Although it’s only May, we’ve already had a few heat waves in Southern California. There have been several days where it has been above 95 degrees and even a couple triple-digit record-breaking days of heat. Without air conditioning and a built-in pool, it can be hard to keep my kids busy. Admission to indoor play zones can get expensive, especially when it’s really hot outside for several days in a row. The good news is you don’t have to spend a lot of money to beat the heat. Here are a few inexpensive ways to entertain your kids when it’s really hot.
It’s amazing how a $1 spray bottle can entertain kids for hours. Turn the nozzle to mist and kids can have fun spraying each other with the cooling mist. Turn the nozzle to spray and kids can play “water gun” tag. You can also take a piece of thick paper and draw a target in the center. Another idea is to use chalk and draw the target board on a wall. Kids can try their luck at hitting the bullseye.
Summer Story Programs
Libraries and book stores are generally air-conditioned. These areas are a great place to read books and possibly use building blocks and/or puzzles. In my area, Barnes and Noble has two storytimes a week and some special learning events. While you are there, you might want to have your child get a reading journal for their summer reading program. It’s likely your local library has a summer reading program too.
Water basketball is a fun way to cool off while shooting some hoops. Take some large buckets and fill them full with water. Give kids some water basketballs and have them see how many they can “sink” in a row. Using cones to set up shooting points, you can have kids play a game of around the world. To cool things off even further, set up a sprinkler toy on the court. Check out six more water games that I wrote about here.
Aquatic Center/Swim Pass
Many communities have public pools and aquatic centers. The aquatic center near me is only $3 per child and $6 for adults. You can also get passes that allow you to cool-off all summer long. Check out your local parks and recreation website for plenty of low-cost options.
Go to a Free Museum Day
Many museums have free admission or days during the month when they have free admission. Most museums are kid-friendly, air-conditioned and educational. In Los Angeles, the California Science Center now has free admission as does the Griffith Observatory. Here are 20 U.S. museums that are also free.
When it’s really hot, you and your family can beat the heat with plenty of fun, inexpensive activities.
More from Melissa:
Create a Kid-Friendly Backyard for the Summer
10 “Mom-Tested” Summer Activities for Kids
Summer Boredom Busters for Kids