Pools
Here are some of the most common features of water play pools:
Most water play pools have spray nozzles. The strength of the spray force may vary depending on the water flow. Sometimes, it can be quite strong, to match like rainfall or fine mist. Water play pools for children are specifically designed to have a moderate spray force.
Beneath a splash pad or an interactive fountain, there are drain openings. The primary purpose of these drain openings is to prevent water from accumulating or flooding in the pool. In some cases, the collected water from these drain openings will be recycled back into the nozzles. Alternately, a fresh-water source may continually supply the water to be used in the pool.
Children like water play pools that have rope swings for them to mimic the 'Disney – Tarzan' experience. The design of these rope swings should consider the pool slope, trajectory, and potential impact with the side of the pool, decks, and walls. Generally, rope swings should not conflict with other pool features to enhance a safe environment for your kids.
Water Flumes and Slides
There are various types of water flumes and slides. Some are primarily designed for toddlers, while others are meant to cater to adults in hotel amusement parks. These slides are usually susceptible to holding stagnant water, and they should be disinfected regularly. Your pool manufacturer should also be cautious when designing the slide, and it should not have loose railings, leaking seals, and extremely sharp edges.
You can include several wave features in your water play pool for it to be more exciting for your kids. Some examples of wave features include deck guardrails and wave chamber bars. However, waves may create an unsafe environment for your children, and you may need to watch over them as they play.
Factors to Consider When Constructing Water Play Pools
There are various factors to consider when constructing water play pools. Some of them include:
Although water play pools are deemed to be multigenerational, a constructor must consider the target audience before setting them up. Water play pool manufacturers primarily focus on the teens to toddlers market.
Even if the market demographic is narrow, pool designers must vary the spray force of each pool per its target audience. Toddlers prefer fine mists, or non-intimidating, gentle sprays; while teenagers are fond of dumping elements and higher-volume sprays.
Spray nozzles are appealing to toddlers. On the other hand, teens will most likely prefer 50 gallons of water pumped at once. Water play pools can be designed into different zones to accommodate kids of different age groups. For instance, in the toddler zone, the water should be of low height with laminar-type flow effects. On the other hand, the teen zone should have multiple spray jets with a strong spray force.
You can also opt for ground-level trenches that have water-flow gates or animal sculptures that can shoot water down from 15 feet overhead or rather, your pool manufacturer can design water tunnels for children to run through them.
Water play pools are primarily user-activated. A child may touch a valve or a bollard. This touch will signal the controller to activate several play features for a programmed period. These features will automatically come on and off during the play period. Since they are sequenced at different rates and at different times, they guarantee a refreshing experience to your kids.
It is the system type of the pool that will determine the exact percentage of active features at a particular time. In water pool play mechanics; there are just two types of systems: the recirculating system and the flow-through system.
In a flow-through system, water is pumped onto the splash pad and permitted to drain into the local authority’s storm system. This water may also be used for irrigation purposes. The flow-through system requires no testing and water treatment, but it consumes millions of gallons of water.
On the other hand, the recirculating system operates just like a swimming pool – with pumps, chemicals, and filters. Water is pumped into the pad from a tank that is roughly four times the system’s flow rate. For instance, if the water play pool’s features have a flow rate of 2500 gallons per minute; you will require a tank of 10,000 gallons to maintain water quality.
For you to preserve water in a flow-through splash pad, you will have to utilize low-flow nozzles and activate only up to 60% of features at a given play period. On the contrary, you can activate up to 100% of the features in a recirculating water pool play system. This is why spray grounds that are primarily designed for teens should be constructed using the recirculating system. Such pads release big and heavy sprays with a high water volume.
Water play pool surfaces are usually made from non-slip materials. The most common spray pad surface is brushed concrete because it enhances the overall accessibility and safety of the pool. Besides brushed concrete, there are resilient synthetic surfacing materials. These synthetic materials can easily withstand the rigors of the sun, bacteria, and chlorinated water.
The Benefits of Water Play Pools
Why should you construct a water play pool? There are many benefits of water play pools to your children, and they are not merely recreational facilities. Water play pools provide a multitude of fantastic development and learning opportunities. Here are some of the benefits of water play pools:
Children can find water play to be both invigorating and calming, depending on the activity they are primarily engaged in. As they vigorously splash, kick, and run around; they release pent up energy and have fun at the same time!
Emotionally Therapeutic Water Play
Children don't have to be busy and loud while playing in a water play pool. They can play quietly and benefit from the repetitive and relaxing nature of scooping, pouring, and running their hands through water. This way, they lose themselves in the gentle physical repetition, and this makes them unwind, calm down, and relax.
Developing Motor Skills
Water play pools help children of different age groups in developing both gross and fine motor skills. When a young child sees water trickling in front of him, he will reach out to feel the trickle and capture the flow with his hands. This will make him enhance his eye-hand coordination skills. As he kicks, splashes, and sweeps his arms and hands through the water, he will be developing body core strength and stamina.
Developing Social Skills
Water play pools assist children to develop crucial social skills needed in their day to day lives. This is because they mostly play as a group, and they learn to take turns and share the various premium features of the pool. They can also implement the ideas of other kids, or even initiate a unique idea by themselves. Water play pools enhance cooperation and teamwork among kids, which are the skills needed to develop friendships in the future.
Building Communication and Language
The easiest way to teach your toddler how to speak is by making him participate in a water play pool activity. As other children talk out loud the various play items and play scenarios, he will quickly learn from them.
Even if your child already knows how to speak, water play pools can help him enhance his vocabulary. As the kids play with water, they practice language skills and communication. They often narrate the play scenario out loud, stringing words together, and building coherent sentence structures.
Stimulating Imagination and Creativity
The play experience in a splash pad is versatile, and it can stretch and develop the creativity and imagination of your child. For instance, they can discover new play items or unique play scenarios.
Mathematics and Science Learning
Water play builds the foundation of understanding various mathematical and scientific concepts. During a water play pool activity, your children will compare and measure volumes and observe motion. All these concepts are both scientific and mathematical in nature. Participating in a water play pool activity is a fun way to work on preschool readiness programs!
Water Play Pool Safety
Even though playing in a spray ground is fun; your child can sustain certain physical injuries or contract waterborne diseases if you fail to take some safety measures. You should be vigilant in how you assess the safety of the pool before permitting your child to play in it. Here are some few tips to ensure water play pool safety:
- Supervise your children as they play
- Utilize a chemical-free sunscreen and reapply it often
- Warn your children not to be rough with each other in the spray ground area
- If you have toddlers, let them use the bathroom frequently and change their soiled diapers immediately to prevent contamination
- Ensure the pool you use is treated regularly to keep the water safe
- Warn your children to avoid drinking the water, because they may believe the spray nozzles to be water fountains
- Carry lots of drinking water since active toddlers and teens become thirsty frequently on a hot day
Find a Jacksonville Water Play Pool Designer Near Me
Maybe you have had a lifelong dream to construct a water play pool in your childcare facility or perhaps a Memorial Day weekend spent in a recreational park with a splash pad has just planted the seed. At Oak Wells Aquatics in Jacksonville, we have experts who can create for you a custom made, uniquely designed water play pool that will make your kids fall in love with it. Call us today at 904-619-3281 to get your project started.