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    Fun in the sun: Ideas to enjoy the heat safely

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    Ready to Have Some Fun in the Sun This Summer? Don't Miss These Six Tips for Enjoying the Heat Safely

    If you're anything like me, you approach the summer and think: "What I am going to do with the kids?" School is out, and there is more time to occupy throughout the day. I've learned that this doesn't have to be a bad thing.

    Summer is a great time to get your family together to do fun, inexpensive actives to beat the heat. It's also a season that -- depending on where you live -- can wreak havoc on your family because of the increased chance of exposure to sun, sunburn, dehydration and more.

    But summer doesn't have to turn into that kind of debacle for you and your family. I've learned that by following these key six tips -- that are oh so easy -- you can experience a summer season full of excitement, happiness, health and fun. Best of all, these six tips all are inexpensive and friendly on your family's budget.

    Are you ready to make this a summer to remember for your family? Read on to get my six savvy summer tips for having fun AND beating the heat. Let's go!

    Tip #1: Have an Indoor Picnic

    When the summer temperatures are blazing outside, it's not worth it to venture out. Instead, bring the summer fun inside by hosting an indoor picnic with your kids. You can make this a themed day with all of your activities for the day leading up to a big indoor lunch.

    For example, get everyone up in the morning and announce today you'll be having a summer picnic indoors -- but before that can happen, you need everyone's help making all of the special food and preparing for the picnic games.

    Some ideas for the foods you can prepare include:

    Spread a huge quilt out on your living room floor and invite your children to "set" the table by placing plates, napkins and silverware at place settings around the periphery of the quilt. Place all the food and drink in the middle of the quilt for a lunchtime picnic.

    • Make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
    • Wash grapes and strawberries and place in bags
    • Fold red checked napkins
    • Bake a fruit pie or make a fruit pizza
    • Put chips in a bowl and make a side of dip. This works for fruit as well!
    • Toss a healthy salad
    • Put toothpicks in cheese cubes and fruit.
    • Make a pitcher of lemonade or iced tea.

    After the picnic lunch is over, host a few indoor picnic games -- including a balloon toss or relay, a board game such as checkers or Memory and face painting. Make it fun and creative!

    backyard camping idea

    Tip #2: Go Backyard Camping

    Summer backyard camping is a great activity to spark your kid's interest once the sun has set.

    Simply set up a tent in the backyard and whip out the S'mores makers (a combination of Sterno lamps, marshmallows and other S'mores fixings). Set out those lawn chairs once again, add lanterns with battery-operated lights for ambiance, and look for constellations using a free constellation finder app that you can download to your phone.

    You don't have to sleep outside the entire night -- just enough to get the camping experience and to take in the stars.

    family community service project idea

    Tip #3: Have a Rotating Neighborhood Summer Camp

    Designing a simple, rotating neighborhood summer camp is a great way to involve other parents in your neighborhood in a fun summer activity that keeps the kids out of the heat -- and gives you some downtime for a week.

    Ideally, each parent will take on hosting a day camp in their home for a day. If a parent can't host for that long, you could design a half-day camp. Each day will have a theme to it and a learning opportunity. You can give parents flexibility in what they decide to teach and do -- but each day should include some kind of lesson, snack/lunch, and craft.

    An example for a simple plan you could follow includes:

    • Day 1: How Do Plants Survive in the Summer: The kids could get a lesson around the kitchen table, plant in the garden, pick veggies for the garden for snack and take home a potted plant to share with their family.
    • Day 2: Piano Camp: Each child can get a lesson in music and basic piano. Snack can include music-themed foods -- such as black and white lady fingers
    • Day 3: Go Artsy: Teach about the masters of art and then help your kids replicate a famous work such as Van Gogh's "Starry Night."
    • Day 4: Water Works: Learn about the summer weather system in your area, do water experiments in the kitchen and make your own sparkling water during snack time.
    • Day 5: On the Go: Get moving with a group exercise class complete with jumping and music, refresh with water and a healthy snack, play a group sport -- such as volleyball -- outside, but don't get too hot!

    You can adjust this summer neighborhood camp plan based upon the skills and expertise of the parents in your community.

    neighborhood summer camp idea

    Tip #4: Adopt a Community Service Project

    Summer is the perfect time to give back to your community. Non-profts in the area may have trouble getting volunteers because their regular staff and volunteers are on vacation. You can fill in that gap and teach your children the importance of giving to and supporting your community by taking on some kind of volunteer service.

    Some easy ideas include:

    • Stocking a local food pantry
    • Delivering or preparing meals for people who have food insecurity in the home
    • Working in a community garden
    • Visiting home-bound elderly people to deliver them cookies.
    • Running errands for a person in need.

