2 1/2 years old

10 Fun Ways to Keep Kids Cool on a Hot Day


We're in the middle of one of those funny London heat waves, that get a bit unbearable because we're just never prepared for it.  We recently moved into a house with a garden, but last summer we were in a flat, which made it even more difficult to keep cool on days like this. 

So, here's a list of our favourite ways to keep babies and toddlers cool on a very hot day, whether you have a lot of space or no space at all.

1. Swimming 

We are lucky enough now to have room for a bigger paddling pool in our garden, which both Ethan and Ivy can sit in, and we can put lots of toys for them to play with in there too.  Last year we went searching for a park paddling pool, found one a bus ride away, but got there to find it was being repainted!  So we had to use a tiny paddling pool that I bought from a pound shop, and I set up in the communal garden on a boiling hot day just to give Ethan a bit of a chance to cool down.  In London there are a lot of parks with paddling pools for the kids, you just have to check your borough's website for more information (but call ahead to make sure it's open!)  Of course you can also go to your local swimming pool for a proper swim.

2.  Run through the sprinkler

Yet again we are very fortunate this year to have the space, but unfortunately our water hose isn't working!  So we'll have to do some improvising yet again.  But if you do have a working hose, you can get a fairly inexpensive sprinkler and hook it up for hours of fun play.  Last year we went to  a play group and they had their sprinkler going on hot days, so that worked well for us too.

3. Water park

It isn't as common in London (but again have a look on your borough's website to see if there are any), but while we were on holiday in Canada we went to a fantastic Splash Pad, and there was a great Water Playground in Berlin that we went to as well.  The other option is to go to a big water park, like the Duplo Valley at Legoland in Windsor (it's on our list of places to go this summer!)

4. Water games

If you are short on space, you can't go wrong with some simple water play with a bucket and sponge.  Ethan can keep himself busy for ages playing with a few really basic things that you can find around the house and fill with water.  He also really enjoyed painting with water, it's like messy play, but then it dries and it's not messy at all!

5. Water battles

Another idea if you don't have a great big garden or other water play accessories, it to just use a few simple spray bottles (the kind that you would water plants with) to have a water fight.  You could even bring them to the park and chase each other around spraying and cooling down at the same time.  (Of course you could use water pistols, but personally I'm not a fan).

6. Ice play

I love to freeze little toys in ice to make surprise ice cubes for Ethan to play with.  They last for ages and keep him nice and cool as they melt.  I also just saw this fantastic idea to make frozen ice castles from sand castle moulds on Kids Activity Blog (like from the movie Frozen) so I've got one in the freezer ready to play with this afternoon!

7. Play tent in the shade

If it is just too hot to run around (or if your child isn't as fond of water as mine are) then you can always just set up a play tent in the shade.  We like to have a reading tent, or to bring out cups and saucers for a tea party.  If you don't have a play tent, you can make one out of a clothes horse, like they did over at 2Littlefaces.

8. Eat ice cream!

What better excuse than a hot day to eat lots of ice cream!  We made some ice lollies yesterday in anticipation of the heat today, so we'll be eating those too!

9. Go to the beach

If you're lucky enough to have a beach nearby, I can't think of a nicer way to spend a hot day. For us there isn't a proper beach, but we do have a lovely play beach we can go to (just sand there, no water).  On a nice weekend we love to go to Brighton, but it can get very busy.  If you want to go further afield there are countless beaches in Cornwall that we love, and they don't all get as crowded as the ones closer to London.

10. Go somewhere air conditioned

Well, if it's really that bad and you've had just about enough, you can always escape to a mall (we love Westfield) or a museum for an air conditioned oasis!

Here's a few supplies that you might need if you want to cool off in the water (affiliate links):

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  1. We're in a flat although thankfully we have a garden! I like to get the toys in the washing up bowl outside and get the kids to clean then in cold water - double win ;)

    1. I love that! Ethan does love bubbles, I'm sure that he would be a huge fan of washing up in the garden :)


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