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Hacks for Keeping Kids Cool in a Heat Wave

two girls holding hands lying on grass with hats on

Image via @IzaCapturesColour featuring


The ice cream van is chiming, the burger buns are running low in the supermarket, and summer is finally here!

It feels like we can be waiting all year for the sun to come out, but sometimes when it does it doesn’t take long for the kids (and us!) to start feeling the heat and getting a little grumpy.

We’ve put together some fun hacks to keep cool in the heat this summer, along with some top safety tips!


Image via

Try out ice Painting: A fun art activity that keeps us cool on a hot day has got to be a winner! It also acts as a fun sensory activity that develops fine motor skills, and it's so easy to create. Take ice lolly moulds or an ice cube tray and fill with water and food colouring: so if anyone fancies a nibble of one of their ice paintbrushes it's totally safe! Take them out once frozen, and keep in a bowl of cold water so everyone can have fun scooping out their preferred colour, then the fun begins! And because it's a lovely warm day, your creations will dry in no time. 



Image via WooJr.Com

Make DIY Sponge Water Bombs: A good water fight is always a great way to spend a hot day. These sponge water bombs are easy to make, reusable and don't hurt when thrown. Simply take the thin kitchen sponges found in supermarket, and cut them into strips lengthways. Take two rows of four long strips, and tie them in the middle with string or an elastic band. Fluff up your sponge strips, and dunk in water! 

Child washing a large toy car wearing a turquoise hat

Image: @play.hooray

Play Car Wash: Water activities are always a winner on a warm day, and surprisingly easy for the amount of time it keeps the kids occupied! Take some bowls of water, some sponges and toy cars and figures, and let the kids have fun pretending to clean the cars up in the sun. 

Image via @LiddieRowl featuring
The Baseball Cap in Multi Colour 
Lolly Ices or smoothies a great way to keep fluids up and keep little ones cool.
Take an outside bath: Yes, for little ones take their baby bath outside, or for bigger ones use a plastic container (the kind for under bed storage) and fill with cool water and bubbles.

Hot Water Bottles and Teddies in the Freezer: On a warm evening, hot water bottles filled with cold water and put in the freezer make for a great way to cool down children in bed. Do be careful though that if you do this; it might make your hot water bottle less safe and effective in the winter, so maybe invest in a cheap summer specific ones for the warmer months. Alternatively, popping a favourite teddy in a freezer briefly is a great way to ensure a more comfortable night sleep.
However if you're anything like me, your freezer is full to bursting with off brand ice lollies and long forgotten potato waffles! 

Teething and Sensory Toys: keep in the fridge for cooling teeth and hands.
Splash tray: For babies place a shallow tray with cool water under their bouncers so they can jump and splash keeping little toes cool.
Keeping Bedrooms Cool: Warm air can get easily trapped in bedrooms during the day, making bedtimes uncomfortable. In the day, keep blinds and curtains closed to keep things dark and cool until bedtime. A cold flannel by the bed can also help little ones when feeling too warm: placing on the back of the neck can relieve feelings of being overheated. 

Paint the garden: Use paint brushes and water and let them paint with the water patterns on any walls, tiles a great way to experiment with mark making too.
Homemade hose: Make a small hole(s) on the top of a water bottle and fill with water so they can squirt each other without needing to purchase water guns.
Travelling on a Hot Day: We can often forget how hot cars can get on hot days until we actually get in one; especially with darker interiors soaking up so much heat. On children's car seats especially, cover any plastic with fabric such as a muslin, sheet or towel: this will keep the car seat much more comfortable for little ones on their adventures! 

Top Safety Tips for a Heatwave: 

The Adventurer Bucket Hat in Bugs

Keep it covered with UPF clothing: 
As mentioned earlier, a mixture of a traditional SPF and additional coverage of UPF rating clothing is a perfect combo to keep safe in the sun. We love this UPF swimsuit from Grass & Air!  As well as having a UPF 50 rating, our hats also feature fabric that keeps little ones heads at a perfect temperature- so no more sweaty hat hair!  



Ferm Living Striped Tent in Mustard via Smallable

Safety First: Especially with little ones whose bodies are still developing their temperature regulation, sun safety is so important! For babies under 6 months direct sun is not recommended at all. For any baby and child older than that, it’s best not to be in the full sun at the hottest point of the day (usually from around 11am-3pm). So find a shady spot, or alternatively use a parasol or a sun tent like this cute tent from Ferm Living!


Image via @LucindaDunninghood

Use an SPF: Using a good SPF is vital, even when taking extra precautions of UPF clothing and shade. If you’re at the beach, don’t be fooled by the breeze- the sun's rays can still cause damage! If you’re going in water, it’s best to reapply any SPF, and otherwise reapply SPF every two hours. We love this kids SPF from La Roche Posay!


Lund London Skittle Water Bottle in Bumblebee via Bambini Fashion


Stay Hydrated: Make sure to increase water intake on hot days to avoid kids feeling unwell and dehydrated. Hydrating foods like cucumber and watermelon are another good way of ensuring a little extra hydration during hot days, and a perfect excuse for a picnic! Getting a cute water bottle always helps to make drinking a bit more fun, and we love the Lund London Bumblebee bottle! 


Why not check out this blog on fun tuff spot or tuff tray activities to have fun outside? Frozen dinosaur egg excavating is the perfect activity for a hot day!

What are your favourite hot day activities for keeping the kids happy? Get in touch on social media and tell us about all the fun you're having this summer! 

Author Emma Watson founder of Little Hotdog Watson

Little Hotdog Watson is a kidswear brand with a difference. We make kids hats unlike any other by combining style + innovation. Our sun hats offer triple protection from UV, Mosquitoes and Overheating, while our winter hats are water resistant, reflective and extra cosy. Take a look at our hats here.


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