Friday, June 29, 2012
It's a Cruel, Cruel Summer: 15 Ways to Beat the Heat!
It's official. Summer is here to stay and it's not always pretty. Today? Over 100 degrees before the heat index?! So we're pulling together our most favorite ways to beat the heat! Here are our top 15 (OK, 16) ways to chill out.
Got some new ideas? SHARE 'EM. It's gettin' hot in here. We're taking a few days off for the holiday, but these should keep you cool!
1. Ice cube painting -- we didn't do this outside, but you could do so easily. Mix some tempera paint or food coloring with water and freeze in ice cube trays with a popsicle stick stuck inside. When frozen, paint some paper or yourself! Check out our post here from last summer.
2. Pop-up stained glass -- we like to use our outdoor acrylic easels to make this temporary art that you can wash off with water and cool yourself down, too. It didn't leave any color on our easel, so you could likely try the outside of a glass door (but be careful -- the bleeding art tissue will stain wood).
3. Ice block salt painting -- this is super easy to do and can be done indoors or out. Freeze a milk carton/juice carton of water. Peel off the carton and go at the block of ice with salt and droppers full of liquid water colors or food coloring. We both spent A LOT of time coming back to ours to investigate and play.
Been there, done that? Check out what's pinned as outdoor art ideas here.
Cool Sensory Play
4. Giant sensory squish bag -- that's a technical term. We didn't have the best luck getting ours to hold up (even before we started jumping on it), but we still had a blast. If it had stayed in tact, we're pretty sure you could have found our moms having cocktails on it in the evening. Here's our post on it from this week.
5. Tropical sensory table -- pretend you can feel that ocean breeze. We filled up our sand/water table with lots of cool tropical sensory items. We even tried to climb in. This could be done in a storage bin if you don't have a water table. Check it out.
6. Jello Sculptures -- we planned to do this outside, but the day threatened rain so we made a giant mess out of our kitchen instead. We put ours on our light tables, but this would be an excellent outdoor afternoon snack. We lit it up here.
Not sensational enough for you? Get thee to pinterest!
Spraygrounds/Splashgrounds and Pools
7. Yards Park -- one of our most favorite ways to beat the heat -- not really a pool, not really a fountain. But spectacular either way. Check out our visit last summer.
8. Georgetown Waterfront Park -- a new addition to the splashground scene and a super fun one at that. We stumbled upon it on a recent rainy day, but you'll find us there plenty this summer, too.
9. Outdoor pools -- we honestly haven't spent any time at outdoor pools. The indoor pool at Wilson has been enough for mom to handle by herself. But we hope to check some out this summer. KidFriendly DC's recent summer post has links to area pools.
Looking for a sprayground near you? Mommy FTW has some great info on local spraygrounds, including a list!
10. National Postal Museum -- museums can be slammed during the summer, making them less attractive to us despite the air conditioning they offer. But we've always found the Postal Museum to be fairly empty and still just as cool. Easy too because it's right across from the Union Station, which avoids the need to schlep across the scorching Mall. Here's our post from last summer.
11. U.S. Botanic Garden Children's Garden -- not technically a museum, but it's museum'ish. The Children's Garden has fountains flowing cool water and encourages soakage. And this year they've added an awning for shade. Love it - you might just also catch the outdoor sprinklers on, too.
12. National Gallery of Art -- start out at the Mercury Fountain to cool off your fingertips and then make your way to the gelato bar, checking out some art along the way. It's big enough not to feel too crowded. You can check out our post from last summer here.
13. Theodore Roosevelt Island -- scurry across the sun-scorched bridge to take a hike in the shade. Pop down to the shore to dip your toes in or, when Teddy's fountains are on, cool off there. Make sure to bring your water bottle, though! It can still get hot on the island. As we found out last summer.
14. Riverbend Park -- take the shaded trail that winds right along the river and stop at points throughout to cool off. We especially loved hanging out at the picnic spot along the way. AND the snack bar at the visitor's center has cool drinks and ice cream! We posted one of our recent visits here.
15. Potomac Overlook Park -- despite the lack of overlook, we love this park for its nice, shady trails. And make sure to cool off down in the Nature Center's kidcave (where there is also a drinking fountain and restrooms). Here's our recent post.
Want more? We've found The Natural Capital to be a good source of hiking spots for kiddos.
Will Melt Your Popsicle
16. Popsicles! You don't need any fancy equipment -- you can make popsicles using little paper cups and a popsicle stick. But we are big fans of Tovolo popsicle molds and are still angling daddy for a Zoku rapid-freeze machine .... Here are some of our top pops!
Need some additional ideas? Check out this 100+ idea list of homemade popsicles!