As much as I love summer, sometimes the scorching summer heat can be a bit too much for our kids (and us!).
To help you beat the heat, I’ve come up with these 19 super fun ways to keep cool.
I also tried to keep the list creative and budget-friendly for all the mommas out there, so I hope you enjoy!
Ice Ice Baby!
Who doesn’t love ice on a hot summer day? Instead of just adding ice to your drinks, why not wear it and play with it?
- Fill a large bucket or plastic container with water, insert a plastic toy, and freeze. Once frozen solid, remove the ice block from the container (run water over the bucket to loosen it), and let your kids have fun outside melting the huge block of ice. To melt it they can sit on it or drop water on it from a water bottle, bucket or hose.
- Make an ice necklace. Place a long piece of yarn or string on one side of an ice cube tray, so that it dips down into each hole. Add water and freeze, making sure not to add too much water. Once the cubes freeze, pop them out for an instant cooling necklace! Feel free to get creative by adding flowers, small toys, or even food coloring to the ice.
- Fill up some rinsed out plastic milk jugs with water and freeze. Once frozen, cut off the plastic to reveal a big jug-shape block of ice. Kids can then play with the ice outside however they would like. You can even add a whole collection of frozen blocks to the swimming pool (plastic or built-in) for some extra freezing fun!
Nothing is more refreshing than water on a hot summer day. No pool? No problem! Here are some easy ways to get wet and cool down out in the yard.
- Add a sprinkler to the end of your hose for hours of water fun in the yard. Easy, simple, and cheap, but will keep them occupied for hours! Some sprinkler attachments even have a mist setting so that you don’t waste water.
- Give your kids a paintbrush and a cup of water, and let them make their own works of art all over the yard. Their masterpieces will last for a few minutes before evaporating, and then they can start a new picture with a fresh, clean slate. Have kids put on their bathing suits for extra fun, and let them go crazy painting on the concrete, deck, fence, even the sides of the house! I think my mom was on to something when she kept us busy during the summer for hours “painting” with water. Easy, free, and there is absolutely no mess!
- Homemade slip n’ slide. Remember back in the day when slip n’ slides were all the rage? Now you can simply make your own out of a roll of extra heavy plastic sheeting (available at Home Depot and Lowes) and the hose! Turn on the sprinklers or run a hose down the sheeting for an instant giant slip n’ slide! If the kids need a little more sliding action, simply add some dish soap or shaving cream to the slide to make it more slippery.
Get out of the House!
If you don’t have air conditioning, or your kids are going stir crazy from sitting all day in the house, then it’s time to pack up and go! There are many free and inexpensive places you can go where there is air conditioning and entertainment for your kids for a nice change of scenery.
- Indoor malls. Indoor malls have air conditioning, and many have little play areas for the kiddos. If the park is too hot, these can be a great, free place to let the kids run and play without worrying about them getting a sunburn. Some malls even have indoor carousels, which is an extra bonus.
- Local library. The library is a nice relaxing place you can take your kids to get cool and get them to read at the same time. Most libraries offer free story times and crafts on certain days of the week, so be sure to find out when those are to make the most of your trip. Barnes & Noble also has story time and a kids area, and is another great place to browse and relax while beating the heat.
- Summer free and $1 kids movies. Some movie theaters offer free and $1 kids movies during the summer on certain days and times, which is a fun and budget friendly family activity.
- Restaurants. You can take the kids out to a restaurant, and even just get dessert to help them cool down. We love to go to Claim Jumpers and get a giant mud pie to share.
- Free museum days. Some museums offer locals free days once a month where they can show their ID and get in for free. Fun and learning at the same time!
- Fountains. Some cities have fountains, including some where kids are allowed to play in the water. Even if children aren’t allowed in the water, it’s nice to sit along the edge and feel the water splashes.
- Chuck E. Cheese. My kids love to play at Chuck E. Cheese, but it can get expensive really quickly. Did you know that you can print out many different incentive charts (for things like brushing their teeth, reading, etc.) on their website for your kids to check off? Once they complete the chart, they can bring it in and receive 10 free tokens.
Make a Splash!
If you don’t have a pool, there are many other places to let your kids make a splash in the water.
- Local YMCA. Our local YMCA has a huge pool and splash pad available for members and non-members for a small fee.
- Local parks. There are two local parks near me that have a seasonal water feature they turn on in the summer for a small fee (around $3 total). My kids love splashing around and have water dumped on their heads, and then playing on the equipment when they are all done getting wet.
- Fun with friends. Maybe you don’t have a pool, but your good friend does? Don’t be shy about asking if you can swim! Most pool owners are more than happy to share with friends.
There are many places in nature where you can get wet and beat the heat for free.
- The beach. For those of us fortunate enough to live near the ocean, the beach is a favorite destination to feel the salty coastal breeze and get wet in the ocean waves.
- The lake. The lake is a great place to take the family and cool down in the calm cool water.
- The river. I have fond memories of going down the river in an inter tube and canoe growing up! It’s a fun place to let the kids play and get wet (just be sure to keep a close eye on them!)
Although the summer sun is hot, hopefully this list has helped you find some fun and budget-friendly ways to cool down and beat the heat!
Stay cool, my friends!