Hot, humid and sunny – the dog days of summer are here, and even if you love warm weather, you might be wondering what you can do to keep your baby busy and cool. Besides staying within close proximity to your air conditioning vents, we’ve pulled together some of our favorite ways to beat the heat with Baby. Try a few or all of them when temperatures are too hot to bear any longer.
Photo: Jason Trommetter on Flickr creative commons
1. Cool off with delicious frozen treats that both Baby and parents will enjoy. Need some healthy inspiration? Check out our 7 favorite frozen treats and get to freezing.
2. Get the lowdown on how to keep Baby safe in the sun, if you are headed outside. If you need some reliable information and tips, our 10 sun safety tips are the perfect place to start.
Photo: via M Sundstrom on Flickr creative commons
3. Hit the pool. Little ones love the pool, and exposing them to water at a young age can help them grow confidence in the water. Check out your local zero-depth entry pool, or buy a small inflatable pool for your backyard. Add water, a cute swimsuit, parental supervision, and you’ve got a sensory experience that your water babe will love.
4. Check out a splash pad. Chances are, you have a local splash pad or play fountain near you. Bring Baby along to enjoy some water exploration and cool off at the same time. While you don’t need to bring anything but a towel and suit, adding a few small buckets or cups to your bag will add in the excitement.
5. Toddlers love water tables, and once your baby can pull up to stand, you can bet he’ll spend lots of time playing there. Add a few plastic figurines, some small plastic cups, measuring spoons, and even a strainer to increase the play value. Your little one is learning about cause and effect, as well as working on fine motor skills, all while staying cool.
Photo: via Stevie Lee on Flickr creative commons
6. Hit the beach. If you’re lucky enough to live near one and brave the sand, head to the nearby ocean or lake. If you aren’t sure what gear is best to take with you, we’ve got you covered.
7. Introduce your baby to water play, safely in your backyard. Our 10 favorite tips include everything from scooping to freezing, and are guaranteed to keep you both cool.
8. Start up a toy car wash with some a bucket full of water, cups, and sponges. Your little one will love washing up their toy cars, pouring the water, and squeezing the sponges. You’ll love that it keeps everyone cool and is an activity that works on fine motor skills and sensory perception.
Photo: Dirt & Boogers
9. Splash inside. Not all water play needs to be done outside. Stay in the air conditioning and comfort of your own home and have some sensory fun in your bathtub or living room. We love this idea for supervised tummy time that incorporates water discovery.
10. Walk it off. Don’t feel like dealing with a wet baby? If you want to stay cool without swim diapers and sunblock, try changing scenery by taking Baby for an indoor walk. Try your local mall or even Target. It is good for both you and your mini to get out of the house and explore while keeping cool.
11. Watch the clock. To beat the heat, but still enjoy some of your favorite outdoor places, try going at a new time of day. Hit your local zoo in the morning, as soon as it opens, and be home in time for lunch before the heat index becomes unbearable. Or, try hitting your Baby’s favorite park after dinner, when the sun and temperature are lower. Baby can enjoy the swings and be home in time for bath and bed, all without breaking a sweat.
Photo: via Mr. Encyclopedia on Flickr creative commons
12. Head to your local library. Whether you bring your tot to a story time event or just to play and read, the library is always guaranteed entertainment for at least a few hours. Most libraries have more than just books and boast games and sensory activities that your baby will love exploring.
13. Burn some energy by hitting an indoor play space. In many cases, parents don’t pay for admission and your baby can roam free depending on the age. You’ll love giving your little one a time and place for working on gross motor development like crawling and climbing, and you can be he’ll love the adventure.
14. Browse your local pet store for a new adventure. Keep walkers out of the stroller and let them lead the way to the fish tanks and puppies. Younger babies would do great in a carrier so that they can see, and hear, more of the animals and sounds.
Photo: via Gordon on Flickr creative commons
15. Kick it old school with a little hose and sprinkler play. Baby will love squirting Mama’s feet with the hose and trying out bravery with the sprinkler. While the sprinkler works best with walking kids, you can always carry Baby to the sprinkler and let her touch the water with her toes or hands without getting a face full of water.
16. For a cool sensory craft, freeze ice cubes with popsicle sticks and food coloring to use for your baby to “paint” on paper. Be sure to supervise the artist (who may try to eat the ice cubes!) at work, and if you don’t want to paint, you can simply let Baby explore the colors on a baking sheet or paper towel.
17. Paint with water. Speaking of painting, clear off a space of your cement patio or sidewalk and fill a bucket with water. Add a few sponges and large paint brushes and help your toddler “paint” the sidewalk with water. Make designs, watch them disappear as the sun dries up the water, and paint some more.
18. Hit the road. Remember, even errands can entertain a baby. Run through a Sonic Happy Hour to grab a drink for yourself, and hit your local drive through car wash. There’s quite a bit of excitement and new experience for Baby, and you can talk to them about the process. Older babies will love it, younger babies might fall asleep. Either way, it’s a win and everyone stays cool.
How are you staying cool with your baby this summer? Tell us in a Comment.