    Find a gap together and fill the need as a family. Not only can this be an exciting diversion from routine summer schedules, but it will have lasting impact on your children by teaching them a value that you hold as a human being.

    backyard summer waterpark idea

    Tip #5: Set Up a Backyard Waterpark

    If the temperatures aren't too high, turn your backyard into a waterpark. Buy an inflatable pool and a Slip 'N Slide from your local big box store. Hook up the hose and spend the afternoon getting cool in the inflatable pool and sliding down the Slip 'N Slide.

    Fill a second inflatable pool with ice and refreshing water and other drinks for the kids and neighbors. Set up lawn chairs and an umbrella for resting under the shade.

    This is a great outdoor activity that your adult parents can participate in as well!

    kids cooking class at home

    Tip #6: Hold a Kid's Cooking Class

    Summer is a wonderful time to get in the kitchen and prepare delicious and easy summer food items that will last for the next season. Little hands can be great helpers -- so get your children involved in the cooking process with you.

    Host a "cooking class" in your kitchen with your children and other neighborhood kids. For example, you could make homemade ice cream together, prepare strawberry jam, make homemade peanut butter, make applesauce and more.

    Keep in mind the food allergies the kids may have who are coming into your kitchen. Make it fun, and give every kid a jar of whatever you make to take home to use with their family. They will have not only a delicious item to share with their family, but they will feel pride in having made it themselves.

    Ready to Enjoy YOUR Summer?

    If you're ready to venture out into the summer sun for some great family activities, then make sure you are playing it safe for you and your family. The sun cannot only cause severe sunburn, but exposure can lead to dehydration and eventually skin cancer. Summer is a great time to be outside with your family doing everything from playing at the beach to riding a lazy river to cool off. Just make sure you are prepared with adequate sunscreen, reapply often and invest in protect clothing -- such as long-sleeved bathing shirts and sun hats -- to keep the smallest nuggets in your family safe, happy and cool.

    Your summer awaits! So use this quick guide of my go-to tips to prepare for all of your activities! Use this guide as your checklist before heading outside in the sun -- and you'll stay cool and protected. Did this guide help you? Which tips are most helpful as you prepare? Let me know by leaving a comment below -- and feel free to add your own tips for staying safe and happy in the summer heat!

     

    Ready to Have Some Fun in the Sun This Summer? Don't Miss These Six Tips for Enjoying the Heat Safely

    If you're anything like me, you approach the summer and think: "What I am going to do with the kids?" School is out, and there is more time to occupy throughout the day. I've learned that this doesn't have to be a bad thing.

    Summer is a great time to get your family together to do fun, inexpensive actives to beat the heat. It's also a season that -- depending on where you live -- can wreak havoc on your family because of the increased chance of exposure to sun, sunburn, dehydration and more.

    But summer doesn't have to turn into that kind of debacle for you and your family. I've learned that by following these key six tips -- that are oh so easy -- you can experience a summer season full of excitement, happiness, health and fun. Best of all, these six tips all are inexpensive and friendly on your family's budget.

    Are you ready to make this a summer to remember for your family? Read on to get my six savvy summer tips for having fun AND beating the heat. Let's go!

    Tip #1: Have an Indoor Picnic

    When the summer temperatures are blazing outside, it's not worth it to venture out. Instead, bring the summer fun inside by hosting an indoor picnic with your kids. You can make this a themed day with all of your activities for the day leading up to a big indoor lunch.

    For example, get everyone up in the morning and announce today you'll be having a summer picnic indoors -- but before that can happen, you need everyone's help making all of the special food and preparing for the picnic games.

    Some ideas for the foods you can prepare include:

    Spread a huge quilt out on your living room floor and invite your children to "set" the table by placing plates, napkins and silverware at place settings around the periphery of the quilt. Place all the food and drink in the middle of the quilt for a lunchtime picnic.

    • Make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
    • Wash grapes and strawberries and place in bags
    • Fold red checked napkins
    • Bake a fruit pie or make a fruit pizza
    • Put chips in a bowl and make a side of dip. This works for fruit as well!
    • Toss a healthy salad
    • Put toothpicks in cheese cubes and fruit.
    • Make a pitcher of lemonade or iced tea.

    After the picnic lunch is over, host a few indoor picnic games -- including a balloon toss or relay, a board game such as checkers or Memory and face painting. Make it fun and creative!

    backyard camping idea

    Tip #2: Go Backyard Camping

    Summer backyard camping is a great activity to spark your kid's interest once the sun has set.

