Beat The Heat: Staying Cool With Your Baby Or Toddler

The heat of the summer is upon us. We already had several hot days this year and it is not even officially summer yet.

Last year, Livi was still small enough for us to spent most of our time at home with a daily walk or two at the mall when a heat wave came rolling in. This year, she is an active toddler – always busy, walking, talking – who wants to be entertained. So what do you do when it is too hot to go outside for a walk or to visit the playground?

If you have an air conditioner, you are in luck as you can do quite a lot inside for a few days. From playing games to reading books to doing arts and crafts, little hands and minds can be easily kept busy. But even with an AC, you cannot spent the whole day at home. And if you are “lucky” like me and your house turns into a sauna in the afternoon, you are desperate to get out and cool down somewhere.

1. The Mall
The mall is still a great choice. Air conditioned and big enough to go for your daily walk, you could also have lunch and get your shopping done.

Most malls have nice family rooms for diaper changes and free play areas for your little one. They tend to get crowed during hot weather, however.

Some malls also offer free entertainment like puppet shows and sing alongs during the day.

2. Museum
Another great choice for an air conditioned destination, museums can be hit or miss with children. Hopefully, you have a children’s museum in your area as they tend to offer interactive exhibits. Otherwise, make sure the museum you choose has an exhibit that is interesting for children.

Another big hit is a visit to an aquarium.

3. Library and Book Store
Always a safe bet with young children is a visit to the library. Between play areas, story time, and all the books waiting to be discovered, time often flies.

For a change of scenery, go to your local bookstore. Most have play and reading areas for children.

4. Water Park, Pool or Beach
If it is not unbearable outside, a visit to the beach or pool may just be what you need. With a spot in the shade, sunscreen, and plenty of water and snacks, you can enjoy a nice break outside.

5. Arts and Crafts Stores
Some arts and crafts stores offer workshops for little ones. It is a fun activity everyone can enjoy and at the end, you even get to take home your project.

6. Pet Store
This one works well with smaller children. Colorful fish and birds are usually a big hit and some stores even have a doggy day care and pet hotel where you can watch dogs and cats play. But be careful with older toddlers; they may want to take a pet home.

Now it is your turn! What are some of your favorite activities during hot weather. And how do you keep your little ones entertained during those extra hours at home? I look forward to reading your ideas.

Flickr Photo by vagawi

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9 comments on “Beat The Heat: Staying Cool With Your Baby Or Toddler

  1. We go swimming! If the water is too cold, then we go to a local movie theater that has one of those fountains with water that shoots up right from the ground. Kids love getting themselves wet there, although my toddler just ends up watching from the sidelines haha.

  2. Deni Lyn says:

    Love your ideas! Like Livi, Mac was way too little to get out too much last summer. We do have AC but still being stuck in the house can be a drag. We will visit museums and the pool and the library for sure!

    I’m also planning to take him hiking in the very early morning and late evening. You can see some really neat birds and plants – in very shaded, cooler woods. Check out your local nature centers. They often have great programs for children (even very young children) and they are almost always climate controlled.

    • hnMom says:

      I love the idea of visiting nature centers. I have to look into that!
      I tried going for an early walk several times last year. But it gets hot so fast once the sun is out that it was just really unpleasant for both of us.
      We also tried going for walks in the evening (too late this year for her bedtime), but there were lots of mosquitos, so I didn’t really like that either with all the West Nile Virus reports, etc.
      It’s really too bad. We both enjoy our daily walk(s) and it’s just not the same in the mall.

      • Deni Lyn says:

        I agree! The mall is not even a close second. But it definitely beats no walk at all!

  3. Rachel says:

    Great ideas! Last year we too stayed in for the most part. This year we have a pool membership and I am hoping to take full advantage of it!

    I’d love if you link this (and any other relevant post) to my Teaching Time for Toddlers link party–which is open all week and really for all things toddler!

    http://philwife.blogspot.com/2012/05/teaching-time-for-toddlers-montessori.html

  4. The zoo! Most have some sort of pass you can buy to make it worthwhile.

    Also, you can go to your nearest Starbucks, grab a lemonade, sit outside, and blow BUBBLES!

    • hnMom says:

      More great ideas!
      I would love to go to the zoo more often but ours offers very little shade and the buildings are for reptiles, so they are pretty steamy. That gets uncomfortable fast when it’s hot outside. But when the weather’s cooler, it’s great fun.

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