6 Ways to Beat the Summer Heat

You could stand in front of the refrigerator with the door open all day in order to stay cool during the hot summer months, or you could try something a bit more practical. Here are a few creative ideas to help you beat the heat.

1. Go on an indoor scavenger hunt. Take the kids to a mall or museum armed with a list of things to find. Ask them to snap pics of their discoveries on a disposable camera or cell phone: a red hat, kids eating ice cream, someone playing music, candy, a fountain, animals, you name it.

2. Volunteer together. Stay cool and give back when you do things like read books to seniors at a care center or play with puppies at an animal shelter.

3. Play inside. If you prefer to stay around your home, you can still have some good, old-fashioned indoor fun. Place masking tape on the floor to make roads for mini cars to roam. Tape yarn in a hallway for a web kids can crawl through. Attach craft sticks to paper plates to make “rackets” for a game of balloon tennis. Set up tents and sleeping bags in the living room for an indoor camp-out, complete with s’mores pops that don’t require a fire.

4. Do an art project. Make ice paint by freezing a mixture of washable paint and water in paper cups. Insert a craft stick into each one to make it easy for little hands to hold as they create their masterpieces.

5. Eat cool treats. Set up a DIY popsicle bar with juices and fresh fruit for kids to work with. For those with less patience, an ice cream sandwich bar with several types of cookies and flavors of ice cream should do the trick.

6. Play in the water. If you do want to get outside, the simple pleasures of a lawn sprinkler or water hose not only cool kids off, they distract them from the heat. For extra fun, make ice cubes in shaped trays with little surprises inside (small toys, silk flowers, coins) and toss them in a kiddie pool. Or make giant bubbles with only a few simple ingredients.