Life at home: equipment, toys, tips for enjoying the summer that is coming to an end

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The thermostat has officially reached its climax. Whether you’re trying to play in the garden or just relax outside, there are loads of new ideas and gear designed to help everyone, including pets, stay cool.

First, architects recommend simple ways to make an outdoor space more suitable for heat waves.

Start by surfacing: neither too dark nor too light. Ron Radziner, one of the directors of 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 a dark material in a hot climate. It shouldn’t be too bright either – it will be blinding in the sun.


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

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

While a swimming pool is nice, he says, “I found the sound of water alone refreshing.

“So we frequently add a font, weir, fountain or stream – something as simple as an old urn with a little pump to move water up and around can add life and feel. from cool calm to the hottest summer day.”

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

Of course, designers and retailers are happy to step up a gear.

A few suggestions:

For kids

Keep little ones busy on a scorching day with Step2’s Water and Sand Table or Waterfall Discovery Wall. Pour a bucket of water over the treetops of the table and watch the rainforest in action. There are spinning tops, mazes and funnels on the double-sided water wall. Both toys are aimed at toddlers.

Target has WOW’s heavy duty 10 or 12 foot diameter splash pad, for all age groups. A bumper goes around the perimeter and an adjustable sprinkler is integrated.

Another gift for all ages: Target’s Sun Squad Hopscotch Sprinkler, which lets out a stream of cool water with every step.

Do you have a large garden? Sunny & Fun’s inflatable water slide has two climbing walls, an inflatable pool bottom and air nozzles for a new explosion of fun.

For the dog

Help keep pets cool on walks with the RuffWear Swamp Cooler Gaiter or Vest. A water-absorbent felt liner is covered with a nylon exterior that, when cooled or moistened, will help your dog stay more comfortable.

If you’re lounging on a patio or on the beach, consider Midlee’s cheerful green raised pet bed with canopy, available through Wayfair. It keeps your furry companions away from the hot ground and protects them from the sun. Minnidip’s puppy-sized shed tent features a chic tropical palm tree print.

Instagram is full of dogs and pipe-loving people; increase the fun for everyone with a toy that ties up and wiggles. There are crazy versions of daisies on Amazon, and Big Mouth has big and small inflatables like a fire hydrant, giraffe, dinosaur, unicorn, or rainbow.

For the pool

From the Hotel Minnidip Collection, designed by Minnidip’s Emily Vaca, is the casual, green and white Checker Cabana Stripe Umbrella, made from UV-blocking polyester. It can be carried to the beach or poolside and driven into the ground or on a base stand.

Also new to this year’s collection is Minnidip’s 3ft x 5ft Arched Checker lounge chair; blast it and spend the day on your favorite waterway. Target has a curved version, printed with palm trees, with a cup holder.

In a collaboration between fashion brand alice + olivia and Minnidip, there’s a round floating lounge chair with an attached cup holder. Fill it with ice cubes and a drink container or a cool snack.

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

For outdoor enthusiasts

Plunge into the waterway with Oru’s newest portable kayak, the Lake. Weighing just 17 pounds and collapsible into 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 spot when the mercury starts to climb.

If your fishing or sports boat doesn’t have a canopy, consider Tuuci’s Shade Blade, which can be mounted in a chair stanchion or aft gunwale, and fits in a carry bag.

The LL Bean Sunbuster Heavy-Duty Nylon Folding Shelter is handy for a day on the trail or at the beach. There’s a floor to protect you from hot sand or to use as a privacy screen, and interior pockets to store small items out of the sun. Put it in a shoulder bag for carrying.

Coolibar swimwear, hats, and face coverings for men, women, and kids are made with a breathable blend of recycled nylon and Lycra, which blocks 98% of UVA rays.

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