We live in central Florida where it’s HOT HOT HOT during the summer months! Having two VERY energetic boys who essentially are on the go nonstop from dawn till dusk they spend most of their time outdoors in the summer ….. no matter how hot it is. This means I have to take special care in making sure that not only do they keep from getting sunburns but also to make sure they stay hydrated and don’t overheat. Here are just a few ways that we get creative and make sure the kids stay cool outdoors – whether in your own backyard or out on a daytrip.
Make sure each child has a spray bottle fan. We personally use the O2COOL misting fans as they are very sturdy & can withstand my kids banging them around, but any misting fan will do. If you don’t want the water mess at least buy a small fan for each child to use as needed.
Play LOTS of water-related games. Water balloon launches, swimming (even if in a small kiddie pool), making mud pits, slip n’ slides, sprinkler play – always make sure there is water around to splash with!
Keep a cooler of cold ice water outside. We bought an inexpensive $10 water cooler in the store and every day when we head outdoors we fill it up with ice water. It is ALWAYS accessible for the kids and us to use. If we are out for the entire day we still fill it up and bring it with us in the car. It saves money from buying drinks and provides a cold drink at nature parks which probably do not have any cold beverages.
Make sure to find the shade. If we head out to the nature parks I always scout around to find a good shady area. If you don’t have any shade in your backyard set up a small tent or plant a large tree to provide at least some shade from the sun.
Carry washcloths. This is particularly useful for younger children & babies when heading out for the day. We spent many days at theme parks and community events when our kids were little and we always made sure to bring a washcloth which we could pour cool water on and lay over the children’s chest, back, forehead, etc. Small children can’t regulate their body temperature as well as adults can and this idea made a huge difference for our kids when they were little.
Don’t overdress. That sounds silly, but if it’s going to be that hot outside consider buying sandals instead of socks/shoes, wearing shorts, tank tops, etc. You wouldn’t believe how many people I see in the heat of summer whose children are wearing long pants and socks/shoes when it’s 95* outside! It’s just too hot for that! Make sure you don’t forget your hats!
Popsicles! We keep a pretty good-sized stash of popsicles in our freezer during the summer months to help further cool the kiddos down. They think they’re getting a treat but it’s cooling them down at the same time!
*Don’t forget to always wear sunscreen when heading outdoors! Even if it’s only for a little while!