Young Kids and Hot Days Don’t Mix

2009 has been a strange year for weather here in Chicago. By all accounts, it has been one of the coldest and wettest years on record, while down in Texas and parts of the Southwest they bake in 100+ degree heat and severe drought. Well, we finally had a scorcher here in Chicago yesterday, relatively speaking. It was by no means even close to the hottest days I remember, and should not have been in any way unexpected, but it was hot enough to stay indoors, that much is not in question.

So, I took Xavier out for an early morning visit to the park, still covered in shade from the ever-rising condo development just to the east. We ran around and got some energy out, but then it was back home as the heat was rising for a long day of books, toys, and lots of Thomas the Tank Engine videos. Right now, the video on repeat is Percy’s Chocolate Crunch, but that is neither here nor there.

He handled the indoors fairly well most of the day, but come 7:15 or so, when Xavier began running random laps around the house, it became very clear that he needed another outdoor excursion. By 7:30, most of the heat had gone away, though it was still very muggy. He was not interested in the park, so we went by the river to watch all the boats troll up and down the waterway. Before heading back home, I treated him to a tasty chocolate shake at Baskin Robbins; a reward for “dealing’ with the day.

Xavier enjoying some cool breezes by the river.

Xavier enjoying some cool breezes by the river.

It leaves me with a question for all of you parents out there…what do you do to entertain your young children on hot summer days? Do you just head outside with light clothing, sunscreen, and hats, or do you have cool and inexpensive indoor fun on the docket? I’d love to hear any and all suggestions!

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One Response

  1. We do a lot of pool time but my oldest is a little older and able to navigate the water very well. Sprinklers, squirt guns and water balloons also cool us down outside.

    Fun inside things (that I don’t bust out very often) are: shaving cream art – just squirt it on the table and draw with fingers, painting/finger painting – in general this is easily washable but when he was little I got a plastic table cloth and put it on the floor and let him paint in his diaper, we have a Smart Cycle that helps burn off tons of energy – it was a Christmas gift when he was 3, making cookies is “fun” especially when frosting is involved, art is a good time consumer especially when glue is involved (cereal, macaroni, marshmallows, buttons, packing peanuts, scraps of paper). You could turn on some music and dance – video tape it and then let him watch himself on tv. He might dance again with it and burn off even more energy. When most of these are done a bath is in order. Baths take a lot of time and seem to make Cason very tired. (a couple drops of food coloring can spice up the bath without dyeing the child)

    Great question, I’m looking forward to reading other ideas.

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