Connor's birthday party was hands down a HUGE success. I rented a carnival sized bouncy house shaped like a castle, had his cake custom made to look like the castle house, stocked up with water guns, outdoor play toys (most coming from the birthday reviews) and even made some kickin party favor bags. What really surprised me though is the one toy that totally stole the show above all others was a water slide that we got to test out from One Step Ahead. I knew that the water slide would be popular but I really thought that the bouncy house would be shock and awe. Do you know that the kids barely even looked at the bouncy house before I turned off the water slide?!?!
The water slide I'm talking about is the Safe Ride Water Slide from One Step Ahead. I was pretty excited about it before it arrived as I knew it would be a huge winner with Connor as well it combines two of his favorite outdoor activites, water and sliding, but I really had no clue until it actually arrived. Setting it up was pretty simple. I do recommend however that you at least have a really good air pump or electric pump neither of which are included with the unit. The first time we set it up we did it via a dual acton air pump and I was pretty winded after blowing up the slide part. When taking it down after the party I ended up using my electric air pump and let me tell you I wish I would have done that from the beginning as it made my life so much easier. Seeing as there are only a few air compartments to blow up its really quite painless and the whole setup of the unit only took us about 10 minutes though it would have gone much faster with a proper pump.
Once the slide was set up all it took was us to hook up the water hose and we were in business within a few minutes. I let the slide run a bit before I let the kids on just so we would have some water in the pool at the end. What really surprised me about the whole thing is just how much all the kids at the party enjoyed it from age one to ten. The smallest kids had a good time just slashing around in the pool end of the unit and the larger kids including Connor had a blast sliding and the Safe Ride Water Slide is really quite versitle on how you can use it. The little kids sat on the slide and slid down but the older kids would slide on their stomachs for a little extra thrill. I was a little jealous as it looked like tons of fun.
The real reason we went to check out One Step Ahead for Connor's birthday was the fact that we were looking for a safe floation device that would allow us to start really teaching him to swim. Connor has always refused to use any sort of sit in type float such as an infant or toddler float since he was old enough to crawl. He really more than anything else wants to be mobile in the water on his own but obviously thats out of the question at this point as he can't swim and even if he could he's so little I wouldn't trust him in the water even near an adult without some sort of flotation device. We have a small above ground pool and last summer anytime we were in it someone was always holding him but he pushes away from you as hard as he can attempting to swim and the only time he is even halfway happy in the water is if you hold him out from your body and let him pretend he is swimming. So the goal was to find some sort of floation device where he could really start learning to swim, most importantly something the he could not crawl/climb out of or remove easily, and though I still don't trust him without super close supervision something that may give him just a tad more freedom than being held in a death grip at my side.
The Power Swimr from One Step Ahead seems like the perfect middle ground for Connor. The first thing that got me intrested was the adjustable crotch strap. We have tried several other floatation devices that had "pants" which is great as it makes them really unremovable for Connor but seeing as he is pretty short there was no way to adjust them for his height so as soon as he gets into the water they end up riding up around his face so badly he can't stand to use them. The Power Swimr can be adjusted with the strap that goes between the legs so that the Swimr stays lower on the chest and will not ride up between the child's ears. The elastic on the side of the Power Swimr also keeps the vest against your child's chest again this means more comfort in the water.
The Power Swimr is very unique as unlike a traditional life vest this vest has removeable floatation pads, nine in all, that allow you to adjust them to your child and his or her swimming level. Connor obviousy has all nine in but as his skill increases I can remove pads to put him farther down in the water and allow him to swim less upright, sort of like having the ability to gradually wean a child off of training wheels. I'm not sure if he will make it out of any of his pads this summer but who knows he's a pretty determined little person. Thus far we haven't had a ton of true swimming time to really put the whole system through its paces but in the little water time we have gotten thus far, due to the weather, its by far the best swimming floation device we have used.. not to mention I've yet to see it be possible for Connor to escape from it once he is in the water which is by far worth every penny.
I highly recommend you check out the summer gear at One Step Ahead. If your looking for a very reasonably priced, not to mention large, blow up toddler pool they have a really cool option as well as you can't go wrong with the Safe Ride Water Slide. Even if you don't own a pool you can keep it out all summer (though I do recommend storing it for bad weather) and belive me Connor would be just as happy playing on his slide than playing in our small pool. I'm half tempted to not set up the pool this year and just let him hang out on the slide as it would save me a fortune in chemicals!
I have an extra Power Swimr to give away to one reader. Its a size M (for children weighing 35 to 55lbs) and is sized for a 3-6 year old. Connor is still only 23lbs so I don't think he will make it into a size medium until at earliest next summer at the very earliest. Who knows he may be able to stay in his small until he can actually swim with the big kids.
o enter : (MAKE SURE YOU READ THE BIRTHDAY POST!! You must be entered into the birthday bash to win this contest!)
- Leave a comment on this post. Check out One Step Ahead and tell what one summer toy or accessory you'd most like to have from their online shop! Make sure you read below to earn extra entries including a scavenger hunt entry.
- Make sure there is a way for me to contact you - if your email address is not on your profile or you are not a blogger you may leave it in your comment or email it to me directly (angelaandconnor at gmail dot com) We have had to disqualify a lot of potential winners as of late as many people do not have emails available in their profiles or leave anonymous posts without any way to contact you.
- Please US entries only.
- To get extra credit :
- For an extra entry :
- Bloggers - Blog about this contest and leave me the link on your comment, or add me to your sidebar and let me know its there.
- Non Bloggers (or bloggers) subscribe to my mailing list/RSS feed and earn another entry!
- Answer the I Spy trivia question "Check out One Step Ahead and take a look their summer accessories! I spy something most people complain about getting lost in the wash except these ones are meant for the beach! Do not leave this entry in your comment all trivi question answers go to email@example.com. Use the subject "Happy Panda" Posting "I spy" answers in comments will disqualify you!
- Let people know about the giveaway on Twitter with a link to the giveaway!
- THREE extra credit per person. Please post your extra credit in a separate post.
- This contest will end May 30th at midnight!