Summer in Australia; where your thongs melt to the road as you walk, you need oven mitts to hold the steering wheel and the freezer is full of Zooper Doopers.
After another Brisbane heatwave and with a couple of weeks of Summer still to go, here are some easy ways to keep your kids entertained and beat the heat at home.
1. Backyard Water Slide
All you need for this classic is a tarp, hose and shampoo. Spread the tarp out over a small slope in the yard, drizzle some shampoo over the tarp, set the hose to a light spray then sit back and watch the kids entertain themselves for hours. Donít forget to keep adding more shampoo as required.
2. Water Balloon Pinata
Fill up water balloons and use string to hang them from the clothesline or a tree like little pinatas for a game that will actually cool you down! Tip: in this great age of technology you can now buy those little devices that fill up multiple water balloons in less than a minute. Kmart sell them for about $9.00.
3. Frozen T-Shirt Races
The night before, grab at least one t-shirt per child, soak it with water, wring it out and fold it up. Place the shirts into the freezer overnight or until completely frozen. When theyíre ready, pass them out and the first person who can unfold the shirt and put it on wins! Tip: place baking paper in between the shirts in the freezer so they donít freeze together.
4. Kiddie Pool Kickball
Youíll need 3 kiddie pools (the small, shallow, blow up ones are safest), a water slide (as per game number 1 on this list) and a soccer ball. Use the kiddie pools as bases 1 through 3 and set up the slide for the run to home base.
5. Water Balloon Paint Bombs
Mix 4 separate containers of roughly 3 tablespoons of cornstarch, half a cup of water and a few drops of different coloured food colouring. Using a syringe or dropper (commonly found in most first aid kits), squirt a small amount of the mixture into each balloon before filling with more water. Head out to the driveway or street and throw them around to create street art.
But the fun doesnít end thereÖ Fill a few spray bottles full of vinegar and spray the paint to make them fizz! Once the kids are done playing everything washes right off with water!
6. Car Wash
This is a sneaky way to turn a chore into playtime! Get out the buckets, hose, rags and bubbles and let the kids have fun with it while you end up with a sparkling clean car. Alternatively, if your child has their own ride on toy car, they can copy you while you wash yours.
7. Water Baseball
Fill up a few buckets of water balloons and practice your batting skills or have a game of good ole catch. Tip: the fuller the water balloon is the harder it is to catch without bursting it!
8. Garden Hose Limbo
One person holds the hose and makes a stream of water. Each time a player passes under the stream of water, lower the hose a few centimetres to make the next round harder. The winner is the player who successfully passes under the lowest stream without getting wet.
Using a butter tub or another similar small container, drop several plastic children's toys in (plastic dinosaurs make a fun excavation idea), fill with water and freeze overnight . When ready, allow the ice to melt slightly so it can be removed from the container with ease. Lay the ice block outside and arm your children with spoons, cups for pouring water, a magnifying glass etc. and encourage them to try different techniques to reach the toys.
10. DIY Bottle Sprinkler
Grab an empty 2L plastic bottle and poke it all over with little holes. Attach your garden hose to the mouth of the bottle using a male to male adapter if you have one handy. If not, then good old fashioned duct tape does the trick! Drape the hose over a branch and turn on the water. You now have an easy DIY bottle sprinkler for the kids to run through.
Have fun and donít forget to let yourself get caught up in some of the fun with the kids. These games will make great memories for your family and friends.