Summer brings with it lazy days, sleeping in and trying to stay cool when the temperatures soar to near or over 100. While parents continue to battle going to work, the kids are looking for fun ways to spend their summer. Here are some ideas that both parents and kids alike can do to enjoy the summer.

1) Banana ice cream: Why buy ice cream? This is super simple to make, and kids love it. Get a bunch of bananas (one to two bananas per child), cut them up, place on parchment paper and freeze. Once frozen, take out of the freezer, put into a food processor and blend until the banana starts to melt and looks creamy. Serve plain or add in whatever additional ingredients you and your kids might like – get creative! Better yet, have your kids help with adding in additional ingredients like cocoa powder, nut or seed butters and coconut butter (this adds texture because the coconut butter freezes). Blend in the additional ingredients and then scoop out the ice cream and add toppings, such as chocolate chips or sprinkles. Serve. Kids love this treat.

2) Frozen towels: Take a couple of wash clothes, soak them in water, roll them up and place them on a cookie sheet. You can add in essential oils, such as lavender or peppermint, for a more relaxing experience. Freeze for a couple of hours until solid. Take them out and use on the back of the neck or other areas to cool off.

3) Icy foot bath: Place some ice in a bucket or other container with water and dip your feet in. You will instantly be cooler. Keep electronics away—try reading a book!

4) Balloon piñata: Fill up water balloons with water, tie the balloons to a string, tie the string to two trees or on the patio, get a plastic bat and let the fun begin!

5) Marco Polo without a pool: Decide on the person who will go first, blindfold them, give them a water gun and the rest of the people disperse throughout the yard. The searcher counts to 10 and when the counting ends calls out “Marco” while the other players respond with “Polo”. When the searcher successfully shoots a person with water, the roles then switch. (Note: Supervision is required to keep “Marco” out of harm’s way and to prevent all players from going into a street. A fenced in yard free of obstructions is good because players can’t wander too far.) 

While these are fun activities to do with your kids, the heat can sometimes become too much for parents and kids. Make time to just sit back and relax. Stay in the shade as much as possible and drink lots of water. If things become too much, ACH is always available to provide counseling for families and youth.