Advice from a mum who lives in Africa, about how to keep your kids cool in the summer.
The summer sun in central South Africa is fierce! I read a lot of articles from fellow mommy bloggers who live in the Northern Hemisphere about how to keep your kids busy indoors on cold and rainy days. So I thought I would do a similar one on how I try to keep my girls busy, cool and active but out of the harsh rays of the sun.
1. Sandpit: I have moved their sandpit to the back of the house so by around 13.00 it’s already in the shade. It’s therefore a safe space to let them play outside in the afternoons.
2. Baking: We usually bake at least once a week. Nothing hectic or too complicated. I save this activity for the middle of the day so that it keeps them inside but away from the TV. I’m not going to lie, usually someone ends up in tears (more often than not it’s me when I have to clear up 100s and 1000s which are almost in the same category as glitter if you read my post from yesterday!), and there is usually a fight about who is doing the eggs/flour/sugar, and the biggest fight of all – who gets to lick the bowl! Despite all this it does keep them busy … for about half an hour!
3. Activity Mat. This is an old rug I keep in the cupboard. I don’t particularly like the look of it but I use it to create an activity zone. The girls get bored playing in their room and I don’t particularly want the lounge turning into a playroom so I use the mat to create an area for them to ‘mess’, a safe-zone if you like. Cutting old magazines, colouring in, beads, threading, it’s all done on the mat so that the mess is confined to that one area. It’s amazingly effective.
4. Water play: Although we do have a pool, the whole point is to keep them OUT of the sun. So I use the lid of their sandpit shell, put it in the shade, fill it with water and let them wash their plastic toys. It inevitably ends up with them in the makeshift ‘pool’ but whatever keeps them cool and occupied.
5. Play table: I have a plastic kids table and chairs which I also use to move to different areas. This is usually used for play dough which again I put outside in the shade. This is great because I can move it to wherever the shade is in the garden, with the added bonus that I don’t get playdough mashed into my sofa or carpet.
6. Homemade ice pops: We make up juice as if to drink – any cordial will do but I usually use Oros or Mazoe Orange, pour it into the moulds and then freeze them. It’s cost-effective and I can control what’s in them. Other ‘Icey’ ideas are watered down fruit juice or mixing fresh berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries) with water. The only hard part is keeping up with them and the time it takes to freeze!
7. The gym. When the heat is too unbearable I take them the gym and let them play in the air conditioned kids care zone while I hide in the canteen area and catch up on my bloggging! Don’t judge me! Lol
8. Puzzles: for some reason that I can no longer recall, the puzzles in my house are stored in the draws of my TV cabinet in the lounge. My youngest loves puzzles but hates tidying up so by the time I have managed to get her to put them away they are never made up. Instead the boards and puzzle pieces are all loose. It’s quite useful though because it takes them ages to find all the pieces for the puzzles.
I’d love to hear your ways of keeping cool!
If they insist on being out in the sun, it’s sunblock factor 50 and hats!
Temperature at 14.30 is 30C. They are predicting it to be 37C on Sunday.
Post originally published in December 2016.