Enjoying a hot summer with kids – July favorites

Summer is by far my favorite time of year. People are generally a lot more positive and happy when it's summer, and the sun is such a great mood booster! #familysummerfun #tips #momlife #parenting

Summer is by far my favorite time of year. I’m a sun freak and I think people are generally a lot more positive and happy when it’s summer. A bright sunny day seems to be so energizing! Even though I’m still struggling with my lack of sleep, the sun and heat are great, I can’t help but be in a good mood!

This year, summer has been amazing in Finland. May was fantastic, I spent the last month of school in shorts or a skirt and a t-shirt all month. June had it’s share of cold and rainy days, but come a long July and we’ve been flooded with an immense heat spell.

Making the most of a hot summer

The heat during the past weeks has been exceptional. For a summer lover, I’m okay, no, I’m ecstatic, but not everyone is as psyched about the heat wave. Guess what though? There are several ways to make the most of a heat wave!

A pool

We bought a large inflatable pool for the backyard. It has been worth every single penny and more! It has been pretty much in daily use since May (apart from the rainy, cool days), and it is my sanity savor. I’ve been a full time stay at home mother during the summer, and trust me when I say, life with three very lively little girls can get overwhelming. Hence the pool. And puddle jumpers. And a lot of coffee, both hot and cold.

I have to admit, we’ve barely been to the beach, because the pool is just so darn convenient.

Cold snacks

Ice cream. At the beginning of summer, I said to my kids, you know what the best part about summer is? You get to have ice cream everyday. Then I realized, the worst part about summer is I eat ice cream every day.. Goodbye hard work on finally getting close to my pre-pregnancy weight, hah! If you don’t want to feed your kids ice cream and sugary icicles every day, freeze watermelon or other fruit chunks! Or make your own fruit sorbets!

Have a toddler? Get rid of diapers!

Potty training! When the first warm spells came, it was time to get rid of diapers in our house for good. Spending a lot of time outside is a complete game changer. Potty training during the cold months, not so much fun, trust me. It took a couple of weeks and quite a few accidents, but we did it. I calculated that with three kids I’ve been through close to 20,000 diaper changes in total, so I think I deserve the win!

Spending time outside means less screen time

I’m going to be completely honest, yet again. I am far from a perfect mom. My kids get a lot of excessive screen time. Because of me. Because I sometimes need a break. Simply because it’s so easy. But yay for summer, we spend so much time outside that screen time has dropped to a fraction! There are so many fun things to do outside! We’ve gone on picnics, explored nature, gone boating, picked berries. We took our crafting outside; spread a large vinyl cloth on the lawn and took out the poster paints. I love poster paints because they provide a lot of color with little effort and they wash off. We’ve also painted the terrace with water, built with rocks and sea shells, picked flowers, planted herbs.. Simply enjoyed being outside.

Make the most out of the short summer! The heat can be tough to handle, but these easy tips will make summer fantastic with kids! #summerfun #familytime

Staying hydrated

Staying hydrated is extremely important, even more so when it’s hot. If you’re a fan of ice water, a great trick is to fill a water bottle about half ways and place it overnight on its side in the freezer. The next morning, fill the rest of the bottle with cold water and you’ll have a bottle of ice water that stays cold for a relatively long time. I’m not a fan of ice cold drinks, but I know I’m in the minority. I grew up in the Middle East, where temperatures could get really hot. Over there, I learned that drinking hot beverages when it’s hot will cool you down, which is a matter also discussed in the Smithsonian magazine. Not everyone agrees, but I think there’s some thought behind the fact that hot tea is often served in the desert..

Sadly coffee doesn’t count as a hydrating drink, but it is a great beverage nevertheless!

Water is definitely the best drink for staying hydrated.

If you’re struggling with drinking water, Lindsay Aratari has some great tips for vamping up water to your taste on her blog Aratari At Home (and by the way, she has a gorgeous home!)

Keep plenty of water close by so that you can take a sip here and there. I set out a jug of juice (a little bit of juice concentrate and loads of water, so it’s actually more like flavored water) and some cups for the girls in the shade. And I remind them to drink, all the time. If you’re using water bottles, sippy cups or the likes, make sure to wash them extra often! Nothing like summer heat and enhanced bacteria growth..