    Simply set up a tent in the backyard and whip out the S'mores makers (a combination of Sterno lamps, marshmallows and other S'mores fixings). Set out those lawn chairs once again, add lanterns with battery-operated lights for ambiance, and look for constellations using a free constellation finder app that you can download to your phone.

    You don't have to sleep outside the entire night -- just enough to get the camping experience and to take in the stars.

    family community service project idea

    Tip #3: Have a Rotating Neighborhood Summer Camp

    Designing a simple, rotating neighborhood summer camp is a great way to involve other parents in your neighborhood in a fun summer activity that keeps the kids out of the heat -- and gives you some downtime for a week.

    Ideally, each parent will take on hosting a day camp in their home for a day. If a parent can't host for that long, you could design a half-day camp. Each day will have a theme to it and a learning opportunity. You can give parents flexibility in what they decide to teach and do -- but each day should include some kind of lesson, snack/lunch, and craft.

    An example for a simple plan you could follow includes:

    • Day 1: How Do Plants Survive in the Summer: The kids could get a lesson around the kitchen table, plant in the garden, pick veggies for the garden for snack and take home a potted plant to share with their family.
    • Day 2: Piano Camp: Each child can get a lesson in music and basic piano. Snack can include music-themed foods -- such as black and white lady fingers
    • Day 3: Go Artsy: Teach about the masters of art and then help your kids replicate a famous work such as Van Gogh's "Starry Night."
    • Day 4: Water Works: Learn about the summer weather system in your area, do water experiments in the kitchen and make your own sparkling water during snack time.
    • Day 5: On the Go: Get moving with a group exercise class complete with jumping and music, refresh with water and a healthy snack, play a group sport -- such as volleyball -- outside, but don't get too hot!

    You can adjust this summer neighborhood camp plan based upon the skills and expertise of the parents in your community.

    neighborhood summer camp idea

    Tip #4: Adopt a Community Service Project

    Summer is the perfect time to give back to your community. Non-profts in the area may have trouble getting volunteers because their regular staff and volunteers are on vacation. You can fill in that gap and teach your children the importance of giving to and supporting your community by taking on some kind of volunteer service.

    Some easy ideas include:

    • Stocking a local food pantry
    • Delivering or preparing meals for people who have food insecurity in the home
    • Working in a community garden
    • Visiting home-bound elderly people to deliver them cookies.
    • Running errands for a person in need.

    Find a gap together and fill the need as a family. Not only can this be an exciting diversion from routine summer schedules, but it will have lasting impact on your children by teaching them a value that you hold as a human being.

    backyard summer waterpark idea

    Tip #5: Set Up a Backyard Waterpark

    If the temperatures aren't too high, turn your backyard into a waterpark. Buy an inflatable pool and a Slip 'N Slide from your local big box store. Hook up the hose and spend the afternoon getting cool in the inflatable pool and sliding down the Slip 'N Slide.

    Fill a second inflatable pool with ice and refreshing water and other drinks for the kids and neighbors. Set up lawn chairs and an umbrella for resting under the shade.

    This is a great outdoor activity that your adult parents can participate in as well!

    kids cooking class at home

    Tip #6: Hold a Kid's Cooking Class

    Summer is a wonderful time to get in the kitchen and prepare delicious and easy summer food items that will last for the next season. Little hands can be great helpers -- so get your children involved in the cooking process with you.

    Host a "cooking class" in your kitchen with your children and other neighborhood kids. For example, you could make homemade ice cream together, prepare strawberry jam, make homemade peanut butter, make applesauce and more.

    Keep in mind the food allergies the kids may have who are coming into your kitchen. Make it fun, and give every kid a jar of whatever you make to take home to use with their family. They will have not only a delicious item to share with their family, but they will feel pride in having made it themselves.

    Ready to Enjoy YOUR Summer?

    If you're ready to venture out into the summer sun for some great family activities, then make sure you are playing it safe for you and your family. The sun cannot only cause severe sunburn, but exposure can lead to dehydration and eventually skin cancer. Summer is a great time to be outside with your family doing everything from playing at the beach to riding a lazy river to cool off. Just make sure you are prepared with adequate sunscreen, reapply often and invest in protect clothing -- such as long-sleeved bathing shirts and sun hats -- to keep the smallest nuggets in your family safe, happy and cool.

    Your summer awaits! So use this quick guide of my go-to tips to prepare for all of your activities! Use this guide as your checklist before heading outside in the sun -- and you'll stay cool and protected. Did this guide help you? Which tips are most helpful as you prepare? Let me know by leaving a comment below -- and feel free to add your own tips for staying safe and happy in the summer heat!

     

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