No matter where you’re living, this summer has seen some of the hottest temperatures on record, and as per the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s report on climate catastrophe, released August 9, we’re only set to see greater radical weather.
While we should be taking actionable steps to hold companies accountable and reduce our emissions wherever possible, we still have to get through these hot summer months. Sure, cranking up the air conditioning is great, but for those of us looking to reduce our use (it’s definitely a contributing factor to the aforementioned climate issues!), or without AC at all, here’s five ways to help keep kids cool - and calm - this summer.
In our opinion, baths are best when they’re extra hot, and full of bubbles - but then again, we’re not a five-year-old on a hot summer day. Introducing: the LEGO bath! Fill the tub with cool water, and dump in any toy that holds up in water, but isn’t part of the typical rotation. Mega Bloks, Duplo, and LEGO work great, but so do tons of cars and trucks, balls, and dolls. You want to check that there’s no batteries or internal parts where mold can grow, but other than that, dump into the tub, and let the kids enjoy!
Hit the community pool
Community pools, wading pools, and splash pads are some of the greatest free inventions, aren’t they? While most community pools have regulations on how many swimmers they can have at a time, wading pools and splash pads should be more flexible, and have the added benefit of not having to hold onto a non-swimmer the entire time. No matter what kind of water play you seek out, make sure that an experienced swimmer is always keeping eyes on your little ones, and that they have the proper safety equipment.
Frozen body paint
This activity works great right before bathtime, and you’ll soon see why. Mix a bit of kid-friendly paint with water, and stick a popsicle in it, freezing upright overnight. The next day, bring the ‘paints’ outside, and tell your kids to go to town painting each other (swimsuits you don’t care about work best here!). They’ll get a kick out of doing something typically frowned upon, and the ice cubes will help cool them down. After they’re done, hit the bath, or if it’s an option, go a little wild with the hose.
This is another tried-and-true cool-down approach. Not only does this one work great for when it’s hot outside, but it’s an awesome rainy day activity, or great for when emotions are riding high. Plop the kids in the bath in their clothes for some silly fun, and offer up popsicles - freezing yogurt works great too, and is a healthy alternative.
Visit the library
One place that likely has AC, is calm and quiet, and also free? That beacon of perfection: the library! Check your area’s regulations on COVID openings, and spend a few hours reading books together. Some libraries offer story hours or have other quiet activities, like puzzles, that kids can enjoy. Bonus: you might even be able to score some quiet reading time for yourself.
Sure, keeping kids entertained in the heat isn’t always a walk in the park, but hopefully these ideas have offered some suggestions on how to help keep them cool. Remember to hydrate and offer lots of water (or breastmilk or formula for babies) throughout the day, and always apply sunscreen.
Looking for more ways to keep cool in the summer? What are your favorite activities for kids? Share with us in the comments, or on our Instagram page.