10 Hot Summer Activities Perfect for the Whole Family

slip n slideIt's hard not to love this time of year. Summer is half over. Which means suddenly you're looking at your "must do this summer" list and thinking "OK, we need to get this done."

Sounds stressful? Think of it this way: most of that stuff is FUN, and you're about to pack it into a short time frame. Which means sending the heat of summer out with a blast. Don't have a list yet? We can remedy that:


1. Water balloons in the backyard. If you can think of something that mixes fun and exercise as adeptly as a good water balloon fight in the backyard, please tell me. Because the perfect way to cool off is also a good way to get your kids' hind ends off the hammock and into motion, as they run to get Dad with the big balloon.

2. Car wash. It sounds like work (and, OK, it is), but with a hose and a bucket of soap bubbles, you have the makings for cool high jinks in the heat. Short kids scrub down the wheels. Tall parents get the windshield. Everyone gets wet. No one loses.

3. Watermelon seed spitting contest. A sweet -- but healthy -- treat that will cool you down turns into some friendly competition when you all sit in a row and try to send your seeds flying the farthest.

4. Fly a kite. Just because the sun's beating down doesn't mean you can't catch a breeze, and running with a kite in hand is the best way to figure out how the wind blows.

5. Make water paintings. Take white paper plates and put dabs of food coloring in random spots on one side. Head outside and spray them with the hose to make the colors run to create a painting (and to soak everyone in a nice cool mist!).

6. Slip and slide. You can buy one, or just lay down a giant sheet of plastic, cover it in dish soap, and set the hose at one end.

7. "Paint" your house. Skip the paint, just use a bucket of water and a paintbrush! You'll get some of the grime off the outside, and the family will cool off!

8. Take a nature walk. Is there a forest nearby? Those big trees create a natural shade. So take advantage ... and get in some good family time while you're at it.

9. Stargaze. It may be hot in the house, but when the sun goes down, the backyard grass feels nice on your back.

10. Make your own ice cream or ice pops. There's no better way to cool off than with something the entire family made together.

What does your family have planned for the last part of summer?

Image via theogeo/Flickr

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