When it’s super hot out (or cold) it’s great to have some easy indoor activities on hand that will keep little kids occupied!
It’s hot where I live. Excuse me, it’s HOT where I live.
Not in a “kind of muggy” way that makes you get a little sweaty when you’re outdoors for an hour or so, but the kind of 100+ degree weather that almost knocks you over when you step outside.
It’s brutal out and while we used to limit our outside activities to early in the morning, lately the early mornings are not exactly pleasant either. So, we’re stuck inside a lot.
With two kids under five, I am desperately in need of all the indoor activities that help them get all their energy out while still keeping us relatively cool!
I found a few things that have helped us a lot, and one idea that seemed almost too ridiculous to try, but we did and I HAVE ZERO REGRETS. Some of these things involve stuff you probably already have at home, and there are a few ideas of things you can buy too to help pass the hours.
I’ve got five ideas on how to beat the heat with kids, four are inside, and one is outside but will keep you cool just the same!
Easy Indoor Activities for Kids to Help Beat the Heat
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1. Water Balloons
Well, I’m starting this post off with an outdoor activity, so clearly I’m not following the rules just yet, but hang in there with me.
I don’t remember how it all started. One day we didn’t have water balloons.
And then the next day we always had water balloons. I mean, we always had water balloons.
I have spent a small fortune on water balloons over the past couple of summers but I’d say it was all worth it. Nothing in the world makes my four year old (and now his 18 month old brother) happier than a good ol’ water balloon fight. Especially when Mom (that’s me) says she’ll play too.
I remember water balloon fights as a kid. You’d spend half an hour filling up water balloons only to throw them all in about three minutes. Then no one wanted to spend time filling up more so you just moved on to another activity.
The self-sealing water balloon of the present is one of the coolest inventions. You attach the cap to your water hose, turn on the water, and watch your balloons fill up AND tie themselves off. GENIUS, I tell you.
You’ve probably seen and/or tried these by now, but if you haven’t you simply must.
They provide constant summer entertainment for my children and when it’s 90+ degrees out, you won’t hate getting in on the action either. We’ve picked up many a package from Target (and bought extra when they’re on sale), but I’ve also purchased these, and while you could tell a bit of a difference in the quality of the plastic cap, the balloons filled and popped just the same at about half the price. Would definitely buy again.
2. Science Experiments
Earlier this year we went through a big vinegar/baking soda volcano phase. I say “we”, but it was all the four-year-old. The baby (and sometimes myself) were just along for the often messy ride.
We went as far as to purchase a plastic volcano kit, and an underwater volcano kit, but I figured we could start branching out into some new science experiments.
Super Simple Science Experiments for Curious Kids just hit my mailbox this week, and let me tell you, it’s magic.
The “Super Simple” experiments are just that, so very simple, but with all the impact needed to wow your curious kids.
You don’t need to order supplies or hit the store before you get started, most of the experiments we’ve checked out all involved items we already had. If you have things like water, cups, paper, dish soap, eggs, etc. at home, you will find more than plenty to do.
This book is geared toward children three – 10, but clearly my little one is right in on the action. He’s happy to watch or try to “help”, right there with his brother.
3. Indoor Obstacle Courses
My oldest son has been an active child since, well he was in utero. He was jumping around my stomach back then, now he’s just jumping everywhere else.
When it’s too hot to jump and play outside, we come up with some creative ways to play indoors and making obstacles courses is always a hit.
If you don’t mind kids jumping on the furniture (I don’t, which is why I don’t have nice furniture), feel free to incorporate it. We usually use a combination of pillows, chairs, and couches to create a course. Sometimes we’ll add his Little Tikes basketball goal to the mix (he has to make a shot as part of the course).
He runs the course, I time him, and then repeat, repeat, repeat.
We’ve also used painter’s tape to make an obstacle course in the hallway. Just attach strips to the wall in various angles/heights and your child(ren) will have to crawl or step around to get to the other side. Another thing you can time and repeat.
4. Balloon Volleyball
This one has been a big hit lately. Balloons in general are always a hit and one day last week when everyone (myself included) was feeling a little stir-crazy inside due to the heat outside, I came up with a new activity.
Balloons are great for taking any outdoor sport (baseball, soccer, etc.) inside in a safe way, but volleyball was one we hadn’t tried until recently.
I grabbed a couple of dining room chairs, tied a blanket corner to one end of each, and voila, a volleyball net was made.
This not only kept us occupied for quite a while, it has also been requested several times since then. A winner in my book!
5. Indoor Bounce House
So, probably not something you just have tucked in a closet somewhere but it is something I was seriously considering last week when we had another week of dangerously hot weather. After doing a lot of research I hit the order button and our very own indoor bounce house arrived two days later.
Is it completely ridiculous that we own an indoor bounce house? Absolutely. Is it gigantic and a big circus-like eyesore in my living room? Definitely.
Do I regret it one bit? Nope.
Friends, this bounce house is:
- Able to be used indoor and outdoor, so once it finally cools off we can take it outside like normal people would do.
- Very durable! The reviews I read all spoke to the quality of this bounce house and good grief, it’s like one you would rent for a party.
- Gigantic (but still fits in my living room!) I have standard 8 foot ceilings and by rearranging the furniture just a bit, it fits just fine. You could easily fit 3-4 kids in it. (But I think 3 is the max that’s recommended.)
- SO EASY to set up. It takes maybe 2 minutes for it to go from flat to bounce-ready.
- Easy to take down. Once you shut it off it takes a few minutes to deflate completely, then you just fold it up like you would a tarp.
- Not quiet, but also not crazy loud either. Like, maybe like you had a loud vacuum running continuously?
- Something we can use year-round! Hot, cold, or nice out, this is going to be used a LOT.
Since we got it, we’ve inflated it multiple times a day and my oldest son (age 4 1/2) looooooves it. The little one isn’t quite so sure of it but I know it’s only a matter of time before he’s all about it.
Don’t think you’re quite ready to commit to your own bounce house? Maybe see if a few friends want to chip in on it together. Then you can trade off who has to set it up in the house (and who has to watch all the kids)!
And that, dear reader, is how we are currently surviving the summer.
Water balloons, obstacle courses, balloon volleyball, science experiments, and yes, a gigantic bouncehouse. (OK, I’d be lying if I didn’t mention a lot of YouTube watching as well!)
Have some more ideas for easy indoor activities? I’d love to hear them!