There is a song which becomes my anthem each summer. It's called, "The Devil Made Texas" and it pretty much sums up what it is like to live in this state during the hottest season of the year. In one verse the song writer describes the climate...
The heat in the summer's a hundred and ten
too cold for the devil but to hot for man
Yes you are reading this correctly. 111 folks!
I wish he were exaggerating. The truth is that my dear state is not only in a record breaking, national news making drought, but we are also experiencing an almost unprecedented heat wave. We have had temperatures breaking 100 degrees almost every day since May!
Taking advantage of the sun to burn some wood!
And so, when someone complains that children are spending the majority of their days indoors others might cry out in anger, but I squirm with guilt. I know what its like to run and hide from the heat in the glorious glorious air conditioning. And so I have decided to provide for your reading pleasure my very own, no exuses, if we can do it any one can Summer Outdoor Survival Guide. (the name is a little long, I know)
Here are the tricks and tips I have come up with to ensure my children are not indoors all day plugged in to a T.V.
Tip #1. Get up early. I actually set my alarm. No sleeping in for my kids. If we can get up and to the play ground or even just out in to our own back yard at the crack of dawn the weather is bearable and, more importantly, the play ground equipment won't burn your flesh off! A friend of mine wakes up early and packs a breakfast picnic. That way she can get her kids out and let them play for a while then eat breakfast at the park. I think its a great idea and one that I might steal.
Veteran's Memorial Park
Tip #2. Think out side the box. So even when we get out early some times the sun just can't be beat. Yesterday morning at 8:30 Birdy comes up to me with sweat dripping down her face and hair sticking to the back of her neck and says, "I might have more fun in a tent." Another great idea! I rummaged around in the garage until I found one. I also have friends who erect big pop up tents all around their play areas to stretch play time just a little farther. The shade can do wonders!
Tip#3. Drink plenty of water. I know this seems like a no brainer but, my husband who works as a paramedic is constantly called for heat strokes and dehydration related emergencies. Children who have been out playing in 103 degrees suddenly fall over in the middle of the park because they have sweated out more water than they have taken in. It may sound gross but pay attention to your child's pee. If you see clear or light yellow then they are good to go. If it looks darker than that, they need more water.
(I don't have a photo to go along with the pee)
Tip #4. Pools, lakes, beaches, splash pads. Another no brainer. When hot, add water. Our family has been making the rounds all summer. Neighborhood pool on one day, splash pad the next, Community pool after that, YMCA pool the next day. Even 100 degrees is bearable in the water!
Tip #5. Stay up late. This kind of goes along with #1. We have found lots of fun things to do at night out doors. Flash light tag, late night picnics, bubble blowing...any thing really. Just go out side and enjoy the sunless evening.
Tip #6. Hibernate. All that getting up early and staying up late make us a little sleepy. So why not save that nap for the hottest time of the day? When the pavement starts melting the rubber off your shoes, its time for a nap. Get re energized so you can party all night!
Nap time with great grandpa.
Hope this post inspires you to brave the heat! Remember, children NEED play. So lets all get out and get sweaty and have fun!