Our First Ever Neighborhood Block Party was made more fun...
thanks to the Slam & Curve Slide from Little Tikes!
Have you seen in movies how close knit neighborhood families are, to the point where they get together during the summer months, holidays, etc. to spend quality time together. They even have block parties, where everyone meets at a neighborhood families' home and everyone brings potluck meals and they play fun games, etc. Does what you see in the movies about neighborhood meet ups really exist? Do you gather with your everyone in the neighborhood for holidays, cookouts or even a block party. Sadly, I only know the two neighbors to each side of me, and another halfway up the hill that my family's passes and says "hello" to while on our nightly walks to visit the horse farm behind our house.
Growing up back in the 70's and 80's things were different. The neighborhood kids, no matter their age would get together and hang out. We would spend every waking hour outside playing or just hanging out -- that was, until our moms called us in for dinner or to do our homework. When it would rain, everyone would gather in one neighborhood kid's basement and play games or watch movies, until we could go outside again. I loved this close knit relationship I had with the neighborhood kids growing up, and my mom still keeps in touch with the moms who are still there -- even though most of us "kids" have moved away and have our own families.
Oh, how I wished I could share these great summer memories with my girls, and let them see how much spending quality time with the neighborhood kids were. But, we live in different times, and most kids would rather stay in the house and play with their electronic devices, talk on their phones, or simply sit in front of the television, than go outside and play. I talked to my husband about introducing ourselves to the neighbors we had never met, in hopes to building a friendship with them. Can you believe I have lived in CT now for over 7 years, and only know my two adjoining neighbors. Sad, huh? What about you? Do you have relationships with moms and families in your neighborhood?
I knew that there were kids in the neighborhood because the school bus makes frequent stops, as well as most are filled with swing sets and outdoor play structures. And, from time to time when we go walking, we see kids playing outside and wave. But, that is the extent of our interaction. After talking with my neighbor next to me, I came up with the idea of hosting a neighborhood block party of sorts. I would invite everyone in the neighborhood and have them over for a fun days of family games, a cookout, and they could cool off in our pool and new Slam & Curve water slide from Little Tikes, which I was recently sent to review.
"The perfect backyard inflatable water slide! This amazing water slide features a climbing wall, curved slide and large wading pool area. It is large enough for multiple children to use at once, but folds compactly for easy storage. A great way for kids to stay active and stay cool in the summer."
I made up invitation and sent them around, and sat back and waiting for RSVP's to come back to me. In total, I sent out 50 invitations, and by the time Father's Day weekend rolled around (the party weekend), I had 38 families signed up. As I went through the RSVP's, I couldn't get over how many kids lived in the neighborhood, as you would never have known it seeing that it is always quiet here. In addition, many of the families were around my husband and my age, which also surprised me, as I never saw them. I couldn't wait to meet everyone. I have to admit, I felt like a kid again going into a new grade and school for the first time, and being nervous about meeting new people. The butterflies lasting until the Sunday AM of our neighborhood block party. :-)
With the help of my husband and neighbor, we got all the backyard games ready (horseshoes, boccie, badminton, ring toss, bean bag toss, potato sack races, and a few more). But, I have to admit the attraction of the whole party and one that bustling the entire time was the Slam & Curve Slide by Little Tikes. Even though we had only had this water slide for a couple of weeks, my girls were in love with it. Instead of waiting for my husband to come home at night to go for nightly swims, they opted to spend their afternoons playing with the Slam & Curve. And, you know what, I didn't mind, as I could see that they were having a blast.
• Challenging inflatable rock wall leads to a slippery slide with a gentle curve at the
end for a fun ride into the refreshing pool
• Roomy splash pool includes an inflatable basketball hoop and ball
• Step-down in side wall for easy entrance and exit
• After inflation, blower must run continuously while children are playing
• Inflatable must be anchored firmly in place
• Maximum number of kids: 3
• Maximum combined weight limit: 350 lbs.
Because my girls are young and just learning how to swim, I have to wait until my husband comes home, so that we can each date a daughter into the pool. I am not comfortable taking them by myself as they are still too young. As a result, we have lost many great swim days because my husband gets home late and the sun is down by the time he gets home, thus making the water cold and uninviting for the girls. But, with the Slam & Curve (which doesn't take up a lot of precious backyard space,, which I personally love), I can have this inflatable water slide up and ready for play in a matter of minutes. And, the girls could spend the entire day outside, if I let them.
