Beat the Heat

Summer’s here with a vengeance! We’ve already had several 100+ Days and we’re only half way through June. Ug!

Here at Galt we’re cranking up the air conditioning. But what if your kiddos/adults with intellectual disabilities (Or that cranky husband) need something more to keep the hot and crankies at bay?

Here are our best heat busting tips:

Frozen Treat
Love the idea of popsicles but hate what the added sugar does to them? Puree their favorite fruit, sneak in some veggies, and freeze in your popsicle mold. Make it as smooth or as chunky as you like. Add yogurt for a softer lick, or skip the juice and add one of those sugar free water flavor drops to water and freeze around a slice of peach, or mango. Throw in dried coconut pieces, or mint leaves to fancy it up. Kiddos love the challenge of getting the fruit out. Just be sure the fruit is completely frozen.

Frozen Toy
-Grab one of those blankets with a stuffed head attached that they give to infants- wet blanket and freeze. This makes a great cooling toy, for those that like to twirl, cuddle or chew.

Freeze damp towels or receiving blankets
This is one of my favorite heat busters and I always have a few ice towels/blankets in the freezer during summer heatwaves. I picked this trick up when I lived in Kentucky and the kiddos couldn’t sleep. One of these in place of their blanket and they were out like a light.  You can even add a drop of essential oil before freezing for a little bonus relaxation. Great for nap times, car rides, lap blankets or bedtime in the heat. Throw one in a car seat or wrap around a hot seatbelt five minutes before loading in the car to prevent burns. There are a million and one uses for these things!

Tub pool time
Kids love the water but you don’t have a pool? Turn that bathtub into your own kiddie pool
 Fill the tub with cool water, bubbles and toys. Let them don their swimsuits, climb in and play (keep an eye on them.) Maybe add some unusual toys like ladles, turkey basters, Measuring cups, matchbox cars, soap based finger paints. 

For seniors, a soft bathmat with a pillow, scented cool water and soft music can calm and relax while relieving the heat.

Personal spray bottles
Plastic spray bottles can be found at the dollar store. Throw an ice cube in for extra cool. For adventurous kids, challenge them to aim for their tongue, or each other’s tongue. For the more hesitant or unsure, try starting with their hands or feet.

Cooling clothing
Shirts made for athletes who work out in gyms have built in cooling properties. Moisture “wicking” and cooling fibers are all the rage. But who says they’re only for athletes? Grab some for your active runners and your overheated couch potato too! 

Check out all the cooling cloths Amazon carries for menopause relief. You don’t have to be hot flashing to reap those cooling benefits. Grab one of these and drape it over your loved one’s neck. It will make a huge difference!

Soak a hat- studies show that regulating the temperature of our head can help regulate our bodies. Hence the cool cloth on the forehead trick when we run a fever. But even better for a hot day is a hat soaked in water. It can keep your temperature down and protect you from the sun at the same time.

Flappy Fans
Are you running a box fan or a window unit ac that’s having trouble keeping up? Give this a try- cut strips in a kitchen towel, not all the way to the end, wet and freeze. Tape frozen towel across top of unit with strips hanging down in front. Instant cold air!

Making paper fans by folding accordion style can be a fun activity. Then even more fun to use. Add in some bubbles for a fun game pushing them with the fan.

Outside play
Throw some sponges in a bowl of water in the fridge. Lay a hula hoop out in the yard and let them toss cool wet sponges into the hula hoop. Try from different angles- toss off a balcony or deck. For a group, have two people hold the hoop in the air for the thrower to aim at.

Lay several large thick towels on top of each other on the lawn and thoroughly soak them. Hide ice cubes in the layers. Let children walk across the towels and search for the cubes with their feet. Can also be done with sheets for groups.

Out of the House
I’m sure we all know about McDonald’s play structures for getting the wiggles out. But what if your special person gets over stimulated easily? Try the library or a museum. Both places tend to be under used in the middle of the week and both have to stay dry and cool to protect their treasures. So take your treasure there to enjoy a little cool quiet time.

Libraries are equipped with computers and WiFi for those who want to unwind but not unplug.

And don’t forget our seniors. Just the smell of those books can put them in a happier frame of mind. Scent is one of the most powerful memory triggers and the scent of books in one of the most nostalgic and distinctive.

As for museums? You may not have the Louver in your neighborhood, but most cities have small, specialized museums you’ve probably never heard about. My town has an interactive children’s museum and the amazing Charles Schultz Museum, where families can learn to draw the Peanut’s characters. Sacramento, Ca.  has a train museum and the whole second floor is dedicated to Thomas the Tank Engine with hands on play tables. What’s in your town

Take a Walk
If you prefer a quiet cool outdoor walk, and you don’t live near the beach, head to the closest forest. No matter the temperature outside, the forest floor is a LOT cooler. That’s why all that moss stays green and soft. Look for a place where the trees grow close together. Check out your closest national parks and state parks. Odds are you have one or two within driving distance. Don’t forget to pack the ice towels for the drive!