Well, we have officially hit that triple-digit heat here in Texas! While summer is often a great season for outdoor family fun, there are plenty of ways that kids can stay cool and have fun indoors when it’s just unbearable out there! Read on for a refresher on things to do in the air conditioning, as well as a long list of outings in the DFW area for when it’s too hot to go to the park!
Let your kids explore their creativity through sensory play! Young, Wild + Friedman makes sensory play dough kits for kids, each of which is centered around a different theme and comes with three types of homemade, non-toxic play dough and plenty of hands-on goodies. You can buy the kits individually or sign up for a subscription to receive them on your doorstep each month. All three of my kids love these subscriptions and actually play with them for hours! When the weather is nice we enjoy at a table outside, but you can also bring the fun indoors (Use a disposable tablecloth for easy clean up!). I also recently signed up for a KiwiCo subscription, which offers science and art projects for every age and interest. My boys can’t wait for their first ones to arrive!
DIY Arts & Crafts
Arts and crafts enable kids to use their imagination, stay creative, and learn new things in a fun and engaging way. There are a few simple ways you can help keep your kids creating, such as by providing them with the time, space and supplies to express their creativity at home! Create an age-appropriate “craft station” where they can access supplies like journals, construction paper, stickers, stamps, fun pens and more to make their own projects. A trip together to Michael’s or another craft store can energize the children around fresh art supplies and projects to get through the summer.
My boys love any chance to work with their hands and get a little messy, especially when popsicle sticks and a glue gun are involved (with parental supervision)! When we need something new to try, the boys enjoy activity kits from Kid Made Modern. From wooden spaceships, to sea creatures and ice cream, each kit comes with everything your littles need to create around a theme of their choice! The on-the-go kits are great for travel as well.
Shop more arts & crafts supplies and activities:
If you require your children to have a “quiet time” at some point in the day, then audio CDs are your friend! If your little ones aren’t old enough to read on their own, have them relax and listen to a 30-minute story narrated by a classical author. Some mom friends shared that their kids enjoy audio CDs by Jim Weiss and the “Your Story Hour” series, so we bought some (along with used 90s-era portable CD players!). It’s a great alternative to screen-time when it’s too hot to play outside (or for in-flight entertainment!).
Introduce New Games
Lolli has recently taught my boys how to play Mahjong, a traditional Chinese pastime. We love playing family friendly games that all three generations of our family enjoy! Scrabble, dominos, and beginner-level card games are a fun and easy way to spend screen-free, quality time together year-round. Some of our favorite games to play with the kids are Chutes and Ladders, Uno, Guess Who, and Jenga. Sometimes we ignore the rules and create our own games from these classics, so even a toddler can get involved!
Here are some more ideas for games the whole family can enjoy:
And don’t forget about all the fun (and free!) games that your kids can play on their own around the house, like “Hide and Seek” and “Simon Says.” Sometimes my younger two like to play dress-up and create a play! You can also bring outdoor activities inside, like setting up a campground in the playroom and enjoying the fun of “camping” in the comfort and coolness of your air-conditioned home!
Too hot to play outdoors? Include your kids in the kitchen for a fun, hands-on cooking lesson! Scrambling eggs is an easy place to start. Not only does experimenting in the kitchen allow for endless learning opportunities, but we’ve found that our boys are much more excited to eat a meal that they’ve “helped” prepare! We’ve previously shared 5 kid-friendly meal and snack recipes as well as 25 fun popsicle recipes to make with children, all of which are perfect for summertime and #kitchenkids approved! We’ve included some nearby cooking classes for kids in our next list:
Family “Field Trips” in DFW
Last but not least, if you live in the DFW area and want to get out of the house, we’ve also gathered a list of indoor places around town you can visit to keep your little ones cool and entertained! There are some great local libraries, indoor playgrounds, and air-conditioned attractions to visit:
- Trader Joe’s (In addition to offering kiddie snacks and coloring stations, there’s a family-friendly activity awaiting customers in almost every store!)