Keeping Cool In Summer
Keeping cool is one of the best parts of summer! We don’t have aircon and I don’t drive – and even if I did we’re no longer near the beach and I have no desire to go to a public pool during a heatwave, let alone taking two small children with me – so here are my cheap, easy, and some fun ways, to stay cool at home!
Drink plenty of water – staying hydrated is a must! For babies offer frequent feeds. Don’t forget to keep an eye on pets water bowls and keep them full of fresh water – and even consider putting out a bowl of water for wildlife on exceptionally hot days.
Icy Cold drinks – including fruit smoothies loaded with ice, coffee frappes (for parents, not children!), or just chucking some ice cubes in a glass with some refreshing lemon juice for zing.
Frozen food – homemade fruit-juice icy poles, ice cream (or homemade banana ice-cream ) or frozen peas make good cooling snacks.
Evaporative Cooling – Not necessarily a fancy air conditioning unit costing hundreds of dollars – a damp (not dripping) towel can help, or a bowl of iced water in front of the fan (if you can put it safely out of reach of children). Or use the cooling effect of evaporation by putting a damp towel across your head and shoulders and sit in front of a fan, or light dampen bed sheets and direct a fan towards you while you sleep.
Showers. Short and frequent cold or cool showers, without completely drying off afterwards can be an easy and quick way to cool off.
Avoid cooking. Turning on the stove and oven will add to the heat inside your home, opt for cold salads, and sandwiches, cold deli meats in place of hot foods. Also turn off lights, TVs, computers etc while not in use as they can all output heat (or overheat, as we’ve found with our computer the last few days, it keeps shutting itself off when we’ve tried to use it!)
And some more COOL activities:
Chillin’ by the pool – pools don’t have to be a big, expense, for a large yard, or only for people who own their own home and can have a full-sized in-ground pool built, though that would be wonderful too! You can pick up a kiddie pool for under $20 at stores like Kmart that will fit in a small yard, veranda or a balcony if you live in an apartment. Be aware your area might have different regulations of the depth or capacity a pool can be without requiring proper fencing, even if the pool is emptied. Still always supervise children in water no matter how shallow. Sprinklers can be a good alternative also!
Water Tables – you can either buy a purpose built water table or if you have a low table, or coffee table, just take it outside and cover it with cups and jugs and a bucket of water and let kiddies go for it!
Spray bottles – they’re a few dollars at the supermarket, “dollar shops” and hair salons. I prefer these to give to the kids because they’re more effective at wetting and cooling than water guns, on a misting setting they won’t spray each other directly in the eye and it’s not a “gun”.
Water balloons – a regular packet of balloons works just as well as purpose made water balloons and much easier to fill outside on a regular tap. Outside. Do I need to repeat – OUTSIDE.
Dress light – loose-weave cottons or linen can help you keep cool in summer if you have to wear clothes, my kids are most lucky to happily run around naked at home.
Watch cool movies – I don’t know if this really works, but movies like Happy Feet 1 & 2 help put me in a cooler state of mind.
Places to go – while a public pool might be chaotic, check out some other inexpensive or free local venues that might have activities on for kids especially over the summer holidays, such as the library, indoor play centres, local playgroups that might be hosted inside a community centre, cinema, shopping centres, museum.
Play in the evenings. Once the sun starts dropping, and the temperature is more pleasant, head out for a walk or to the park, perhaps plan a family picnic of BBQ at a local picnic area, especially if the indoor temperature is higher than it is outside.
And another for the mums and dads – A glass of wine with frozen grapes to make it extra-chilled.