Home life: equipment, toys, tips for enjoying the waning summer

The thermostat has officially become sweltering. Whether you’re trying to play in the backyard or just chill out outside, there’s a ton of new ideas and gear designed to help everyone (including pets) stay cool.

First, architects recommend some easy ways to make an outdoor space more heat wave-friendly.

Start hardening: not too dark and not too light. Ron Radziner, one of the directors of the design firm Marmol Radziner, says most stone, tile and concrete will be fine no matter where you live, “but you don’t want to use dark material in a hot climate. It shouldn’t be too bright either – it will be dazzling in the sun.”


Overhead protection from sun and rain, and some wet elements are also important in outdoor spaces, says Jeffrey Dungan, an architect.

“I advise our customers that if it’s not covered, you’re much less likely to use it,” he says. “We all love open patios and lawns, but for long-lasting functionality we really need some respite from the sun — an awning or a porch.”

While a pool is wonderful, he says, “I’ve found that the sound of water is refreshing in itself.

“So we regularly add a baptismal font, spillway, fountain or a stream — something as simple as an old urn with a small pump to move the water up and around can live and add a sense of calm coolness to the hottest summer. day.”

If you have a pool, you’re in luck. But even a hose or faucet can provide watery relief.

Of course, designers and retailers are happy to take that up a notch.

Some suggestions:

For the children

Keep the little ones entertained on a steamy day with Step2’s water and sand table or waterfall discovery wall. Pour a bucket of water onto the canopy of the table and watch the rainforest in action. There are spinners, mazes and funnels on the double-sided water wall. Both toys are aimed at toddlers.

Target has WOW’s heavy-duty splash pad with a diameter of 10 or 12 feet, for every age group. A bumper runs around the perimeter and an adjustable sprinkler is built in.

Another goodie for all ages: Target’s Sun Squad hopscotch sprinkler, which releases a cool jet of water with every step.

Do you have a large backyard? Sunny & Fun’s inflatable water slide features double climbing walls, a bouncy pool floor and whooshing air nozzles for a breath of fresh air of fun.

For the dog

Help keep the pets cool while hiking with RuffWear’s Swamp Cooler cover or vest. A water-absorbent felt liner is covered with a nylon exterior that, cooled or damp, will help your dog stay more comfortable.

If you’re relaxing on a patio or on the beach, consider Midlee’s cheerful green raised pet bed with a canopy, available through Wayfair. It keeps your furry companions off the hot ground and protects them from the sun. Minnidip’s pup-sized cabana tent comes in a chic, tropical palm print.

Instagram is full of snake-loving dogs and people; Increase the fun for everyone with a toy that attaches and swings around. There are crazy daisy versions on Amazon, and Big Mouth has bouncy castles big and small like a fire hydrant, giraffe, dino, unicorn or rainbow.

For the pool

From the Hotel Minnidip collection, designed by Emily Vaca of Minnidip, there is the cheerful, green and white Checker Cabana Stripe umbrella, made of UV-blocking polyester. It can be worn to the beach or pool and placed in the ground or in a base stand.

Also new to this year’s collection, Minnidip’s 3 by 5 foot Arched Checker chaise lounge; blow it up and float the day away on your favorite waterway. Target has a round version with palm print and a cup holder.

In a collaboration between fashion brand Alice + Olivia and Minnidip, there is a round floatie lounger with an attached cup holder. Fill it with ice cubes and a drink container, or a fresh snack.

It might be too hot for hockey or basketball, but take them to the pool with Target’s inflatable Hydro Hockey and Hydro Hoops games. And you can take the classic lawn bowl hole game into the water, with an inflatable version.

For outdoor people

Wade into the waterway with Oru’s newest portable kayak, the Lake. Weighing only 17 pounds and foldable to the size of a small suitcase, it can be stored in a closet. Then take it in the car or on a train and head to the nearest paddling place when the mercury starts to climb.

If your fishing or sport boat doesn’t have a canopy, consider Tuuci’s Shade Blade, which can be mounted in a seatpost or behind the gunwale, and stored in a carry bag.

The Sunbuster heavy-duty nylon collapsible shelter from LL Bean is useful for a day out or at the beach. There’s a floor to keep you off the hot sand or use as a privacy screen, and interior pockets to store small items out of the sun. Put it in a bag with shoulder straps for transport.

Coolibar’s swimwear, hats and face coverings for men, women and children are made from a breathable blend of recycled nylon and lycra, which blocks 98% of UVA rays.

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