Make a Splash: How Splash Pads Can Benefit Your Community

young boy playing at splash pad

Call them spray parks, aquatic play pads, or just simply “splash pads,” these innovative water play areas offer a fun, interactive and accessible recreational space with advantages for children, families, communities, and city planners.

What is a splash pad?

A splash pad is a zero-depth aquatic play area that allows people to cool off through the use of sprinklers, fountains, ground nozzles, and other structures and devices that spray water. Often surfaced with a non-slip concrete or poured in place rubber surfacing, some splash pads feature “rainbows” (semicircular pipe showers), “mushrooms” (tree-shaped showers) or moveable nozzles that allow users to spray others. Typically, the water is either recycled or fresh water treated to the same quality standard as that of a swimming pool.

Benefits for Kids

  • Bring children outside and promote engagement with nature.
  • Offer opportunities for developing sensory and mental growth.
  • Provide ways for children to use their imaginations.
  • Water play is fun and appealing for all ages.

Community Advantages

  • Offer an outdoor alternative for entertainment.
  • Encourage youth and families to interact and engage with one another.
  • Provides a place for communities to gather and interact.

Municipal Advantages

  • Reduce water usage with careful choice of features.
  • Level surface is accessible for children with disabilities.
  • Safer, as there is little to no standing water.
  • Less expensive to run given minimal risk to users (most splash pads do not employ lifeguards).

Still can’t picture what a splash pad looks like or how to use one? Check out some of the latest layouts from Water Odyssey, one of the country’s leading designers and manufacturers of interactive water features and aquatic play equipment.

Progressive communities across the United States are investigating splash pads for their many benefits. By getting people outside, bringing people together, and encouraging interactive play, they’re a fun and affordable way for local municipalities to bring families and communities together!