The combination of high temperatures and kids proclaiming a whiny, “I’m bored” are enough to make any parent crazy. Use these ideas to give the kids something to do without worrying about them suffering a heat stroke in the process. Make it a themed day, or spread the activities out over the course of multiple days. It’s up to you. Depending on the age of your kids, the theme day could be Ice Ice Baby or Frozen. Regardless of the theme, these ideas will help you and your kids keep your cool.
Dig for Arctic Fossils
Using a container that’s small enough to fit in your freezer but large enough to create a block of ice, freeze some plastic dinosaurs or jewelry for your kids to excavate in ice. The ensure that the toys freeze at different levels in the container, only freeze one inch of water and toys at a time before adding the next layer.
Once the ice block is frozen, give it to your kids and tell them to dig the toys out. Depending on the age of your kids, you can give them hints and tools about how to do so or simply allow them to use their ingenuity and imaginations to dig through or melt the ice and free their treasures. (Somebody should try melting the ice by focusing the sun’s rays through a magnifying glass, just to see if it works.)
Ice Melt Water Art
Add some food coloring to ice trays before you freeze them to make colored ice cubes. Once the cubes are frozen, take them outside to the kiddie pool and let your kids watch the colors melt and swirl in the kiddie pool water. It’s inevitable that your kids will end up in the pool, so supervise toddlers and dress everybody in clothes that you won’t mind getting food coloring water on. For an educational twist on this activity, use the melting colors to illustrate water currents or color combinations.
If you live in an area with grassy hills, you live in the perfect area for summertime sledding. Freeze ice blocks and use them as sleds. It’s hot enough for the ice to melt a little bit on the way down and cool the backsides of the riders en route. To keep hot, sweaty bodies on top of the ice, place an old towel on top of the ice to provide some friction.
Group Melt Competition
If you don’t happen to have hills in your area, use the ice blocks as a game in and of themselves. Divide kids (or adults) into teams. Give each team an ice block. The goal is to be the first team to completely melt their ice block. The rules are simple: they may not intentionally break the ice. All other methods are fair game. (Hint: the fastest method is to sit in a circle and push the ice block back and forth on the ground.)
Part of frugal living is using what you already have in new ways. Almost everyone has access to ice and water.