The Times West Virginian

Family Times

July 9, 2012

Fun activities help families beat the heat

It’s important to be safe during days of extreme heat, but kids can spend time outside in moderation with the supervision of an adult.

On extremely hot days, children should wear sunscreen and drink plenty of fluids. The shade is a great place to play, and earlier or later in the day can offer a little relief from the heat. Children should be reminded not to exert themselves because dehydration can happen so quickly.

These cool games can provide fun on a hot day:

• Water Balloon Splat

For this game you will need water balloons, sidewalk chalk and a tape measure. First throw a water balloon, then measure the splat. How big, small, long, short, wiggly or straight can you make the splat? You can keep track of your measurements with sidewalk chalk.

• Frozen T-shirts

This game is especially fun and refreshing on extra hot days. About two hours before you are ready to play you will need to prepare the T-shirts.

Take generously damp T-shirts and fold them individually, neat and tight. Place them in the freezer until frozen. You can choose to play competitively or cooperatively. If you are feeling competitive, separate into groups, and each group will get a frozen T-shirt. The first group using body heat to thaw the T-shirt and put it on a player wins. If you want to play cooperatively you can work on thawing the T-shirt together and set a goal time to beat.

• Puddle Picassos

Sidewalk chalk is a classic summer pastime, but it becomes so much more by adding something as simple as water. Chalk colors become more vibrant when you use them when they are wet or when you draw on a wet surface. Experiment with wetting or soaking the chalk, and also try wet chalk on a dry surface or dry chalk on a wet surface.

For more information, visit http://darien-il.patch.com/articles/fun-ways-for-kids-to-beat-the-heat.

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