Diving into summer, literally, has it’s advantages when it comes to trying to beat the heat with kids! Coming up with clever ideas in advance on how to overcome the sun’s scorching temps in some areas can be a huge help to keeping your children cool, calm, and happy all summer long.
Ready to make this summer rock? Check out these suggestions for achieving an atmosphere of fun, laughs and in many cases a splashing good time!
1. Water Carnival: Similar to a regular carnival only with a twist all the games involve getting wet or using water!
*Duck Pond Game, Dunk Tank (you can rent them for block parties, youth group events, fundraisers, and family reunions for added pizazz!)
*Water Gun Race (first person to fill a tiny paper cup to the marked half way line wins! Just use permanent marker to mark the halfway line on cups)
*Wet Sponge Toss have contestants use dripping wet sponges to toss into buckets or small trash cans or bowls about 510 ft away
*Soda or Flavored Water Ring Toss: pick up 1 liter bottles of your child’s favorite soft drink or flavored waters and set up like bowling pins in a triangle shape. Get pipe cleaners curled into a circle shape to use to toss as rings onto the bottles. This allows greater success in actually getting to “ring” a bottle as opposed to using hard plastic rings to toss that bounce off quite often.
2. Bounce House Splash N Slide: Rent a special day of endless water activity! Enjoy watching as the kids bounce and slide all day with their swimsuits on with this magical memory maker full of splashing clean fun! Costs vary, but generally cost $100$200/day depending on weekend or weekday rental.
3. Messy Water Balloon Toss: Add an element of messy goodness to the mix on an old favorite! Dip the water balloons in cool whip and have the kids wear their bathing suits as they pair up in teams of two and make a line across the yard catching the water balloon dipped in cool whip anyway possible without letting it break. Give out awards to the messiest team (ones with most cool whip all over them), cleanest team, and those who were the last team standing with a water balloon not busted.
4. Water Olympics: Make use of a Slip N Slide for long distance slide, Water Balloon Throw for longest toss, use of a pool for quickest laps across pool using back stroke or free style (can also have doggie paddle inside an inner tube for younger kids), dive sticks or dive rings timed race set the dive sticks in various places in bottom of little end or deep end of a pool (depending on swimmer level of kids attending) and use a stop watch to time their speed on retrieving the dive sticks.
5. Squirt Gun/Super Soaker War: Just the other day, a friend of mine shared that she drove down her neighborhood block and witnessed the coolest thing! She saw two dads and their sons racing back and forth in between the back and front yards of their houses holding super soakers and squirt guns to have a water gun war with their boys! She continued to share that it was totally awesome to behold, and brought a huge smile not only to her face, but that the concentration and laughs on those boy’s faces were priceless! They were having a blast! Several neighborhood families were watching and hoping to be invited to join in!
6. Water Table Car Wash: Little ones especially love the addition of a water table if you can grab one at your local store for $35$40. Sometimes you can use a plastic water basin sitting on a stool and create the same effect. If not, try letting them do this in the bath tub with your supervision. Take out some of their plastic cars (Kid’s meal toys often include toy cars that would suffice for this) and even boats if you wish, and have some gentle suds from a little liquid dish detergent placed in the water table’s water or basin. Tell your child your cars need to go through the car wash and even give them a sponge to use to help “wash” their cars. Then hand them a tiny cup to use for pouring and “rinsing” off the cars. Now, then need to use a dry wash cloth to “dry” the cars and make the customers smile.
7. Iceburg Antics using the Water Table or Bathtub: For extra cooling fun try role playing with small plastic animals like penquins, seals, polar bears and the like, then add a few real ice cubes or frozen plastic ice cubes to their water table or bath to pretend to be iceburgs! Kids can pick them up and place plastic animals on them for tons of role playing fun in the semicold waters. Another option if you don’t want to put actual cold/frozen ice cubes into their bath use Lego Duplo blocks in a variety of sizes and blue or yellow colors to represent the iceburgs and ice chunks in the water.
8. Pool Side/Water Table Tea Party: Every little girl loves a tea party! Why not use your plastic toy kitchen plates, cups and tea party sets for good use in creating a poolside tea party or use a water table and little table and chair set to accomplish the same idea. Either make it a real tea party by: Letting the kids have little snacks like fruit, cheese and crackers, mini cookies or graham crackers, and mini sandwiches as a picnic lunch while having iced tea, juice or lemonade or water in their “tea pot” to pour out for their friends at their tea party by the pool. Other option: Have an imaginary tea party while sitting on the steps of the pool, in a kiddie pool, or while standing in the little end area (3ft) of the pool using their plastic tea cups and pots to pour out the pool water into their cups and pretend to have tea. *Make sure to remind your child that this tea is for pretend only and not to drink the pool water which usually contains chlorine.
9. Make your own Snow Cones or Slushies Buffet: Pick up a snow cone maker such as this cute Olaf snow cone maker from Disney’s Frozen movie! Have some fruit juices or buy the premade bottles of snow cone flavorings to use as toppings. Garnish their snow cone or cup with a thin slice of strawberry or kiwi for a festive touch!
10. Frozen or Winter Themed Party or Playdate:Turn your air conditioning down to about 7075 to set the mood. Schedule activities for the day such as watching movies like “Frozen” or “Day After Tomorrow” to get kids in a cold mindset. Fill their bellies with cool/cold treats such as frozen yogurt pops, ice pops or snow cones, fresh fruit chopped into bite size pieces and slightly chilled in the freezer for 2 minutes before serving, fresh fruit smoothies, or cold cuts on sub rolls cut into smaller portion sizes. Pick up a few containers of the “fake snow” science experiment kits and let them have fun with that at the kitchen table or outside on the sidewalk. Play games like Charades, Bingo, or Hangman where all the words on the Bingo Cards, or for the other games are required to be cold weather related or items that are cold.