My husband and I just returned from a week in British Columbia, Canada. The daily temperature barely hit 70 degrees. I lived in jeans. Imagine our shock when we stepped off the plane and into a wall of 90% humidity, at 11:30pm! I had to confiscate my husband’s credit card, to keep him from booking a flight right back to Canada. But really, it’s summer in Kansas City…this is to be expected.
My parents watched our kids and did as many outdoor activities as the heat would allow – the zoo, Deanna Rose, the pool. But they did find themselves needing something to entertain the kids when it was too hot (or rainy) to be outside. Thankfully, new coloring books, board games, and science kits did the trick. If you are looking for ways to entertain your kids indoors (that doesn’t involve a screen of any kind), here are some ideas now that the dog days of summer are truly here.
- Homemade ice cream – July 17 is National Ice Cream Day. If that isn’t cause for celebration, I don’t know what is! Make ice cream in a plastic bag with the kids. Here’s a simple recipe for this fun activity. And since July 17 is the day to “officially” celebrate this fantastic frozen treat, tour your town to take advantage of these opportunities to get FREE ice cream. Truly…eat it for every meal.
- Putt-putt golf – When I was a kid, we had an actual putt-putt set made by Nerf. Oh, how I wish my mom kept it! Anyway, if you have a golfer in the family, grab their putter and some practice (plastic) balls. Set up plastic cups around the house and make your own 18-hole course.
- Cup stacking – And speaking of plastic cups (those good ol’ Solo cups), have a contest to see who can make the tallest structure. Then throw balls of yarn to knock it down. Check out this list of more fun ways to use for plastic cups.
- Have a dance party – this is my family’s specialty. We have a subscription to Apple Music, so we just search for the song we want, and turn up the volume. They have a large selection of Kidz Bop albums, so you can listen to hit music without exposing the kids to questionable lyrics. Did I mention we also have a disco ball? Anyway…
- Get them moving indoors – In my classroom, we call these “brain breaks.” I use a website called Go Noodle that has hundreds of videos to get the kids up and moving. You can decide if you want to dance to silly songs, follow choreographed dances and workouts, or even do guided meditation. It is very easy to search by category or by channel (each performer has their own channel). My kids’ favorite is Pop-See-Ko, on the Koo Koo Kangaroo channel. Trust me on this – it will stick in your head all day, but it is hilarious.
- Last, but certainly not least, build a fort. Don’t be surprised if your kids volunteer to take their sheets off their beds if you give them the go-ahead to make a fort. Let them go for it! If you can contain them to one room, they will be entertained for hours. Here is a great infographic, showing all you need to make an awesome fort. Maybe they’ll help you wash the sheets afterwards!