You might have missed it (y’know, if you’ve been in a cave or something) but it has been bloody hot this week, and it’s set to continue for at least a few days. The thing with kids and heat is that heat affects so many different things that it can be almost impossible not to lose it somewhere along the way.
Heat does the obvious (as in, make you hot…), and it also makes us irritable, less hungry, more easily tired, lethargic, and sticky and uncomfortable. Not to mention that not only does the hot weather do this to us, but it does this to our kids too! Now I don’t know about you guys, but I’m always being told how much my 3-year-old is like me, and if there’s anything more catastrophic than 2 hot, grumpy me’s I’ve yet to find it!
So here are some of my tried and tested tricks for keeping the stress levels to a minimum while the weather is so hot.
- Start The Day With A Good Breakfast. This might sound a bit random, but on a really hot day the chances are the one time of the day that everyone is going to actually be hungry is breakfast time. To avoid worrying about how much (little) the kids have eaten by the end Of the day, allow them to eat as much as possible at breakfast, and fill them up on the good stuff! Oats, toast, cereals like Weetabix and cooked eggs are always a good shout, and full of energy too.
- Keep As Few Clothes On Them As Possible. If you’re not planning on leaving the house, follow this rule for yourself too! There is nothing wrong with kids spending a day (and night) in just their nappies or underwear, and it will help to keep them cool and comfortable. Cool and comfortable = less chance of irritable meltdown. Win!
- Stock Up & Freeze Fruit. You know what’s great? Frozen melon chunks! And frozen grapes, frozen banana, and frozen strawberries – basically, frozen fruit! Not only does freezing fruit make for the most amazingly cooling and healthy snacks, you’ll worry less about how little the kids are eating, and they’ll be so full up after all that fruit they wont want anything else! Plus, once they’ve crashed for the night you can blend what’s left and add copious glugs of booze. Just saying.
- Stay Inside Over The Hottest Part Of The Day. This probably goes without saying, but it’s probably not going to be fun to venture out anytime between 12 and 3pm. Contrary to popular belief, lunchtime is not usually the hottest part of the day. As the sun heats up throughout the day, it generally reaches its hottest point at around 3pm, and after that begins to cool down. Plan to do something indoors at this time (with windows open & curtains shut); watch a movie, drizzle chocolate sauce and sprinkles over frozen bananas on lolly sticks, read books (or you could just watch TV).
- Water, Water, Water. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you this, but fill them (and yourself) up on as much water as possible. Even when they argue that they want something else, its time to pull out that (slightly hot & grumpy) mama boss voice and let them know there’ll be nothing else! Not only will filling them up on water fulfil one of your mum jobs (that’s keeping them alive), drinking water also has other positive effects. Keeping hydrated during a heatwave helps to control mood, helps to regulate temperature and keep you cool, fights fatigue and lethargy (when no-one’s slept because of the heat), and even improves concentration.
If none of this makes you feel any better, you can always imagine me at work. Looking after fifteen 1 to 2-year-olds. Yup, that’s right!
Enjoy the sun guys!!