Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Heat Wave - How do you keep kids cool?

My apologies to my friends living in other parts of Canada that haven't seen sight of the sun in a couple of weeks. Toronto right now is the complete opposite. It is climbing up into the 30's (celcius) but with the humidex it feels closer to 40 degree at its peak. So how do you keeps kids happy and safe in such weather? Here are a few ideas!

1. Take advantage of the early morning sunshine. Usually we enjoy time at the park when my son gets out of school. In this weather it would just be unbearable leading to the dreaded cranky kids syndrome (you want to avoid that at all costs!) I still want my kids to get fresh air and exercise so the past few mornings we've played in the earlier morning. Yesterday we took a nice long walk before it got too hot and today we headed up to the school a bit before school started to play on the playground nice and early.

2. Water, water and more water. I cannot stress this enough. My kids have water bottles with them all the time right now. And I just keep filling them up. It's a great time to play with water, in splash pads, wading pools, sprinklers or just drag out some rubbermaid tubs and fill them up. At night I cool my kids down with a nice cool bath before they get their jammies on too.

3. Keep the house cool. We have A/C but we don't put it on in the day (trying to save energy costs). We turn it on in the evening and shut it off when we get up in the morning. The house stays cool because we keep the heat out of it. When the sun beams start to heat up a particular room, I draw the shades in, then re-open them when the sun has moved on by (I still want to see those beautiful rays, I just don't want them to heat my house right now.) When we lived in a home that didn't have A/C we strategically used a combination of fans and open window to create a nice cool breeze inside.

4. Plan your meals well. Keep that oven off! This is not the time to bake bread for goodness sake. This is the time to BBQ or dust off that crockpot. This is also a great time for what my kids call 'snacky lunches' - a combination of apple slices, red pepper, cold chicken and goldfish crackers. A healthy balance without cooking.
Freezer snacks are also great for weather like this, orange juice pops, smoothies and frozen grapes are all great treats that kids love.

5. Cool clothes - light cotton jammies and a sheet or a thin blanket ought to be enough in this weather, shorts and t-shirts in the day. Don't forget that hat and some good sunscreen!

What kinds of tricks and tips do you have to help your kids beat the heat?

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