Beat the Heat: 10 Great Ideas to Keep Your Kids (And You!) Happy this Summer
With record-high temps in New Jersey, here's how to beat the heat
Could Jersey be any hotter? Seriously, it couldn't. With record high temps, it's a challenge to keep the kids happy. Here's 10 great ideas for keeping the kids—and you—happy.
1. Get wet.
Go swimming at the local pool, lake, or even head out to the beach and enjoy the cool(er) ocean air and waves. If you're not up for a trip, or your kids are young, a kiddie pool in the backyard works just fine. And even the modern kids of today know there's nothing like the joy of an old-fashioned sprinkler, or even a hose for summertime happiness.
2. Read a book.
Read a book to your kids, or for beginning readers, have them read one to you. Read outdoors under a shady tree, or take a trip to the local library to choose from their vast collection. While you're there get the events calendar, most libraries have tons going on in the summer months, from puppet shows to classes to reading challenges for the kids.
3. Do crafts.
Simple ideas like paper and crayons work fine, or you can get more creative. Hand the kids a pile of magazines, a pair of scissors, and a glue stick and have them make a collage based on a theme you give them (a specific color, things that are summery, animals, etc.) or let them cut out whatever they want to make their own masterpiece.
4. Play a game.
Board games like Junior Monopoly and Sorry! are always hits, as are card games like Go Fish, War, and my childhood favorite, Spit—my own kids have been known to play this addicting game for entire afternoons. And don't forget Hide-and-Seek, especially useful if mommy wants to get a few things done before starting the finding half of the game.
5. Go in the backyard.
If the kids can't amuse themselves, hide a few items for a scavenger hunt or lead them in a nature-based hunt where they find items like pine cones, a pink flower petal, a bird feather, and a round rock. We often put on hunts for the whole neighborhood and hide different colored marbles around the yard.
6. Eat a sweet treat.
Make something in the kitchen, like these fun Strawberry Cupcakes and Fruit Salad Cones. Bake sugar cookies and cut them out into fun shapes. Or go out for ice cream—Jersey has tons of great places where you can even get it homemade.
7. Watch a movie.
8. Listen to a concert.
Almost every night of the week you can hear music outdoors in New Jersey, or by traveling into Manhattan. And you even stay home and have your kids put on a live show with their friends in your backyard, living room, or front porch.
9. Find nature.
Get up early and go bird-watching. Take a hike at a nature preserve. Make a picnic lunch. Go blueberry or peach picking. Walk around the neighborhood with a Critter Keeper and see what bugs you can find. Or, wait till the heat of the day is gone and head out at night. Listen for owls. Catch fireflies. Go camping, even if it's just in your own yard. Tell ghost stories. Star gaze. Eat marshmallows (campfire and roasting optional).
10. Use your imagination.
Let your kids have an indoor picnic in the living room, go camping in the basement, build a fort, have a dance party, or maybe even pretend they're at the beach. Spread out the towels, put up the umbrella, and best of all... you don't need any sunscreen.
How are you staying cool and having fun this summer? Let us know!