Play Ideas while Keeping Cool at Home

8 June 2018, Joanna Lodge

Don’t miss out on outdoor time just because it’s hot!

It might be boiling outside, but with some careful planning, there are some great activities that can be done even with little ones, to ensure that they stay cool and enjoy themselves. Here are some play ideas that can help keep you all cool and safe this summer.

Homemade sprinklers

You’ll need some 2 litre water bottles, some strong duct tape and a hose.

Make holes in the water bottles (not too many in case the whole thing explodes!). Afix the hose to the top of the water bottle, make sure it’s secure. Now turn on the fun!

Balloon water bombs

A brilliant way to use leftover balloons up! Fill them with water, and you’ve got yourself a water bomb. Be careful not to over fill them as they could knock a toddler off their feet if thrown too hard. Be inventive and tie these to a pole or branch to make water bomb “pinatas”.

Wet t-shirt races

Get heaps of old t-shirts and place them in a tub of water. Split into 2 teams and set the clock for a minute or two, depending on how much time you want to play for. The aim of the game is to successfully put on as many t-shirts as a team, as possible!

Ice necklaces

String some beads onto string in any design you like. Fill an ice tray with water and carefully place each bead in a portion of the ice tray. Place in the freezer for an hour or two, until frozen. See how beautiful your new necklace creations are!

Rainy trampoline

Ever been on a trampoline in the rain? Recreate this with children plus trampoline plus hose. Get the kids to bounce their hearts out, then spray the hose over the top of the trampoline for a fake storm in the sunshine.

Ice chalk

You will need 1 cup of corn starch, 1 cup of water, some food colouring and an ice tray. Mix the flour and water together and pour into the ice tray. Put 3 or 4 drops of colouring into each section of the tray, mix and freeze. When ready, you can take these outside and draw some awesome icey pictures on the ground before the ice melts.

Small world play

If you have a small paddling pool, pond or tray, a sandpit or flower pot, a space in your lawn or a sink, all are possible mini worlds with the right input and creativity. Add figurines, rocks, ice, twigs… for great open-ended play and learning.

Mud kitchen

We have this set up all year round. Use some old kitchen utensils, or better still, pretend ones made from sticks and garden waste. Make sure there are lots of pots, pans and bowls, along with some cool, squishy mud either from the garden, or compost bought from a garden centre. The sky’s the limit: pies, soups, cakes — and a lot of messy fun!

Lots of these ideas are based around gardens and garden activities but they can be transferred to parks, or better still, other people’s gardens (ha). Many can be used on balcony or smaller outside spaces too.

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