It may have felt like winter lasted forever, but all of a sudden we’re on the high side of the thermometer. Now that summer is in full-swing, we’re here with some cool tips on how to beat the heat this season.
Tips and Tricks for Cool-a-fying Your Home!
There are a number of ingenious methods for cooling your home without central air conditioning. Let’s go over some of our favorites here.
- Fan+Ice: With a simple desk fan and some frozen water, you can turn your old-school air pusher into a super-powered mini AC unit. Simply freeze some water in bottles or a bowl and place it in from of your old fan. Now you’re blowing extra cool air, not just pushing around the heat. Try adding salt to your frozen water to make it last longer.
- Block Up the Holes: Skylights and big windows are beautiful to look at and will let in the light, but it can come at a cost during these hot summer months. Consider blackout shades and skylight covers. You’ll be surprised how effective this can be.
- Close It to Keep It: Remember to close your fireplace damper and any windows if you have air conditioning running. When the outside is hotter than your home, opening a window is counter productive.
- Fan Out: If you’ve just gotten home and all of the day’s heat is stuck in your house, wait until the evening and face a fan out a window. This will blow hot air outside and suck in cool air. Just remember, this only works if it’s cooler outside than it is inside.
- Hell-ectronics!: When it’s boiling outside, it can be tempting to just stay inside and binge on some Netflix. But be careful, electronics like TVs and computers can pump out a ton of heat, which will make your AC have to work extra hard. Consider a book, turn off as many lights and electronic devices as possible in the house and run your household appliances (like dishwashers), overnight.
Out and About!
It can be tough to find things to do with the kids when it’s too hot for the playground. As any parent will vouch for, however, staying at home all day can be a fast track to crankytown. We’ve cobbled together some nice outing ideas for the dog days of summer for you in this next segment. And remember, it’s always hottest in the afternoon, so if you have a chance of hitting the playground, it’s best to do so in the early morning and save these ideas for after nap time.
- Take a Drive: If you have a comfortable ride and some good air conditioning, driving itself can be a pleasurable and time consuming way to pass the time. When planning what to do in the heat, remember that activities further away from home should be considered as it will maximize your time in an air conditioned environment (provided your car is one, of course).
- Planetarium: Does your area have one of these? If so, we highly recommend taking your children to a planetarium during the hot summer days. It’s an educational, beautiful, and most importantly, well air conditioned experience. You couldn’t ask for a better afternoon activity and add that to the fact that most of the time a planetarium is generally accompanied by a museum of some sort.
- Water-based Activities!: You don’t always have to go far or even indoors to beat the heat. Throw on the swimsuits and breakout the classics: Slip-N-Slides, sprinklers, water balloons (or their safer/cheaper cousin ‘sponge water bombs’), are all great ways to stay happy in the heat right from your backyard. Just don’t forget the sunscreen!
- Your Local YMCA: I’ve heard it’s fun to stay there, but go for an afternoon trip and enjoy some of their amenities. You can use the opportunity to teach your kids to swim, play some sports or just exercise together. Check out your local YMCA for details on times and schedules.
- Indoor Play Spaces: They’re becoming more and more popular. Indoor play spaces offer a nice alternative to a playground in areas where weather can hit extreme temperatures and they’re not all created equally. We’ve seen beautiful, well kept establishments with lots of space and varied activities as well as some pretty dingy places with dirty toys and uninspired layouts. Do your research beforehand, but some of these play spaces can be very enjoyable places for kids when it’s too hot or cold for the outdoors.
- Car Wash: Provided you don’t live in Death Valley and you can stand to be out for just a few minutes, a car wash with the kids could be a fun pseudo-excursion and an excuse to get wet, stay cool and get something done. You can setup all the accouterments yourself, sunscreen the kiddos and have them wash a wheel or two to at least have some brief time outdoors on these hot summer days.
Stay In, Stay Cool!
If you’re living situation and child’s temperament permits, staying in during the scorching heat is definitely the easiest and cheapest way to pass the time. Just make sure you keep the little rascals entertained with these great indoor activity ideas!
- Classic Board Games! They’re classics for a reason, people. Sorry!, Battleship, Connect4, Candy Land. Kids love these games because they’re easy to play, fun to look at and create a healthy sense of competition. If you’re looking for games with more of and educational or contemplative slant to them, consider Scrabble, Clue, Chess and Othello.
- Puzzles: Who doesn’t love a good puzzle? Puzzles are a classic way for kids to gain some problem solving skills as well as an appreciation for delayed gratification, something that is sorely missing from today’s world of 2 minute mobile gaming experiences. Puzzles also offer a unique avenue for family bonding, collaboration and teamwork. We like puzzles, what can we say?
- Arts and Crafts: Coloring, Crayons, glitter, glue and construction paper. It’s easy to forget once you’re grown, but these are the stuff of dreams for little kids. They get to get messy, create and explore their funky little imaginations to their hearts’ desire. Don’t forget the popsicle sticks!
- Cooking: My two year old is crazily interested in cooking. It can be a bit disconcerting when we’re chopping, rushing and just got home from work. But, when you have the time and are stuck indoors, maybe take the time to bake some cookies or make some lemonade. If your kids are anything like ours, they’ll love lending a hand in the kitchen and sampling along the way. Just make sure you have that AC cranked if you’re going to run the oven.
What are some ways you and your family try to beat the summer heat?