By Jennifer Halter
Summer is in full swing, and it has brought the hot, humid days with it! If you’re like me, I would much prefer to be outside instead of cooped up in air conditioning all day, and my daughter feels the same
way. As much as we enjoy our community pool, that can get a little boring, too. Here are some of my favorite tips for finding ways to stay cool while having fun in the sun this summer!
Get Outside Early or Late
Take advantage of the cooler temperatures first thing in the morning or later in the evening and reserve your indoor to-do list for mid-day when the heat isn’t so bearable. Head out to a local playground after breakfast or plan an evening walk or bike ride following dinner.
Don’t have access to a pool? Create your own backyard water fun! You can find kiddie pools and sprinklers for reasonable prices. For younger children, grab some buckets, fill with water and let them play with funnels, measuring cups or plastic toys. You can even find water shooters and water balloons, among other items, at the dollar store.
This is a fun game for all ages because it puts those creative thinking skills to work! First you will need a
plastic container(s) with a lid. The size is up to you, but the larger the better. Fill with water leaving about 1/2” at the top of the container to allow for expansion when freezing. Place various items in the water. We’ve used small, plastic figures such as army men or mini animals, bouncy balls – anything that won’t get damaged by water that will be fun for the kiddos to “rescue.” Put lid on container and place in the freezer. For best results, let freeze overnight. Remove the frozen ice block from the container and have the children use various tools (utensils, small hand tools, such as a mini hammer or screwdriver, water) to release the frozen items.
Popsicle (or Ice Cream Sundae) Playdate
Keep the mess outside while staying cool with this playdate idea! You can keep it simple by buying freezer
pops or other types of popsicles. If you’d like to make it a bit more elaborate, you can create a “make your own sundae” bar! Have each guest bring a different sundae topping to share. Make it more fun by having a “most creative sundae” contest.
With any outdoor activity you choose, be sure to stay hydrated, hang in shady areas when possible and limit your time on days when the air quality is poor. Stay safe and enjoy!
Jennifer Halter is publisher of Macaroni Kid Woodbridge and Macaroni Kid Gainesville/Manassas.