When it’s hot outside, the last thing you want to do is plan a complicated outdoor activity. Find 9 easy, low-prep outdoor activities for both day- and nighttime to beat the heat!
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One of the things my kids look forward to most in the summer is being outside more often. But when it starts getting so hot that they want to stay indoors (where it’s slightly less hot), it’s time to pull out some easy, low-prep kid activities. In this post you’ll find 8 easy kids activities to beat the heat: outdoor activities for the daytime and outdoor activities for the nighttime.
Daytime Outdoor Activities
Playing in the sprinklers and water gun fights are fun but they don’t last for long and can sometimes end in tears. Check out these daytime outdoor activities as new alternatives to beat the heat!
Toy Car Wash
Sometimes the most simple things are the ones that kids enjoy the most. Soap and water aren’t new, but combine them and you have bubbles! Have your kids grab some toys that could use a good scrub, a sponge and let them have a toy car wash. If you’re worried about soap in your kids eyes, use some tear-free baby shampoo. This activity keeps your kids cool, helps clean their toys and they might even get clean while they are at it.
What do you do with leftover smoothie from breakfast? Make popsicles! Keeping kids hydrated is important but they may not want to drink water. That’s why this is such a genius idea. Good food doesn’t go to waste and kids get to enjoy a cold treat. Win-win! We love this popsicle mold because of it’s slim design, plus it’s easy to clean and store when not in use.
My friend Meg at The Many Little Joys has a lot of great ice play activities. Here are just two of them:
- Hammering: Do you have an ice maker or a bag of ice in your freezer? Toss it on a towel outside, give your kids a hammer and let them smash the ice! Obviously this is an activity that needs to be supervised and is for kids who are a little older. But how easy is this activity? It takes almost no time to set up and it’s a great way for kids to develop hand-eye coordination.
- Excavation: Put some small toys (like plastic dinosaurs) in a baking dish or bucket, add water and put it in the freezer. Depending on the size of the container, you may need to freeze the toys in layers so everything doesn’t float to the top. When the ice is frozen, give your child a squirt bottle filled with warm water and spoon. The warm water will melt the ice (along with the sun), allowing them excavate their toys and keep cool while doing it.
Inventor Box Boats
I’ve talked about the inventor box in my post about cabin fever busters. Building a boat out of basic recyclable items is another great way to encourage your kids to be creative. When they are done, you can take the boats to a pool, small stream or even the bathtub and see how they hold up.
Water Balloon Games
As much fun as water balloon fights are, it seems like they only last for about 5 minutes and someone is usually crying by the end. But what if you were to use the water balloons to play different games? Obstacle courses, target practice and more. You can check out this amazing blog post with 20+ ways to play with water balloons with your kids!
Daytime Play Supplies
Nighttime Outdoor Activities
When the sun finally starts to go down in the evening, you get a small reprieve from the heat. Take advantage of the cooler weather and extend the outdoor fun. Each of these activities centers around using glow sticks.
Wiffle Ball or Pickleball
Have you seen those funny little plastic baseball sized balls with large holes in them? They are used for both wiffle ball and pickleball. Because the balls are lightweight, they are easy for everyone to throw. All you need to do is crack a glow stick and push it through one of the holes until the entire stick is inside. Then you can play wiffle ball with a lightweight styrofoam bat or grab a pickleball paddle and hit it back and forth (on or off the court).
To play ring toss with glow sticks, you need to connect a couple of glow sticks together to form a circle. (If you’re going to play on teams, then make sure each team has different colored circles.) Then you need to find a stick or small pole you can put on or in the ground. Attach glow sticks to it and start tossing. Another option would be to use one of the large thick glow sticks (like this) and stick it in the ground to toss your rings around.
If you have the game corn hole, using glow sticks is an easy way to extend your play once the sun goes down. Crack some glow sticks and attach them together to form a circle. Secure the glow sticks to the corn hole around the circle. Then try your hand at tossing the bean bags into the hole! Another option would be to buy light up bean bags so you can see them better when it’s time to collect them.
Red Light, Green Light
I think every kid has played this game at least once, but it’s a classic for a reason! Grab one red glow stick and one green glow stick and start. You can make this easier by having the kids trying to reach the “light” wear glow stick necklaces, bracelets, or crowns. To make it harder, don’t have them wear glow sticks so it’s more difficult to see exactly how close everyone is.
Looking for more glow stick activities? Check out my post with 15 fun ways to play with glow sticks!
Nighttime Fun Supplies
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