The temperature at my house hovered at around 115 degrees for the better part of last week. We all began to get a little punchy around here…keeping a three-year-old and a one-year-old inside from morning till night is a sure-fire way to bring on the stir-crazies. So I put myself on a mission to compile a list of fun, inexpensive things to do with my kiddos to beat this gnarly heat (let’s be honest, it’s gonna be here for a while). I hopped on some of my favorite blogs, and on Pinterest (of course) and started thinking through some of the things that we’ve done in summers past. Here is the start of my list. I hope this will provide some fun for those of you also trying to survive the desert in summer. And if you are blessed to live in a place where people can actually play outside in summer, save these ideas for winter. You may need them in a few months :)

Ice Discovery Cubes
Fill a plastic continer with water and drop in some small toys, buttons, or other knick-knacks you think your child might like to find hidden inside. Freeze over night. Once it’s frozen through, run the plastic under hot water for a minute pop the ice out of the container. Give your child a bowl of water, a spoon, and a bowl of salt to help melt the block. Your child can stay cool while trying to remove the toys from the ice!
Invitations to Play
One of my favorite blogs, The Imagination Tree, did a series of posts in May called “Invitations to play. Basically, you set out certain toys, or other imagination-evoking items somewhere in your house and wait for your kids to find them. This can be as simple as putting your child’s building blocks in the middle of the kitchen floor, or as simple as making a “fort” in the living room before your children wake up. You can read more about Invitations to play HERE.
play dough cupcakes and candles
Free Craft Time
I don’t do this often enough, but when I do, it’s ALWAYS a hit. Set out ALL the arts and craft supplies you have in your house. For us this usually means lots of paper, different kinds of paint, pom-poms, feather, glue, pipe cleaners, glitter (when I’m feeling brave), scissors, stickers, popcicle sticks, beads, etc. Cover the table with something you don’t care about, and let your kids create…undisturbed. Don’t tell them to be careful. Let them make a mess. It will all wash off….and it’s so very fun for them to have a chance to create without rules.
Visit the Library
The library was very hit or miss for us until just recently. Addison is still not a huge fan of story time there, but she IS a huge fan of story time at home. We ‘ve been going about once a week to hunt for new books, and to play with all the puzzles that are on display in the children’s section. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a perfect way to beat the heat since you will still have to go outside to get there…but if you head out early (our branch opens at 10am), it’s still cooler than it will be at 4:00, and it’s at least a way to get out of the house for a bit.
Watch a New Movie
We try to keep TV watching at a minimum in out house, but there are definitely days that call for a movie marathon. I found this adorable idea on Pinterest to make movie day even more special. Buy some treats with holes in them. Give your child a long piece of yarn and set the treats out in bowls. Help your child make an edible necklace to much on during the movie by stringing the snacks on to the yarn. Those yogurt pretzles look YUMMY!
I’m hoping to try this idea soon…today we’re lucky to have temps below 100. I think I’ll save this one for an emergency! What are some ways you keep your kids entertained when it’s too hot to play outside?
Check back soon for some more ideas to keep the stir-crazies from comin’ to get ya’!
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