It’s summertime, and it’s hot outside, and you need some creative ways to beat the heat that the whole family can enjoy. We’ve got some great ideas to share with you that will soon have you embracing the heat (if not each other!) on those sunny, sweltering days of summer.
- Bake cookies in your car. You read that right! This is a fun way to take advantage of the extra heat generated on a sunny summer day. If it’s between 80 to 100 degrees outside, the temperature inside a closed car parked in direct sunlight will quickly climb to between 130 to 172 degrees. While you would never want to leave a child or pet in a car under these conditions, the temperature is high enough to slow cook some delicious chocolate chip cookies on a baking sheet set in the front or back windshield area.
This is a slow bake process, so you’ll need to try it on a day when you won’t need to use the car for a few hours, as you won’t be able to open the door to check on the cookies. You can observe them through the windshield but opening the car door will let all the heat out and ruin your cookies.
1 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
Mix up the dough, put it on a cookie sheet, place on the dashboard. After about two hours your cookies should be spreading beautifully but won’t be ready to eat yet. Another two hours and you should have yummy crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside irresistible car-baked cookies.
- Have a water balloon fight. You don’t even need a yard to do this activity, so anyone can partake. Whether you have a balcony, small patio, or even an empty section of apartment complex parking lot, you can enjoy the cooling effects of a water balloon fight. You can even load up a cooler with pre-filled water balloons and another one with lunch, pile the kids into the car and drive the family to a nearby park. Line everyone up and play catch, taking one step back every time you successfully catch a filled balloon. Once it breaks and the first family member gets wet, the free-for-all will begin! Another variation involves playing “cold potato” using a water balloon with a small, but steady leak (thanks to a tiny pin prick). The goal is to quickly pass the “potato” among everyone as it leaks and gets everyone wet, and to pass the balloon before it runs out of water.
- Create a family masterpiece. Here’s an activity that lets you be the canvas and enjoy a fun way to stay cool with the whole family. Grab your bathing suits, some finger paints, brushes, and sponges and take turns painting each other. The best part of this activity is the cleanup portion. Spray each other with the garden hose to get back to a blank canvas and start all over again.
- Make no-bake treats. This is a great way to spend time in the kitchen whipping up some favorite snacks without heating up the oven. Here’s a recipe for delicious energy bites everyone will love as a healthy summertime breakfast, snack, or dessert, and they travel well if you’re looking for a good road trip staple.
No Bake Energy Bites
1 cup of old fashioned oats
½ cup of peanut butter (or almond, sunflower, or other nut butter)
½ cup of chocolate chips
½ cup of flax seed
½ cup of golden raisins
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1/3 cup of honey
½ cup of coconut flakes
½ cup of chopped walnuts
Mix all ingredients together in a medium to large mixing bowl. Form into balls and place in an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator. Eat at will!
- Visit a local museum or aquarium. This is a great way to have fun, beat the heat, and get a little free education as a bonus. Many cities have themed museums your kids can enjoy, such as space centers, interactive science and discovery displays, and planetariums. A local aquarium can be a fun way to feel like you’re at the ocean without getting sand in uncomfortable places. Enjoy the free air conditioning and learn something new! Check out our blog on the 15 best zoos and aquariums to find one near you.