Who would have thought this weather we’re having was set to stay with no sight of rain on the horizon? If parenting an active toddler wasn’t hard enough we also have a heatwave to contend with, the challenge of parenthood has been taken to a whole new level.
Here are a few things I do to help our struggling toddler.
With the hottest part of the day between around 11:30 am – 4 pm these days, heading out early is the best plan to get any errands done and dusted, enjoy a trip out to the local petting farm or just to get out into the garden. The mornings are warm but much more bearable for both you and your little ones.
If you want to try and keep your house from feeling like the inside of a volcano working out which side of the house gets the most sun will help you to schedule which windows to open first and when to close them. For us, one side of the house is in constant sunlight for approx 8 hours of the day, that side of the house has the curtains closed and windows open to help a through breeze. The windows and doors in the shaded part are thrown open to allow hot air to escape as much as possible.
To stop Dylan from escaping out of the doors I put a chair in front of the door, so far, he hasn’t tried to move it.
When the sun moves round we do the same but the opposite way around. It’s a military operation some days.
Shaded Base Camp
We have zero shade in our garden, so instead I make a base camp using an old bed sheet which we attach to the table umbrella and chairs. Under here I’ll lay out a picnic blanket, a few toys and his inflatable, hooded paddling pool for extra shade.
This helps to get out of the sun when it feels like it’s getting a bit much, we’ll often have our lunch AL Fresco in our base camp. It’s also a great place to apply and reapply the sun cream with the distraction of the toys.
Clothes are just too much some days, stripping down to just a nappy or all out in the buff is much more comfortable than getting hot and sweaty in the clothing. Just remember the sun cream, you don’t want those little peaches to get burnt.
Grab some ice packs, stick them standing up in a Tupperware box and place them in front of a fan it will help to keep the edge of the heat acting like your very own air conditioning unit! Perfect!
Cold as Ice
Freeze everything. Not only is it a great idea to freeze batches of colourful ice cubes using food colouring for cool water play but you can freeze toys into small blocks that they have to ‘chip’ out like cars, dinosaurs, figurines etc.
Freeze a change of clothing so you can pop a super cool T-Shirt on them during the hottest part of the day.
Freeze baby sized yoghurts for a midday treat, they will love it!
I find the hotter it is the less likely my little one wants to drink water?! To help him keep hydrated I mix a very small amount of apple juice into his water and he will drink the whole cup!
If you don’t have a paddling pool you can use don’t panic, anything you have to hand will work. The bath, a washing up bowl, a saucepan, Tupperware. A handy DIY hack is to grab a washing basket and line it with a large piece of plastic, the kind you can find at garden centres. Absolutely anything that hold water will work to simply fill up with water and get your toddler splashing around in it, if you’re worried about everything getting soaked pop a couple of towels on the floor if your inside. You can also keep it interesting by adding some fairy liquid to make bubbles, that way they must search for the tools under the bubbles, wooden spoons, balls, ice cubes etc.
Water Painting is a great way for the little ones to cool off whilst doing an activity. A bucket of water and a paint brush is all that required for this one, they can go around the outside of the house and ‘paint’ fencing, plant pots, stones etc. to their hearts content.
Keep your baths luke warm at the end of the day to help refresh the skin rather than adding heat right before bedtime, it might help long enough for them to drift off to sleep comfortably.
Hippos and elephants love the stuff to help keep them cool in the sizzling sun, it’s naturally cooling so we encourage Dylan to sit and play in a pile of mud! As crazy as it might sound it works and we’ll usually top up the water in a muddy puddle to keep it going for as long as possible, mud is also important for kids to build a solid immune system. Let them get mucky, they’ll be getting a bath later anyway!