Summer is the perfect time to lather on the sunscreen and enjoy the great outdoors. But there comes a point when it’s just too hot to function. When the sun’s beating down and it feels like you can fry an egg on the sidewalk, how are you going to cool off? Not everyone is lucky enough to have a pool. Thankfully, there are a few alternatives to help you stay chill, whether you’re at home or on vacation.
Whether you don’t have access to, the money for or the time to maintain a pool, there’s a way to keep your family cool, calm and collected. Try these ideas on for size.
1. Have a Water Balloon Fight
Are your kiddos the competitive type? Got a bit of sibling rivalry going on? Let them cool off and release their pent-up energy with a water balloon fight! Fill the balloons with icy cold water to up the fear factor and cool everyone much quicker. Put your swimsuit on and join in on the fun.
Keep things interesting by putting a twist on the classic fight. Maybe a water balloon toss or bullseye game are more your style. However you play, your ammo will protect you from your opponents — and the heat!
2. Make Sponge Leis
This idea is so brilliant you’ll wonder why you hadn’t thought to do it before. Whether you’re hosting a Hawaiian-themed cookout or supervising the kids in the backyard, sponge leis are the go-to way to stay chill.
Just cut up a few soft dish sponges, thread them onto some string and tie a knot to make a necklace. Make one for every member of the family and wet them before heading to the beach or backyard sandbox. For an extra cooling effect, stick them in the freezer overnight.
3. DIY Slip n’ Slide
You’ve probably set up the sprinkler dozens of times already and the kids have had their fair share of prancing around it. Why not up the ante and surprise them with a slip n’ slide this year? Boost the wow — and affordability — factor by making it yourself.
All you need is some heavy-duty plastic sheeting, a few anchor pins and a hammer. Run the slide downhill, turn on the hose and suds it up for extra slipperiness. Incorporate your trusty sprinkler so the kids slide through a nice, cooling shower on the way down.
4. Install a Misting System
You don’t have to get completely soaked in order to successfully cool off. Misting systems are great substitutes to traditional pools and sprinkler systems. Plus, you can enjoy them in the shade, fully clothed.
Arrange yours on a gazebo, patio overhang or umbrella to lower the surrounding temperature by up to 30°F. Misting systems cleanse the air, water plants and repel insects, so you can kiss mosquitos goodbye. Low- and mid-pressure systems are also more energy-efficient when compared to running a sprinkler or filling a pool.
5. Enjoy Refreshing Foods
You know how important it is to drink water, especially when it’s hot out. But what about water-rich foods? Watermelon, cucumber, strawberries and celery all have a water content of 91% or more, making them hydrating snacks on a warm summer day.
Make ants on a log or whip up some tasty yogurt-based fruit dip to encourage your little ones to eat some fruits and veggies. The more they sweat the more they need to hydrate with water and food. Pack a cooler full of these hydrating treats whenever you plan on spending a few hours in the sun.
6. Get an Oscillating Fan
Sometimes, the only thing that’ll beat the heat is a nice cool breeze. When the humidity’s high and the air’s dead, make your own breeze with an oscillating fan. Unlike traditional table or box fans, oscillating fans maximize the distribution and transfer of air to increase ventilation and quickly cool any room.
The best part is the head moves so you can sit anywhere in the room and still catch a breeze. Choose a stand fan that’s tall and moves side to side to make the most of your purchase. Most come with remote control, too, so you can adjust the speed and direction from afar.
Beat the Heat
Anyone who’s suffered a sunburn knows that keeping cool is half the battle. Stock up sunscreen, sunglasses, protective clothing and umbrellas while you’re prepping for summer, too. These must-haves will help you have fun in the sun and beat the heat so you can go out and do it all over again tomorrow.