20 Fun Ways to Keep Cool with the Kids in the Hot Summer Sun

My boys and I are always looking for fun ways to keep cool in the summer and today we thought we'd round up some of our favorite games, activities, and ideas for keeping cool in the hot summer sun.

1. Play water balloon baseball-- inflate a batch of water balloons and take turns pitching and hitting.  Whether you hit the balls or not you will get wet!

2.  Freeze some favorite characters or toys in ice and have the kids use tools to excavate them out.  You can read all about our superhero rescue here.

3.  Break out the sprinkler!  Around here we can find a sprinkler at Lowe's for under $5!

4.  Invest in a slip and slide-- my kids enjoy using shaving cream with ours. 

5.  Get messy with some water balloon painting-- you can read about how we did that here.

6.  Make some sponge balls and play catch-- Using three sponges for each ball, cut each sponge lengthwise into three long strips so you now have nine.  Gather the strips together and using an elastic band (we used hair ties) cinch them tight in the middle.  You have to "fluff' the sponge strips just a bit and you end up with a wonderful ball. Then dunk them in water and begin playing catch.

7.  Play a game of effervescent antacid tag-- I know it sounds weird but if you tape Alka Seltzer tablets (a.k.a. effervescent antacid tablets) to each child and  arm them with water guns they can have a blast chasing each other around; the last one with any tablet left undissolved is the winner.

8.  Experiment with making homemade ice cream.  You don't need special supplies either; we've made ice cream in a plastic bag (here is our recipe and instructions).

9.  Paint with frozen watercolor ice cubes; we poured liquid watercolors (mixed with just a bit of water) into an ice cube tray and froze them.  I've also seen a similar activity using tempera paints and plain ice cubes.

10.  Make ice tunnels -- It's so easy to do too using water, balloons, salt, and food coloring.

11.  Paint using water guns, water, and water soluble paintThe water and paint do ricochet a bit but my boys didn't seem to mind at all.

12.  Host a water gun race!  We've tried this a few different ways; one time the boys used squirt guns to try and push a car across the driveway and another time we poked a hole in the bottom of a few cups, tied dental floss through each one and set them up in a line across the patio. The boys had to spray the cup to get it to move down the line of dental floss to the end.

13.  If you have enough kids try an empty/full cup relay-- We did this one year with our homeschool group at our field day and it was a huge hit!  Have the Kids stand in two lines; the first person had a full cup of water and everyone behind them had an empty cup.  Slowly, they carefully held the cup over their heads and tried to empty all of their water into the cup of the person behind them. The team with the most water still in the cup at the end of the race won.  This required a lot of communication and teamwork!  

14.  Have a frozen pie eating contest!-- My boys had a great time at another field day with another homeschool group one year and their favorite event was the pie eating contest!  We used slightly thawed frozen custard pies and it worked great! 

15.  Use water balloons or squirt guns in the driveway to practice sight words, math facts, or colors, etc. to keep skills learned during the year fresh while getting cooled off.

16.  Go swimming at the lake, pool, or beach

17.  Have a "car" wash-- My kids often lined up their bikes, play cars, etc. and had a ball cleaning them with soap and water.  You can also have the kids wash play dishes or dolls.  Just fill a large tote with soap, water, and a sponge and let them go to town.

18.  Challenge your kids to make their own pool float-- this was such a fun STEM project and trying the floats out in the end kept them all nice and cool.

19. Have an old fashioned water balloon fight or challenge your kids to a water balloon toss. 

20.  Make your own Popsicles or slushies!  We've just started making Popsicles in our new molds and it's such a delicious way to keep cool.

What's your favorite way to keep cool?

Linking Up with:

artsy-fartsy mama

Thursday Favorite Thing blog link party


  1. I have two sons who are grown now but we did all of these things too! We lived each day on a strict budget so I found everything free that there was to do. We spent a lot of time at the library because ours had wonderful activities. Those are such fun days!

    Thanks for commenting at Poofing the Pillows today. I love hearing from others. ;)

  2. Great ideas!! I haven't heard of the cup relay but it sounds like fun!

  3. Oh my gosh, these are such amazing ideas!!! I love them all!

    Thanks for linking up @LiveLifeWell!




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