The school year is coming to an end and the temperature is rising. Soon it will be unbearably hot, and that’s okay with me! I love summer. I love the heat. I love the extra time with my family. I especially love not being on a schedule. But, there are things about summer I don’t enjoy.
I don’t enjoy setting up water toys (pools, slip-n-slides, inflatables) just to have the kids complain about the heat and want to go inside. I don’t enjoy getting kids into swimsuits and slathered up in sunscreen only to have them need to use the restroom the moment we are ready to play. I don’t enjoy pulling out the sprinkler, then watching as one kid runs around the yard just outside of the water’s reach while another is crying from stubbing their toe on the sprinkler.
I definitely want to spend our summer outdoors, but I need some fun ways to stay cool that don’t require any extra planning or elaborate setup. So, I’m sharing with you 6 stress-free, mess-free ways to keep your kids cool this summer, while you kick back and relax.
6 Stress-Free Water Activities for Summer:
Paint the Deck (or sidewalk)
Supplies: Water and paint brushes
This is embarrassingly simple, but once my kids started doing it, it quickly became one of their favorite outdoor activities. Painting with water is cooler (and less messy) than chalk. Plus as it dries it disappears, allowing for endless hours of creating.
Break the Ice
Supplies: Container, water, small toys
This is one of the only activities here that requires a little planning, but you could make a bunch and then just pull them out of the freezer when you need a quick activity. Simply put some small plastic toys in a Tupperware container and fill with water. Freeze until solid. Let your kids pound it, drop it, pour water on it, do whatever they can to break the ice and ‘save’ their toys!
Supplies: Spray bottle and water
Have your kids lay flat in different poses on the sidewalk while you spray around their body.
Tubs of Suds
Supplies: Mixer, Container, and bubble mix (or approx. 1:3 dish soap to water)
Pour about ½ cup bubble mix into mixing bowl and whip until fluffy and stiff. Transfer to container for outdoor play. These suds make great clouds for My Little Ponies, or get out all the Hot Wheels for a car wash.
Supplies: Water guns and targets
Tape targets around the yard or encourage kids to set up their own obstacle course incorporating targets. Bonus – the targets may keep your kids from squirting you…or not.
Science Experiments/Kitchen Recipes/Magic Potions
Supplies: Bowls, utensils, measuring supplies, water
This is by far my daughters’ favorite thing to do outside. It’s also why so much of my Tupperware goes missing in our back yard. They will gather up some kitchen equipment, collect some water, and usually pick some weeds or flower petals they find around the yard and mix it into magic potions. This is usually just the beginning of the game, and soon their imaginative play will continue as they develop characters and an entire story line.
This summer I am going to try to be more engaging with my children. This means I will let them lead as we play and I will spend less time trying to prepare for activities or construct what I think is fun. Let your children’s imaginations guide them while you step back and relax.