Just as my girls eyes were big when they saw the Slam & Curve water slide inflated for the first time, so where the neighborhood children's, who ranged in age from 2 years old to 14 years old. They thought it was so cool to have a water slide of this size in our backyard, and couldn't wait to take a turn going down the water slide.
In addition to the water slide, which had constant water spraying the slide and those going down it, the Slam & Curve also has a nice wading pool area where little ones can sit in and have fun. And, for those waiting to use the wall climber to get to the top of the slide, there is a basketball hoop with inflatable ball that you can play while waiting. It was great to see the kids having so much fun and playing together.
And, you know what, this one thing really brought the neighborhood families together. The parents were pulling out their phones to take photos, and talking about how they wished they had a Slam & Curve when they were growing up. Not only would they be the talk of the neighborhood and the go-to house that all the kid would want to hang out at, but summertime would have been more fun, as only 1-2 kids had pools. So, we relied on water balloon fights, super soaker water gun fights, and even sprinkler runs to cool off. On those hot days, one kid would always lay out a plastic tarp and run the hose on it, which created a wet and wild slide. :-) See, we improvised back them, and had a blast.
But, today's kids expect things, and they were not disappointed with the Little Tikes Slam & Curve Slide, which retails for only $399.99. I know what you are thinking -- a little pricey? Well, compare this to the maintenance and upkeep of a pool, and the time spent cleaning it comparing to actually spending time with the family in it. Here in New England the weather is always unpredictable, and with frequent rain during the summer months, I found myself shocking and cleaning the pool more than we used it. And, because the girls are young, they prefer running through the sprinkler, or now ask for the Slam & Curve to be blown up for an afternoon of water fun. Just thinking about how much fun our girls have been having on this inflatable water slide, I am seriously considering not opening the pool next summer. Not only will it save on electricity, chemical and operation costs, as well as my personal time the upkeep of it, I will not have to worry about the girls getting in the pool area and falling in, which is always a concern for me (as is many parents who own a pool and have little ones who like to get into things).
They are content with the Little Tikes Slam & Curve, and have many more years to enjoy it, as it is recommended for kids ages 5-10 yrs. old. My girls are 2.5 and 3.5 and have no problem getting up the wall to the top of the slide, and love splashing around and lounging in the wading pool. And, the neighborhood kids also prefer this inflatable water slide over the pool. During our block party, only a few parents were dipping their feet in the pool, while the kids were having a blast with the Slam & Curve Slide. It is definitely an investment that you will be happy you made, and one that the kids will not grow tired of quickly (think that oversized trampoline outside that they just had to have and don't use any more). I love being able to inflate the Little Tikes Slam & Curve Slide in a matter of minutes, and when not in use, it folds up and stores in a durable waterproof storage bag. And, unlike other inflatables on the market, this one comes with the blower and stakes, so you have everything in the box to use this water slide, without the need to purchase additional supplies. :-)
We have so many great photos of our girls, and their new friends from the neighborhood enjoying the Slam & Curve Slide from Little Tikes, during our 1st (but not last) neighborhood summer block party. And, since then, I have had play dates with the neighborhood kids, and whenever it is hot, I have an open invitation for the kids and their moms to come on down and have fun in our Little Tikes Slam & Curve Slide with my girls.
This summer was filled with more firsts, including making new friends (which can be done, even when you are an adult) for both our girls and my husband and I. I have also noticed the neighbors outside more and saying "Hello" to one another. It is nice to see our neighborhood come alive, and know that people actually live in the houses. And, my girls have a list of friends' phone numbers next to the fridge which they can call on for play dates. :-)
I am in talks with the neighbors about doing another party, this time to wind down the summer and get the kids ready for back to school. And, one this is for sure, the Slam & Curve water slide from Little Tikes will yet again be the main attraction.
To learn more about this water slide and other fun outdoor inflatables and play structures suitable for kids of all ages, visit the Little Tikes website today -- http://www.littletikes.com/. Since welcoming our girls, Little Tikes has been our go-to brand for indoor and outdoor toys for the girls. They are durable, withstanding even the most rugged play of toddlers, and offer hours of playtime fun. I highly recommend Little Tikes Slam & Curve Slide to those looking for a fun outdoor activity for the kids. Or, if you have been weighing the options of putting in a pool or hate the upkeep of your current pool, why not consider picking up this water slide? Your kids will think you are the coolest! Can't wait to see summer memories captures of your kids/grandkids enjoying their very own Little Tikes Slam & Curve slide, so please share them and tag me on Facebook so that I can see. :-)
Disclosure: I was sent a sample from the vendor in order to write up an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.