Around 4:30 I had to pull Olivia into the house and force some reading or screen time on her so she would take a break from the sun. My request was met with a temper tantrum, that kid’s got a serious FOMO when it comes to being forced to come inside during the summer – but you could just tell that the kid needed a break from the sun.
After the third application of sunscreen, second swimsuit change, and fourth ice water, I told her it was time. After all, she had been outside since early that morning, playing around the neighborhood.
Keeping the kids cool while they play outside is where we’re at right now. Olivia doesn’t want to come inside, and won’t be fooled by my ploy of activities like making cookies or reading like Violet is.
Have kids that want to stay outside? Here’s how to keep them cool:
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
I’m constantly filling up water bottles for them to take with them. I stash them in the freezer to keep them cool and they take them frozen. They thaw quickly when the kids are dragging them along with them when it’s almost thirty degrees.
Make a Cool Down Necklace
Have a cold bucket of water handy and make a cool down necklace out of sponges that are laced on to shoelaces. The kids can come back and recharge their cooling necklace with the cold water throughout the time that they’re spending outside.
Hit up the Spray Park
Hitting up the spray park ensures that they’re going to keep cool in the water, but it can be hard to find some shade to stay cool. If you’ve got kids that resist the water, offer to run through with them. You would be surprised at how quickly this will work (and how refreshed you’ll feel too).
Freeze Things You Wouldn’t Normally
During the summer, we’re skipping those yogurt cups. Instead, we’re freezing them for the kids to take with them on the go and keep cool as they’re eating them. Plus, you won’t feel guilty when you’re giving them a second or third ‘popsicle’ of the day if it’s made from yogurt.
Take a Break
I brought everyone inside today for a break to play in the basement, where it was nice and cool. Taking frequent breaks, like a half hour for every two or three, helps to avoid train wreck o’clock at the end of the day and gives the kids a break from the sun. When it comes time to take a break and I want the kids to come in, I welcome them to invite their friends to get out of the sun, and come in and play.
Find some Shade
If they insist on playing outside, help them to find some shade. Luckily, we’ve got a shaded deck that stays cool for the better part of the day, until about three o’clock, but a blanket fort or shaded tent will work just as well to give the kids a break from the sun.
Colored Ice Blocks
Make colored ice blocks with a drop of food coloring into a large reusable container and place them in the pool. Not only will it be a fun way to create a rainbow of colors in the pool (and on the hands depending on how much color you use) but it’s going to help keep that pool water cool during the warmest of days.
Stick to the Rule of Five
The kids know one thing for sure. That they should have at least five glasses (or bottles) of water every single day, and at least five servings of fruit and vegetables (also filled with water). Sticking to these rules and having the kids consciously keep track of how much water they are drinking helps to keep them hydrated, and keep it on their mind. And no, jello doesn’t count as a fruit – as much as the seven year old neighbour kid tried to convince me it did, today.
I guess I can’t complain much about the fear of missing out and wanting to spend the entire day outside, it could be worse – she could want to spend the entire day in front of the iPad, right?