We’re reaching well into the 90s this time of year in Florida. The sun is baking on our necks. I swear I get a sunburn just from walking from the car into the house. In a matter of 30 seconds, I’ve got a sweat mustache and my poor kids are panting like dogs. Some days are just TOO hot for that nonsense.
I will admit, I don’t like keeping my boys locked up inside, but it’s totally okay to take a day to stay hydrated. My pale legs aren’t too happy about it, though!
While boredom is something I encourage (especially for 2 and 3 year olds), it’s good to have some time wasting activities on hand for when the day seems to drag. Below are 8 ways to entertain you and the younger ones when avoiding the over the top humidity.
1. Flash Cards With A Twist
Flash cards are boring. Like…yawn. But, most parents have them lying around somewhere, so why not use them for other activities?
Take your flash cards and turn them into the classic game of Twister in minutes! Lay the cards all over the floor and tell your kid to put their right hand on a card with a specific picture or shape and left foot on another until they’re all twisted up! You get the idea.
You can do this over and over and they will love it! Eventually the cards are everywhere and you can then have a game of clean them all up, too!
2. Use Music to Burn Energy
If your kids get their second wind and you haven’t caught up from the first one, put on some music and get them moving! Use music to help them listen and follow directions.
Songs like The Hokey Pokey and Freeze Dance are awesome tools for teaching your kids to follow instructions! Put on slower songs and make them move in slow motion or crawl on the floor, louder songs can be for marching, etc. This will really make up for the energy they couldn’t burn outside that day!
3. Make Juice Popsicles
These popsicles are good for you and are actually two activities – making and eating!
Fill any popsicle mold with your kids’ favorite juice and freeze. You can add fresh or frozen fruit, if desired, for extra flavors! Eat them later in the day for a refreshing treat! Some of our favorites to make are 100% grape juice and coconut water with strawberries and blueberries.
4. Use Books to Use Up Time
In our house, we love reading. We’re always making up crazy stories and reading stacks and stacks of books. You can really stretch your reading hour by adding in some little things for them to do while looking through the books. Here are some ways to do that:
- Have them find shapes in the book
- Have them count the pages
- Have them find “hidden objects”
- Have them read it back to you
- Have them tell you how it makes them feel
- Tell them a little about the author who wrote it
5. Listen to Stories on Youtube
If books aren’t around, you can play some really great stories on Youtube. We usually listen to these in the car or at bedtime when I’m too tired to do anything, but they can also be used to relax and get a bit of down time spent. I don’t let them look at the screen and place my phone somewhere they can’t even see it. This makes them focus solely on listening and sometimes a voice other than mom’s or dad’s can keep their attention longer.
6. Table Top Activities
Some of our favorite Youtube channels for this are Books Read Aloud for Children and Let’s Read Stories! Some of our favorite books to listen to are Pete the Cat, I Just Forgot and Never Ask a Dinosaur to Dinner.
Doing table top activities helps kids focus on one thing in front of them. There are endless ideas on what to do, but coming up with those ideas could take a while, so here are a few ideas to help you have the items needed in advance!
Puzzle cards are really great for common learning skills as well as agility and they are less likely to make a huge mess than a board game would. It’s something they can do alone if you need a minute to get another thing done. The Learning Journey has a lot of different packs to choose from if you’re on the lookout for some!
Another great learning table activity is playing with objects that connect and disconnect. I don’t mean common things like Legos or blocks, though. While those are still fun toys, they don’t keep attention for long. Try thinking beyond just blocks. Collect different sized jars, containers and small boxes (jewelry boxes work well) and have them have take them completely apart, mix them up and then put them back together.
If you’re spending the day inside, it might be fun to add a little mess into the mix. Use different foods for a sensory experience! Cooked pasta, wet grapes, rice and beans are just some of so many foods that have a unique feel. Makes for an easy snack time too!
Here is a great site for finding music for movement and participation!
7. Make A Human Maze
If your kids are anything like mine, they like testing stuff out. Try making a human size maze with laundry baskets, totes and chairs and have them find their way through. Play hide and seek!
If you want to quiet things down a bit, you can also make a smaller one for their cars and trucks to drive around through or even a track to race the cars on. Books are good for streets or bumpier surfaces can be off road ramps for them to jump from. Getting imaginative is the perfect way to utilize time and makes them get really creative!
8. Make Cleaning Fun
“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and SNAP! The job’s a game.”
– Mary Poppins
Cleaning doesn’t have to be a hassle. On a hot day, you can get a lot of things done and your little ones will LOVE to help.
Get each child a spray bottle (fill with water) and a rag and let them wipe the tables, counters and anything else you can think of! Spray each other! Help them separate toys by lightly tossing into different buckets.
If they are older, make it a relay race and have each do a specific job and whoever finishes the job first gets extra screen time or the shower first!
Whatever you decide to do, don’t let the heat get to you! Stay inside and have a day of fun. Try these 8 activities out and let the memory making and family time begin!