Avoid super sugary and excessively caffeinated drinks. (Ahem, coffee for moms doesn’t count, right..?) But in all reality, sugar and caffeine can have a dehydrating impact on your body, so stick to moderation.

If you’re breastfeeding, dehydration is a complete no-no. Not only will you experience a significant reduction in breast milk but also increase your risk for getting mastitis among others! This post at Today’s parent has some pretty good pointers for nursing mothers.

For fun hydration, this is again where frozen watermelon becomes extra great! Well watermelon in general, loads of fluids, but once frozen, it becomes an even more special treat. A lot of kids (and grown ups too) experience somewhat of a lack of appetite when it gets really hot, so fruit is a good option to fall back on.

Light lunches

I’m a huge fan of salad, and thankfully, so are my kids. If you’re struggling with eating when it’s hot, salads are great light lunches. My favorite salads often include boiled eggs, smoked salmon, shrimp, or grilled chicken. As it is the season, I often also add grilled zucchini, fresh tomatoes, cucumber, radish, whatever’s available. I also love adding toasted sunflower and watermelon seeds, and fruits like grapes, oranges or apples. My go-to summer salad dressing is super simple to make and a perfect match for most salads: Greek yoghurt, a bit of honey, lemon juice, salt and spices or herbs.

Smoked salmon salad picnic
Smoked salmon salad with greek yoghurt dressing is a backyard picnic favorite.

Keeping babies cool during the summer

Soft clip-on fan for stroller, great for keeping your baby cool during the hot months
Soft clip-on fan for the stroller

When my girls were babies, we were subject to a lot of heat. My first born is a late fall-winter baby, born in November, but she was only 6 weeks old when we took her to Thailand for several months. The twins were born in June, so we left to Thailand first  when they were six months old. When it was hot, I found a damp burlap cloth to be gold! It covered their sensitive skin from the sun, plus kept them cool. Just make sure the cloth isn’t ice cold, because an icy towel will throw anyone off their rocker. Another favorite was a small battery operated clip on fan. Life savors both!

For us Scandinavians, summer is a luxury we wait for all year. 2018 has been amazing, but we don’t take hot summers for granted. Fall and winter seem to always linger on forever, spring lifts our spirits and summer has us blooming. Hence we want to make the most of the short season, I hope you’re enjoying your summer too!

Enjoying the heat wave with kids is easy with these simple tricks! #summer #familyfun #parenting #motherhood #swimmingTips for making the Summer great! Enjoy the heat while it lasts! #summerfun #family

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13 thoughts on “Enjoying a hot summer with kids – July favorites

  1. These are really good tips!! We’ve been utilizing our blow up pool, too. It gives me a chance to relax and read a book while they splash and cool off. Your girls are ADORABLE, by the way.

    1. Thank you! I don’t know where I would be without our pool.. it’s seriously one of the best investments we’ve made in a long time!

  2. These tips are so good 🙂 It is really important to keep yourself (and the little ones) hydrated. I’m so terrible with water so I make sure I drink almost 2 liters a day and track it – otherwise I’d drink nowhere near enough! x

    1. Thank you 😊 I’m the opposite, I’m so addicted to water nowadays! I never ever thought it would become my favorite beverage (alongside coffee..), but it did and it’s pretty much the only thirst quencher I use! I probably drink close to 4-5 liters a day 🙈

  3. This is such a cute post! I don’t have kids (I guess in some ways I still am the kid lol) but staying hydrated and eating cold snacks are some of the ways I survive the heat!
    Jas xx

  4. This post makes me wish I had a little one again…almost! It definitely makes me want a pool, though! We’re going through a heatwave here in the UK and it’s brutal. Your tips are really good for adults, too. Running out for ice cream, this afternoon.

    1. Hah, so funny! Though seriously summer with kids is a completely different story compared to rainy muddy winters.. 😅 I think the heat wave is crushing half the globe at the moment, absurd!

  5. “Spending time outside means less screen time” definitely what I love about summer and running around with kids. with pool? even better.

    1. Exactly! Though apparently these past weeks have been so hot everywhere that it’s pushing people back inside.. But still, hurray for less screens and more outside play!

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