It’s finally here! SUMMER!!!!! And it’s hot. It’s so hot. How do your kids respond to the heat? Mine complain. They get hot and sweaty and rashy and whiny. This, of course, also leaves Mommy very whiny…and reaching for the chilled wine. So as we get summer started in full swing, let’s talk about some ways to keep everyone nice and cool.
Water Play – my kids LOVE water and getting wet is our favorite way to spend any afternoon.
- As soon as it is above 60 degrees, our water table gets hauled out to the yard for splashing fun. No shade in your backyard? No problem, put up the included umbrella! (Pro Tip: Turning your hose on the “jet” setting and aiming it on the underside of the umbrella makes the whole umbrella spin and results in the best sprinkler sprayer in the history of make shift sprinklers.) I get some cheap new toys each summer that squirt/float/scoop water for the table. I can honestly say that buying this water table in 2011 (five years ago!) was one of our smartest parenting investments.
- Look at what you like to play with inside, and think about how to add water to it outside. Remember me raving about my bin of pouch caps for snow day fun? In the warm weather, we take our bin of pouch caps to a shady space outside, add some hose water and a couple of trucks! Who cares about mess when you are outside!
- Of course, you can never go wrong with a simple sprinkler. Our Grammy gave us this cutie pie kiddie sprinkler, but my kids will basically run in any style of sprinkling water. My older kid now loves to run back and forth turning the water pressure up and down….cool, looks like exercise to me! And you can bet that I go in the sprinkler too.
- Please try water balloons at least once this summer. Yes, the conventional ones are a HUGE pain to fill, and it’s anti climactic to watch kids throw them at the ground and laugh hysterically….but they are laughing and having fun, so who cares?! We received the Bunch O Balloons as a gift, and it changed our lives. As promised, it fills a bunch of balloons all at once, in less than two minutes, and you have plenty of energy left for the game.
- We don’t have a big backyard, but it’s big enough for a kiddie inflatable pool, which is just the best when we have friends over to play. We like to pull our Step 2 slide over to create an instant water slide! I have (sloppily) gone down the slide many times and can vouch for it’s effectiveness in cooling off a hot person.
Frozen Treats – Because warm weather calls for something frozen!
- I have a bunch of these silicone ice pop molds that I fill with leftover smoothies and freeze for afternoons outside. I don’t care if the kids eat them before dinner because they likely have spinach and kale in them! HA! Seriously though, even if you are not a die hard smoothie maker, you can put bananas, strawberries, yogurt and probiotic in the blender and achieve the exact same thing as squeezable ProBugs pop in the grocery store, but way cheaper. I like to be crafty and throw some protein powder in there too because a few of my kids don’t like to eat their meat. (Pro Tip: Frozen ice pop molds travel well to the pool to avoid buying frozen sugary treats!)
- Popsicles! I have this star-shaped popsicle mold that has proven very successful with the kiddos. Everything tastes better when shaped like a star popsicle. Since they are traditional popsicle delivery, not squeeze pop, I have found that color makes all the difference here and I ditch the spinach and kale. Keeping them red or orange colored has been most successful, but you can still put in protein powder and probiotic so that you are packing a nutritional punch. (Pro Tip: raw carrot hides perfectly well in blended popsicles, but don’t tell anyone.)
- Pinterest is crazy with ideas for healthy frozen treats – your best bet when searching is to name at least one or two ingredients that you want to use, as it will help narrow your search results. Most Pinterest recipes seem to feature a classic popsicle mold.
- What could be easier than the frozen banana? I remember making something very similar as a child and absolutely loving them. If that memory can be sustained for 30 years, then the frozen banana is not just a craze.
Hydration – Children are more prone to dehydration than adults, so keep those kids hydrated while they sweat!
- Ever wish that you could have fun fruity water like at the spa? Then get a pitcher and make it! Again, Pinterest is lousy with fruit-infused water ideas that both adults and kids alike will love. I can guarantee that kids will fight over who gets more blueberries or strawberries in their water cup. My 2-year-old puts everything in his water cup, so it may as well start out in there.
- Watermelon! Readily available at all supermarkets, watermelon is said to be 92% water, a natural reliever of constipation, and a sweet summer treat for everyone. Sign me up!
What are your favorite ways to keep everyone cool in the summer?