For the UK, the summer months are still looming on the horizon, but many countries are already sizzling right now.
Climate change is causing soaring summer temperatures and sometimes it’s just TOO HOT to be outside, so what do you do to keep your kids entertained when the mercury is skyrocketing up the thermometer?
It’s not easy to convince your kids to stay indoors when it’s sunny outside, even when you’re just trying to stop them from getting sunburnt or developing heatstroke.
Making being indoors sound way more fun than the garden, park, beach or swimming pool is a tall order for any parent. To help you, we’ve put together a list of seven fun things you and your kids can do indoors when it’s too hot to be outside.
The activities will require some forward planning on your behalf, especially when it comes to things like setting a scavenger hunt or making popsicles.
Some may also require some expenditure on craft/art materials (plasticine, coloured pencils, paints, paintbrushes, or painting paper) and food ingredients. For instance, if you’re going to make fruit popsicles with your children, you’ll need a blender, popsicle molds or icecube trays, popsicle sticks, fruit, and fruit juice or milk.
Read on to discover how you can keep your kids entertained inside on the hottest days.
7 Fun Things to Do Inside on a Hot Day
1. Make a den
Help your kids to transform your lounge or a bedroom into a den. They’ll probably need a few blankets or sheets to drape over chairs and cushions to sit on, and a book or a kids’ magazine like Brilliant Brainz, and toys. Help them to make or choose snacks they can enjoy inside the den.
2. Go on a scavenger hunt
An indoor treasure hunt is great fun. It will help your children become more independent and aware of their surroundings and problem solve.
Choose a theme for the scavenger hunt. For example, it could be:
- ‘Your Favourite Things’
- ‘Objects That Begin With The Same Letter As Your Name’
- ‘Sensory Objects’ (something that you can hear like a shell, feel like a squishy cushion, taste like a packet of sweets and so on)
- ‘Things That Fit Inside A Small Box’ (or an envelope or ziplock bag)
- ‘Objects That Start With The Letter ‘X’. Alternatively, you could ask your kids to find an object that corresponds with every letter of the alphabet.
- ‘Shaped Objects’
- ‘Rainbow Objects’ so something red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet/purple.
To make it more challenging for older children, close the curtains in rooms and insist they use a torch to navigate their way around to find the items on the list.
3. Make plasticine or clay figures
Plasticine is available online and at larger supermarkets, newsagents, and art supply shops.
Alternatively, you can buy air-dry clay. The beauty of air-dry clay is that it can be painted, and it doesn’t need to be baked in the oven to harden.
4. Have an indoor picnic
Get your kids to help you prepare an indoor picnic. Pack the sandwiches, treats, and drinks into a picnic basket or bag. Spread out a tablecloth or blanket on the floor of your lounge, kitchen or bedroom, and some cushions or pillows. Sit down and enjoy a relaxing indoor picnic.
5. Make fruit popsicles
Making popsicles is a great way to involve your kids in shopping and cooking. You won’t need to use the oven to make the popsicles which will help keep things cool inside.
You’ll need popsicle moulds or icecube trays, popsicle sticks, and fruit.
The day before you make the popsicles take the kids with you to a local market or supermarket to choose some fruit. You can use water with the fruit or fruit juice, milk, or yoghurt. If you go the non-water route, remember to add juice, milk, or yoghurt to your shopping list.
On the day, prepare the fruit with your kids. Older children can peel or chop the fruit, and younger ones can use a spoon to remove the seeds.
Blend the fruit pieces with a bit of liquid. The liquid could be water, milk (cow, almond, soya, hazelnut, goat, coconut, etc.), yoghurt, or fruit juice.
Pour the blended liquid into the popsicle moulds or icecube trays and add the popsicle sticks. Put in the freezer for about eight hours.
Begin the clean-up operation.
6. Get crafty
The craft projects you choose will depend upon the age and ability of your child. After all, what’s suitable and appealing for a five-year-old might bore a pre-teen rigid. Fortunately, there are a ton of age-appropriate craft ideas and videos online.
You’ll likely need to purchase the materials ahead of your craft day, whatever you all choose. That’s things like glue, wool, string, poster or acrylic paints, popsicle sticks, craft paper, nail polish in bright colours, plumber’s washers (for the pendants), plastic or wooden beads (if suitable and safe for your child) and a plastic sheet (to protect your flooring).
Every issue of Brilliant Brainz children’s magazine is packed with children’s activites, including an art/craft project based on and inspired by that month’s famous featured artist. Your children will likely have the things they need for these already around the home!
Here are some craft project ideas to get you started:
- Wool-wrapped cardboard letters. Your child could trace or print out the first letter of their name, glue it to a piece of cardboard, cut out the letter shape then wrap it with wool or yarn. The finished piece will look great on a bedroom shelf.
- How to make a collage house
- Painted paper pinwheels
- Friendship bracelets
- Painted heart paper chains
- Cereal box painted hearts
- Washer necklaces painted with nail polish. Have your child paint a plumbing washer with nail polish. Thread a piece of wool or string through the painted washer and, voila, a painted pendant.
- God’s Eyes which are made from popsicle sticks, chopsticks, dowel rods or wooden twigs and wrapped with coloured wool/yarn
- Monster mobiles made from painted cardboard rolls
- Decorated plastic water bottle pen or crayon containers.
7. Paint a masterpiece
You’ll need a plastic sheet (which you can buy from supermarkets or hardware shops) to cover the floor. You’ll also need large sheets of paper (or a roll of lining paper from a hardware shop) and poster paints and brushes. Painting can be a messy business, so encourage your young artists to wear old clothes or aprons.
You could give them some ideas to get things started or simply stand back and watch the magic happen!
As you and your children will discover, staying inside on a sunny day can actually be loads of fun.
By the way, these are also perfect rainy day activities.