21 Affordable Ways to Beat the Summer Heat With Your Kids

While it’s been pretty hot in many other parts of the country, the heat is reaching that uncomfortable point here in Indiana where we live. I prefer the summer heat over the winter cold all day long, but sometimes the heat and the humidity can make you want to stay inside. With three energetic kids at home, there is only so much space for them to use up that energy inside, so getting outside is a must.

Summer camps are great. Trips to the zoo and the air-conditioned museum are wonderful, too. But our funds, or lack of, can limit how much of that we can do. Idle minds and bodies are not developing minds and bodies. So when it gets hot, what can you do to enjoy time with your kids and beat the summer heat? Here are 21 affordable ways.

1. Read books.

Anything goes! Grab your favorite book and find a cozy chair.

2. Finger paint.

See who can make the prettiest rainbow or scariest monster.

3. Put together huge puzzles.

Not only is this a fun activity but it can be a quiet one, too.

4. Create your own music video.

Break out the smartphone and your best moves. Try making a video for each kid’s favorite song.

5. Take a nap.

This will recharge the kids (and you) for more summer fun.

6. Play card games.

UNO is always a family favorite in our house.

7. Create an indoor race track with Hot Wheels.

Take turns racing the cars and use a stopwatch to see who wins.

8. Go to the mall play area.

Kids can burn off their energy and you can enjoy the air conditioning. Win-win.

9. Go to the library.

Let the kids loose and then go home to read together.

10. Do an exercise video together.

Nothing beats a good summer ab workout, right?

11. Have an indoor scavenger hunt.

Hide items around the house and make up fun clues to help the kids find it all.

12. Push your kids around in the laundry cart.

If you’re feeling adventurous, this is a good alternative to bumper cars.

13. Create Lego masterpieces.

Who can build the tallest tower? Or the most amazing rocket?

14. Have a dance-off.

Work up a sweat by showing off your best moves, Dad.

15. Have a no rules night.

Ice cream for dinner? Sounds delicious.

16. Build a fort.

All it takes is a few pillows, blankets, and imagination.

17. Watch a classic family movie (non-animated/non-Pixar type).

Homeward Bound, anyone?

18. Facetime family and friends.

This is a fun way to connect with family and friends who live far away.

19. Have an indoor picnic.

Rainy day? No problem. Pack a picnic basket and take turns making the food.

20. Have friends over.

The more the merrier.

21. Play Nerf sports.

Play dodgeball or take turns setting up targets and knocking them down with foam darts.

Sometimes the heat drains us and we just need an idea or two to get us going. Everything on this list is free or of little cost and will help you beat the summer heat indoors. Use this list on those slow and hot days to keep your kids active and having fun.

Sound off: What other ideas can you add to this list?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What are some fun things we can do inside the house when it’s too hot outside?”