Australian Summers can be HOT so keeping cool and calm is a priority, especially when the school holidays are stretching on and you’re running out of ideas for how to entertain the kids.
I love the idea of sitting under the air conditioner all day and watching movies but that’s just not possible in my house with a toddler and well, lets be honest, it’s not ideal. So….here’s a list of simple activities to keep your children entertained while keeping cool on those scorching Summer days.
Quiet activities are a great option when the weather is really hot (or wet, or cold). Activities that allow your child to use their hands to manipulate materials are great for the development of fine motor skills, encourage imaginative play and are wonderfully calming.
*Play dough – play dough can be made at home or bought. It can be moulded with the hands, flattened, rolled, cut or stamped.
*Water beads – these tiny little balls absorb water and grow. They are soft, colourful and fantastic to play with.
*Coloured spaghetti – cook a few batches of spaghetti with a little food dye, let it cool and play away.
*Rainbow rice – rice can be dyed a rainbow of different colours with some food dye and a little vinegar.
*Bubbles – watching bubbles floating through the air is simple but always special.
Bring The Outdoors In
When the outdoor environment isn’t welcoming, just bring the fun inside!
*Indoor forts – build a cubby inside using sheets draped over clothes horses, chairs or tables then make it cozy with cushions and soft toys.
*Inside picnic – pack a picnic basket full of goodies, set up a rug on the floor and have a special picnic in the living room.
*Treasure hunt – write clues and hide objects around the house for your children to find.
Playing with cool water is the best way to escape the Summer heat but there are many more options than visiting a public pool.
*Paddling pools – set up a small pool, clam shell, tub or even bucket at home for your children to splash in.
*Washing dishes – washing dishes with cool water and plenty of bubbles can be fun on a hot day.
*Playing in the bath – having a long, cool bath is a great way to pass time.
*Floating/sinking – encourage your child to explore the concept of floating and sinking by making boats and testing the properties of different objects.
*Bath crayons – drawing in the bath tub or on their bodies with special bath crayons and soaps is a great way for your children to get clean and be creative.
*Paint the house/fence – give your child a bucket of water and a paintbrush, set them up in a shaded area and encourage them to ‘paint’ the fence or house.
*Wash a car – using water from the hose and bubbles from a bucket to wash the car is cooling and helpful.
If you cant stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. Right? Or maybe not. If you choose simple foods that don’t require heat, the kitchen can be a great place to pass the time on a hot day. Think non-bake slices, icy poles, dips, smoothies or cheesecakes. Yum!
Out of the house
Sometimes the heat is just too much and a change of scene is needed so a trip out of the house is needed.
*Drive – if your car has air conditioner sometimes being stuck in traffic is the coolest place to be.
*Forest walk – head up into the hills and go for a walk in some well shaded forests, the temperature is sure to be much more bearable.
*Shopping centre – shopping centres are temperature controlled and will always be cool on a hot day.
*Gallery – visit a gallery and immerse your children in the arts.
*Museum – spend some time learning new and interesting facts in a lovely cool museum.
*Library – local libraries have fabulous kids sections, take some time to browse the shelves before borrowing some books to enjoy at home.
*All you can eat lunch – spend a hot afternoon in a cool restaurant grazing on the delicious foods, all you can eat style restaurants are perfect for this.
*Busy bags – these are a great way to learn while having fun and keeping cool.
*Stories – grab a few favourite books and enjoy reading them as a family.
*Performance – encourage your children to put on a performance; sing, dance or act out a favourite book
*Board games – pull a classic game out of the cupboard and play together.
*Card games – teach your children a new game or play an old favourite.
*Arts, craft, painting & drawing – the possibilities are endless.
*Stickers – peeling stickers off a page and sorting them or sticking them down to form an image can take a while to do and is often very satisfying.
*Lego – build a big tower, a house or other design. Lego is fantastic for imaginative play and motor skill development.
Dolls, cars, dress ups…..the list goes on. For more great ideas head on over to Flying Sprout’s Pinterest page and look at all the clever options to keep your little ones cool and calm on those hot Summer days.