The kids are free from school—which probably means they’re shouting that they’re bored. And hot. And sticky from the humidity (we’re in Missouri, after all).
If you’re fighting to burn up their energy without burning a hole in your wallet, your saving grace may be below (and on our Pinterest board!) with creative ideas to beat the heat.
Have your own creative ways to cool down? Share them with us on our Facebook page!
Ice Is Nice
1. Freeze toys in blocks of ice (use a small bucket, plastic storage container or gallon size plastic bag to make the ice block) and have an excavation game outside.
2. Hydration is key. Make fruit cubes for your water by putting berries and/or small pieces of melon in ice cube trays before putting them in the freezer.
3. Freeze fruit. Make some banana swirl (thank-you Daniel Tiger!) or frozen watermelon balls with a small ice cream scoop.
4. Want to take it a step further? Make your own popsicles (with Kool-Aid and toothpicks or full-size popsicle molds and sticks) and/or ice cream. Add whole pieces of fruit to popsicles like in Idea 2, if desired.
5. Let your child pick a book to read, or read a book to/with them. Do a creative quasi-book report together in the form of a (sock) puppet show (good for learning summarizing), or inspire imagination and creative writing by writing a biography for a main character or sequel to the book! If you have an older child keen with technology, put together a potential trailer for or scene from the book with iMovie or MovieMaker.
6. A classic for the older kids: have an old-school water balloon fight. Upgrade to Super Soakers, as desired.
7. Sponge balls! If you’re looking for a softer or DIY alternative to the traditional sponge balls, make your own by cutting kitchen sponges into strips, lay them on top of each other, bunch together in the middle, and tie together. Fan out the strips for a ball-look.
8. Slip and slide. Use a tarp if you don’t have name-brand.
9. Take that same tarp, and instead of sliding on it, spread it out like a blanket and make a splash pad out of it with a sprinkler.
10. Did all the fun of the slip-and-slide and/or splash pad on the tarp leave a hole? No problem. Cut large shapes into the tarp, hang it between two trees, grab a couple balls or bean bags, and turn it into a tossing game.
11. Mix fun with work: Wash your vehicle together! Make it fun with lots of splashing and bubbles.
DIY Spring Mist
12. Hose down the trampoline. Jump. You’re welcome.
13. A spin-off of the previous and a classic, put a sprinkler under the trampoline. Jump. Make memories.
Crafty Heat Distractions
14. Paper pinwheels and fans. Make pinwheels for a wind garden or a fan to cool yourself down.
15. Cosmic ring toss. Find a firm post to serve as the goal. Use glow necklaces/bracelets for night-time rounds of ring toss. You may have to tie a couple together to get glow-in-the dark ring to weigh enough to appropriately throw.
16. Glow-in-the-dark hopscotch. Use the same necklaces/bracelets from above, and string a few together to make the rings bigger. Arrange the glow-in-the-dark circles in a hopscotch pattern.
17. Cosmic bowling. Break glow necklaces/bracelets into water bottles and set up a bowling lane in your backyard. If you have some light-weight bowlers, put a couple glow bracelets in a blow-up ball for them to bowl with. For daytime fun, skip the glow-in-the-dark aspect and just put some food coloring in the water for some rainbow bowling.
18. Paint old keys with acrylic paint and make a wind chime with string/yarn/fishing line and a metal hanger.
19. Make steppingstones for your garden or walk path by using old cereal boxes as a mold, cement, and glass rocks. Unsure of the permanence of cement? Use play-dough or clay.
20. Plant tall sunflowers in the shape of circle. Full-grown, the flowers will be server as a roof to a sunflower house, perfect for reading and/or imagining in.
21. Kickball croquet with pool noodles. Cut pool noodles in half (hotdog style); half of a noodle will make one croquet post. Use garden posts to hold the arc-ed noodles. Find a ball suitable to kick. Enjoy.