With summer upon us it can be easy to get overheated. Trying to keep your own cool while entertaining a small child can be a bit of a juggle. To help everyone out, I have compiled a list of some of my favourite activities to keep your little ones cool through the hotter months.
Little ones can go a bit stir crazy when they are cooped up inside for long periods. Trapping your family in the house is a good way to take advantage of the air-conditioning but might also be a guaranteed way to send everyone a little bonkers.
Here are some activities to keep them entertained, keep them cool and use up some energy as well.
Homemade icy poles
Buy an icy pole mould from your local department store and then get creative with the homemade icy poles and ice creams you can make.
Some ideas include:
- Freezing juice
- Freezing blended fruit
- Mixing pureed fruit with Greek yoghurt
- Flavoured milk
- Mashed banana and peanut butter
Playing under the Sprinklers
This kind of fun is so old school that your parents and grandparents did it too. Pop the sprinkler on the grass or garden and let your little ones run around in the cool impromptu summer shower.
Water balloon fights are also a favourite if you don’t have a sprinkler or try a water balloon ‘Egg Toss’ competition if you don’t want to promote a fighting atmosphere. Or if you don’t want to pick up scraps of water balloon from all over your yard, you can play the same sort of games with big fat wet sponges as well.
Art and Craft
You could let your kids try finger painting, playing with clay or kinetic sand or homemade slime. All of these are incredibly messy but getting their hands in the cool squishy stuff can be tons of fun.
Set them up on the veranda or in a shady part of the backyard and strip them down to their undies, then let them go! Hose them off when you are finished.
Another favourite activity at our house is digging through a giant ice cube for treasures I have frozen for him. I simply use a large container that will fit in the freezer (make sure you check this first!), put in some of his toys i.e. dinosaurs, rubber ducks etc, fill with water and add a bit of food die. Once frozen I simply get the ice out of the container (a little hot water around the outer edge speeds this up), dump it on the back lawn or deck with a child friendly hammer and let him go. He loves using tools so it keeps him entertained for hours trying to break the items out and he can come and
Recruit your little ones to ‘clean’ the windows and give them each a spray bottle filled with cold water. It doesn’t matter how much gets on the windows or on each other, as long as they stay cool and are kept occupied.
You could also recruit them to clean your car if you weren’t too fussy about the job they would do. At our house this almost always ends up in a water fight with the whole family.
Bath in your bathers
If your kids are hot and you don’t have a pool, or you don’t want to go outside, why not let them use the bath as a paddling pool? Pop them in their bathers, put a few inches of cold water in the bath, and give them a bunch of toys to play with.
Supervise them, of course, but you can easily sit yourself in the corner of the bathroom with your phone and a cold drink.
If you haven’t got a toy water play station, you can very easily put together your own, either inside or out. Get a large Tupperware container, the baby bath, or even set your child up at the kitchen sink, fill it with cold water and give them all sorts of toys and utensils for fun.
They will get themselves and everything else in the near vicinity wet, so strip them down, move anything not waterproof out of the way, and have some big towels nearby. And then just let them have fun.
If you put a big squirt of body wash in to make bubbles, this could almost count as their bath!
Another great product for this kind of fun is Slime Baff, which you can add to water to make a lovely, cool gooey mess.
Activities to Keep Your Little Ones Cool Out and About
Water play areas
Many bigger cities have water play areas in the local park, just do a Google search to see what is available in your neck of the woods. On the hotter days, you should look for ones with shade, or only go in the morning and late afternoon. Keep the kids fully sun-protected, including lathering them up with lots of waterproof sunscreen.
Visit the local shopping centre
You can pop one or two kids in the pram (or a shopping trolley) and do laps of your local shopping centre. Many also have indoor play centres for the kids to access, if you would like them to let off some steam and the closest outdoor park is a bit hot.
Bunnings is also a good place to visit. Bigger Bunnings have an indoor playground next to a café, and often conveniently placed next to the garden lounge furniture. You could have a lie-down and an iced coffee while the kids play for free.
Your local library will have reading, craft and other holiday activities for kids of all ages. These are mostly free, and wonderfully air conditioned. Libraries are much less precious these days about the level of noise, so your little ones should be welcome in the kid’s area even if they are a little rowdy.
There is so much you can do, both at home or out and about, and all of these activities are fairly cheap, as well as quite safe for your little ones.
Keep them supervised around any water and make sure they have hats and other sun protection. Perhaps take a deep breath and accept that some mess and/or nudie-runs are on the cards.
If you have any other ideas for cheap and easy activities to keep your little ones cool this summer, we would love to hear them.
Good luck and keep your cool!