It’s officially summer, which means us parents are swapping sweaters for shorts and blasting our air conditioners for at least the next few months. Meanwhile, our kids are eating popsicles, taking a dip at the local pool, and spending more time than usual at home. So unless your little one is at a year-round school or enjoying summer camp, you’re going to have to get creative when it comes to entertaining. But are there any feasible hot day activities for kids that us over-worked, exhausted parents can use to our advantage? Turns out, more than a few moms have some tried and true ideas to help us all get through these summer months.
I grew up in Miami, Florida, so our summer was year-long. In other words, I’m certainly no stranger to humidity and sunshine and what to do when it’s ridiculously, almost dangerously hot outside. Now, however, and as a mom, I live in Denver, Colorado — a place where I can experience all four seasons. Unlike myself, my kid is growing up with the knowledge that certain activities are only for certain times of year.
As a family I can safely say we've definitely got plenty of go-to winter activities in our repertoire, like sledding and snowball fights. But what about when the thermostat his 99 degrees? For us, drives up into the mountains are our favorite way to cool down (it’s usually about 15-20 degrees cooler up there), but I know not everyone has that option. Thankfully, I was able to chat with moms across the U.S. to ask them for their best ideas to keep their kids happy and cool on hot days. Here’s what they had to say:
“Living in Florida, we do a lot of water stuff. We go to the splash pad, the river, or the beach. Kiddie pools and those target sprinkler toys can be fun too and if we don’t feel like driving anywhere. Giant bubble wands and bubble solution [are also great]. Inside, my daughter loves to ‘read’ so she can spend an hour just wandering around Books-A-Million. Also, Netflix.”
“Well, my kids are older so I stick them outside with a lot of water and say, ‘amuse yourselves!’ Outside of that though, we'll fill up the kiddie pool and we [have] a sprinkler attachment for the hose. We go Pokemon Go hunting or to the community pool. If it's too hot we watch Netflix, go to the library, or read. And I just got stuff to paint rocks so we are going to give that a try, too.”
“We stick the sprinkler under the trampoline and let the kids jump on it and get wet. We have a small inflatable pool and my daughter will wear her mermaid tail and splash around in it. [We] take them to the gym to have some social time at the kidcare, too. We also go swimming at the gym since they have an outside pool.”
“Water table in the backyard, popsicles outside, beach. It’s hot in Miami pretty much year round and if we limited ourselves because of heat we’d never go outside.”
“Outside? Pool or other activities involving water. Water balloons, squirt guns, and the like.
Inside? Almost anything goes especially if there's air conditioning. Typically, I don't allow my daughter electronics of any kind and very little TV time, even during the summer. So she occupies her time with playing with her toys and using her imagination. Coloring. Drawing. Reading. Board games. Having actual conversations with her.”
“When my daughter was 2 or 3, she painted the same fence with a bucket of water for days on end.”
“Outdoor: Hose them down! Indoor: we bake or read some books.”
“Inflatable pool, trampoline, water balloon fights, beach or park (if the weather permits). Sometimes we let the kids play with the hose and play with their scooters. If no one wants to leave home, we have the kids make homemade pizza, homemade popsicles, make popcorn and watch movies, doodling, board games, video games, and we sit down and talk to the kids about current events sometimes.”
“We just did spin art and the kids loved it.”
“If it's not melt-in-the-ground hot, we go outside and garden or play in the shade at the park or backyard. Go to our cousins place and jump on the trampoline. Water gun and water balloon fights are always a hit. If it's too hot for outside play even in the shade, we'll stay in to play and have popsicles on the porch or go to the library.”