For over a week it has been 95+ degrees. It’s hot: here, there and everywhere. Last week I was in northern Michigan at our lake house, and presently I’m in Western PA. So what do you do with little ones to keep them from parking themselves in front of the television inside the air conditioned house??
First & foremost you have to have to put a cap on tv time. My 3yr old gets about three hours—which I admit is a lot. He gets 2-3 of his favorite little shows on Disney in the morning, and then a movie to wind down for bed; but quite often he goes the whole day with out any until his movie.
But sometimes it really is just too damned hot to be outside. My family is Irish--and therefore whiter than Casper, and my son has both sensitive skin & allergies—so there are a lot of days where even if it is alright to go outside he can’t stay out long without either burning or his skin breaking out and swelling.
Days like that I call ‘throwback days’—days you dig into your childhood and pull out the things you used to occupy yourself with. Things like fort building, hide & seek, wrestling, board games, arts & crafts (He’s been making a TON of sun-catchers--to be used for Christmas gifts), reading and my son’s current favorite: swimming in the bath tub. My son is obsessed with sharks presently so he can spend hours in there if I let him. We fill the bathtub up and he’ll play for a while in it and then get out and do other things and then later in the day if he wants to go again the water is already ready (and clean still!).
Other little things you can do?
*MAKE popsicles. Keep them hydrated and make it fun. You can even make ‘em fancy. Fill it ¼ with one kind of juice/kool-aid, freeze it, and repeat 3x more with three other flavors!
*Use fans. Yes, there’s AC, but most of what people find un comfortable is stagnant air, so turn up the AC temp a few degrees and kick on the fans to circulate the air. Save $$, save energy, and spare the atmosphere pounds of CO2.
*GO SOMEWHERE!! Go to the Aquarium, the movies, the pool etc… not only is it air conditioned but you’ll be spending quality time DOING something with your family other than sitting in front of the television or computer!
*Relax the dress code. We are not an uptight family. My son hasn’t worn pants all week. Randomly throughout this summer he has declared it ‘no pants day.’ And it is not uncommon for people to come over and find us both in our underwear (me +tank) in the living room having a picnic
*Go somewhere with TREES!! Hike in a forest, the park, etc.... Obviously save this for the more tolerable days,but its summer it's going to be hot--be outside when you can to remember when when you're cooped up in the winter.
*Kill the lights. Most people close the curtains, & use lamps for light--which is foolish. I understand open curtains give as much heat as they do light, but if you push them open an inch or two at each side and in the middle you let in light without tons of heat. With blinds, point them up.
Just because you have to rely on energy to keep you cool doesn't mean you have to rely on it for everything else--find ways to get around upping your usage even when it's blistering hot.
And just because you have to be cooped up SOME days in the house to escape the heat doesn't mean that those days have to be spend with the tube or the internet.