Parenting tricks to keep children cool – and learning – over the summer holidays

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With the summer holidays starting this week and the scorching weather set to continue, people are looking for ways to keep cool as the UK reaches record temperatures of more than 30C. These tricks can help to dodge the heat whilst keeping the kids busy and brushing up on their mathematical skills.

Get to grips with the numbers

This is a great time to introduce children to different temperatures and what they can mean for the way we go about our daily lives. Get them to add and subtract the temperature readings to gain a better understanding of the difference between our more ‘usual’ and hot temperatures.

This goes hand in hand with teaching them to begin to understand how different temperatures can feel and knowing when you need to take extra care to look after yourself.

Know when to head inside

The warm weather offers a brilliant opportunity for the kids to be outside in nature as opposed to the drizzly summer days we are usually dealt in the UK. However, you should teach them when it is best to head indoors or take to the shade to avoid heat exhaustion or sun stroke.

The hottest time of the day typically falls between 11am – 3pm. Getting your children used to treating that four hour window as a time for extra caution will allow them to keep cool and safe.

You could ask them to break down that time, getting them to work out that there is four lots of 60 minutes – or eight lots of 30 minutes – in which they need to stay out of the sun.

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Whip up some frozen treats

The sweltering weather tends to send us on the hunt for cooling treats such as ice lollies and ice creams but there are plenty of recipes out there that you can use to whip up some healthier alternatives.

If you get the kids involved, they can help to work out the measurements of each ingredient and mix it all together to make tasty lollies.

One recipe from BBC Good Food is the aptly named ‘sunshine lollies’ that only contain two to three ingredients.

1.      Start with five large carrots, three oranges and one satsuma (optional)

2.      Grate the carrots and squeeze the juice into a jug, discarding the remaining pulp

3.      Juice the three oranges and add to the carrot juice, topping up with a little water if desired

4.      Stir in the zest of one of the oranges and the chopped satsuma (optional)

5.      Pour the concoction into lolly moulds and freeze overnight, ready to enjoy the following day

Keep tabs on hydration

In rising temperatures, it is more important than ever to ensure that your child is keeping hydrated. You could introduce a tracking chart so kids can count how many bottles they have drank throughout the day.

You could also try different fruit infusions or pre-made cold infusion tea bags to jazz up the water a little and keep them wanting to drink more.

Helping out around the house

Bowls of ice water placed strategically around the house, especially in front of fans, can help to keep the heat at bay indoors.

The little ones can help measure out the water into each bowl and count how many ice cubes need to be in each bowl so that they can be shared equally.

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