Summertime is supposed to be the time that we all go out and play. When the mercury blows out the top of the thermometer and the humidity runs high, nobody wants to wander far from the air conditioner. So how do we balance these things? One way is to find family games to beat the heat! Sometimes, it really is just too darn hot to go outside, especially for those who are very young or elderly. Water games don’t work well inside, so we will show you a few fun activities to do inside as well!
The sun is shining and the flowers are blooming! There is no better time to be outside than summer. So what outdoor summer activities can you get going in your backyard or at your campsite?
Break Out the Water Balloons!
Everyone loves a good water balloon fight! Whether you start off with a premade batch of water balloons in a bucket, or you make “capturing” the garden hose part of the fun, there are lots of ways to play this game! If you love the battle but hate tying the balloons, there are many products on the market that save you the trouble! Zuru makes “Bunch o’ Balloons” or you could pick up a box of “Balloon Bonanza” balloons and fill many at once, and seal them with just a shake! There is not better way to keep cool!
If you get tired of running and throwing balloons at your opposing team (ok, who ~really~ gets tired of that?) then you can switch to a game of Cold Potato! Simply take one balloon, use a pin to make a single small hole (usually best in the neck of the balloon where there is least pressure) then get the players to form a circle. Then play the game just as you would play hot potato. The goal is not to be stuck with the empty balloon, and not to burst the balloon as you pass it from person to person
Getting those balloons back in the air, towel toss is a quick way to get wet! This game can be played with two players or any even number. For the two player game, each player takes two corners of the towel, and they place the balloon in the center of the towel. Then lifting the towel, see how high you can send the balloon. The trick here is trying to catch the balloon once you’ve launched it! For more players, each team of two takes a towel in the same manner, but now the challenge is to pass the balloon from towel to towel!
Bobbing for Apples
So normally this is something that we seem to associate with fall, but that is only because of harvest. In modern America, we can buy apples anytime! For those who have never bobbed for apples, the idea is simple. Pick up a bucket with a wide opening, fill the bucket with water, and add a few apples. The players then have to retrieve the apples from the water using only their mouths. Players are sure to get their whole head wet, and at the end will win a great snack! It is a double win situation!
Are you a crafty DIY kind of parent? Jumbo Jenga is perfect for you! So this one doesn’t get your wet (unless you want it to, read on) but it is a lot of fun to play in the shade. All the materials you will need are available at any local hardware store, and the project can be easily made in just a few hours. There are many tutorials online, DIY Pete has one of the simpler sets of plans. You can create the blocks and play Jenga in the traditional fashion, but we like to add a twist. Choosing random blocks, use a sharpie marker or wood-burn alternate directions. Some of these directions might include; Stick your head under the hose for 30 seconds, run a lap around the house, do a cartwheel, or dunk yourself in the kiddie pool.
Sometimes that heat and humidity is just too oppressive to go out and play summer games. So what do you do when you are stuck inside with the kids, but you do not want to see them vegging out in front of the tube? Find some indoor summer activities, of course! Read on!
Make an indoor herb garden
Kids are fascinated with things that grow. Help them better understand where their food and spices come from by starting an indoor herb garden! There are many herb garden kits on the market, but they tend to be pricy for what you are getting and what you need. All you need for this is a few small pots, some soil, peat moss or vermiculite, and seeds. If you are doing this with your kids, let them pick out the herbs to achieve the greatest involvement. Be sure to cover the work table with a drop cloth or plastic sheet to make clean up a snap! Try this DIY from HGTV to grow your herbs in mason jars!
Maybe you already grew those herbs, and you need something to do with all those herbs. This is a great time to show your kids how to cook! They say that the millennial generation has lost the art of cooking in favor of faster dining, so teaching kids to cook will help recover that art. Since it is so hot outside grab a few pieces of fruit (berries, bananas, and pineapple all work nicely) and make fruit smoothies. Adding herbs such as lemon balm or mint can really spruce up the flavor!
Do you have leftover balloons from the water war? Inflate a balloon and play indoor volleyball! You do not even need a net, just make a line on the floor using painters tape to simulate the place where the net should be. If you already ran out of water balloons, another version of this might use a feather and breath. How long can your kids keep that feather in the air?
Admit it, we all sing when we are alone. I don’t know how many times I have been caught belting out lyrics while running the vacuum cleaner and I thought nobody heard me! Kids love to sing too, and often they love to perform! There are many websites and apps that are devoted to kids karaoke. Cheer them on as they sing along to their favorite genre of music!
There are a lot of ways to give selflessly, and we all feel drawn to one cause or another. Take time to find a cause that suits you best. There are charities that involve our service men and women such as police, military, and rescue, as well as organizations that work with cancer patients, the elderly, and the homeless. If you are looking to stay inside and beat the heat, nothing takes your mind off the temperature like doing a good turn. Fill candy bags to distribute, or create health and comfort bags for the homeless. You will not only occupy the hottest parts of the day, but you will also make someone else’s day, which will help you sleep better at night. Don’t believe me? Try it!
Stay safe in the heat of the summer. When conditions get too hot, understand that being outside can be a health hazard. Take time to drink water regularly (just getting hit with water balloons will not help you rehydrate!) and check on those around you. The average person needs at least 8 ounces of water every hour. Being active increases the amount of water your body needs to operate properly. So go out, and enjoy this summer, stay safe, and help keep others safe too!
For more heat safety tips from Davis Lakes Campground download a free Heat Casualty Awareness Poster.
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