This past winter was epic. We had frigid temperatures for a record number of days and when spring was supposed to arrive, it turned nippy again. It was the winter that would never end. I was so ready for summer that I made a promise to my family that when summer finally arrives, there will be no complaining about the scorching temperatures.
My words flashed before my eyes as I was invited to take the Ziploc® Fresh 180 Challenge: “Make the Most Out of the Summer Heat.” The long winter left me chilled to my core, so making the most of the warm weather sounded like a dream! Take the challenge with me and spend plenty of time outdoors this summer.
To stay cool when the sun is high in the sky, all outdoor activities will need to involve the wet stuff, that’s water!
Make Your Own Frozen Pool Toys
The simplest solution to balmy temps — find a pool and dive in! To give swimming an arctic twist, create your own iceberg bags. Kids will have hours of fun playing with the floating ice — and they’ll stay cool while they do it. To make iceberg bags, just drop small toys, like plastic fish, into several plastic cups. Fill the cups with water and add a drop of food coloring. Put the cups in the freezer overnight. Pop the ice out of the cups and into a Ziploc® brand Double Guard® gallon Freezer Bag. Zip the top up around a straw. Blow air through the straw to puff up the bag and then zip it closed. Toss the iceberg bags into the pool and let the kids hunt them down. When the ice is all melted, the kids can retrieve the toys inside.
If you don’t have access to a pool, invest in a set of spray bottles. Fill the bottles full of water and keep them in the fridge. When the temperatures get sweltering, pull out the cold bottles and spray the heat away. Kids will have tons of fun chasing one another around — but watch out, they may get you, too!
Water Balloon Batting Practice
Hit a home run with water balloon batting practice. Pick up a package of balloons at the store and make a huge bucket of water balloons. Take out the plastic bat and have kids practice their pitching skills and their swings. You can sit back and watch the antics; a chilly time will be had by all.
Ice painting is a cool way to spend an afternoon. Start the day before by filling plastic ice trays with water. Put several drops of food coloring into each section — the color should be intense. Freeze the ice overnight. Pop the ice paint into a Ziploc® bag and take it out to the sidewalk for a new kind of art! Be sure the kids are in old clothes, as the ice paints may stain.
Frozen bananas taste like ice cream and are extra yummy when coated with chocolate. Banana pops store really well in the freezer, so make up a huge batch and pull them out on the hottest days.
Make the pops by slicing bananas into 2-inch chunks and freeze. Melt chocolate in the microwave. Drop each banana chunk into the melted chocolate and then into some sprinkles. Place the chocolate-coated bananas on waxed paper, and press a pop stick into the bananas before the chocolate hardens. Store the frozen banana pops in a Ziploc® brand Double Guard® Freezer Bag until you’re ready to eat them.
To make frozen lemonade treats, mix up a batch of your favorite brand of lemonade. Zip a Ziploc® brand Snack Bag around the tip of a funnel. Have a second set of hands hold the bag and funnel steady as you pour the lemonade into the bag, filling it almost full, and then zip it up the rest of the way. Repeat with additional bags. Put the bags into the freezer and freeze until solid. When you’re ready to enjoy, cut the end off of the bag using scissors and squish the lemonade goodness out.
When you’re playing outside this time of year, it’s important to stay hydrated, so keep a batch of fruit-flavored water made up to entice your children and yourself to drink more. Just slice oranges, lemons or berries into a large pitcher of water and keep it in the fridge so it will be chilled when you’re ready to drink.
Make the most of the summer heat with these fun ideas — and store up some heat to get you through the next freezing winter. Take a moment to be grateful for the yellow ball in the sky keeping us nice and warm!
Disclaimer: I was paid to develop this post and to provide related images for Ziploc®. As always, all opinions are my own.