Creative Child

Cool Ways to Play on Hot Summer Days

by Rebecca Eanes

It’s been in the 90’s here this week, and I think we can all agree that summer has definitely arrived.

Here are some cool water and ice activities for summertime play.

Ice Play!
Playing with ice outside on a hot day is a great way to cool off. It’s also fun for little ones to explore frozen liquid! Here are some ideas for ice play: 

Ice Play Activities

Erupting Ice
Mix baking soda with water and freeze it in a muffin tin. Pop them out when they’re solid, and you have fun ice blocks to stack and play with. Spray them with vinegar and suddenly they erupt into a fizzing wonder! 

Ice Sculptures
Fill balloons with water and put them in the freezer overnight. On the next day, peel the balloon away and you have ice balls to create with! My sons made a superhero castle by stacking the ice balls. Ours hadn’t frozen completely solid so the holes left inside were a perfect hideout for our heroes. I used table salt to stick them together. You can also have colorful ice balls by adding a bit of food coloring in the balloon before you freeze!

Colorful Building Blocks
I used a square muffin pan, filled with water, and mixed in food coloring. After several hours of freezing, my kids had colorful ice building blocks! 

Ice Excavation
Momma’s Fun World uses dinosaurs in this post for a dino excavation, but I’ve frozen lots of different little toys for my kids to bust free. Simply freeze small toys in a tray of water and provide a rubber mallet or other excavating tools for your kids to get the toys out of the ice. 

Ice Color Mixing
Mix equal parts corn starch and water in a muffin pan and add food coloring. Place a popsicle stick in each one and freeze. When you get them out of the freezer and dip them in water, or sit in the sun for a few minutes, they start to melt. Little ones can learn what colors are made when mixing two or more melting colors together.

Ice Chalk
This is what I was trying to make in my ice color mixing activity, but mine wouldn’t quite draw on the sidewalk. Perhaps using liquid watercolors instead of food coloring would have made mine more vibrant. In this post by Growing a Jeweled Rose, her colors are definitely more vibrant!

Water Play!

Jumping in a cool pool on a hot day is so refreshing, but there are lots of ways to play with water if you don’t have room or money for a big pool.

Water Balloon Piñatas This was popular with my kids! Paging Fun Mums shows us her water balloon pinatas in this post. Simply hang water balloons from a tree, clothesline, or whatever you can find, and hand the kids a stick! It’s loads of fun.

Run in the Sprinklers
Sprinklers are timeless fun and great for a small backyard with no room for a pool. If you’re feeling handy, you can even try to make your own with these Instructables instructions.

Water Table Play
Frugal Fun for Boys has lots of water table play ideas in this post. If you want to keep it super simple, fill a large plastic bin with water and throw in some water beads and a few scoopers.

Water Balloon Baseball
Oh, yes. What a fun way to practice your swing and get soaked on a hot day!

Squirt Gun Water Race
This water activity from Design Dazzle looks like a fun way to spend a hot afternoon.

Of course, there are always old fashioned water balloon fights, squirt gun wars, and these awesome summer activities! If all else fails, you can enjoy an indoor summer activity!

And take a look at these other great summer activities and ideas!

Rebecca Eanes is the bestselling author of multiple books including Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, The Positive Parenting Workbook, and The Gift of a Happy Mother. She is the grateful mom of two boys. 


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