Ice is Nice: Fun Ways to Keep Cool with Kids
Ah, summer! On a hot summer day, you can work up a sweat just looking at the sun. And while you can’t do much about the temperature, you can help your family keep cool with ICE. Ice is easily accessible, it can be observed, played with, and eaten.
Nothing cools you down on a steamy afternoon like a frozen pop. Eating a frozen Popsicle is still part of growing up in America, just as it was in the past. Californian Frank Epperson invented and patented the “Epsicle” which later became the “Popsicle.” In 1905, when Epperson was just 11 years old, he mixed some soda water powder to drink. He accidentally left it overnight on the back porch with the stirring stick inside. That night the temperature dropped to a record low causing this mixture to freeze. Voila! The first “Epsicle” was made! Years later, not only have Popsicles been treats for our children, but the famous wooden sticks are great resources for arts, crafts, games, and learning.
Prepare now for the inevitable accidents that will occur as your baby becomes more mobile. Nothing soothes a child bumped on the mouth or a cranky teether like an “icy hand.” Fill a surgical glove with water, tie a knot at the end, and freeze. Children who may not want you to hold an ice cube over a sore will be more willing to suck a finger or thumb of the “icy hand.” These fingers are just the right size for baby; he will experience the sensation of cold, and what a fun way to cool down on a hot summer day. (Be sure to cut away the glove before giving to a child, as it can pose a choking hazard.)
An Icy Playground
Freeze a little water and let your child embark on a sensory adventure. Choose a warm day outdoors for this science experiment. Give your youngster a dish full of ice cubes. Tell her to find places where she thinks the ice cubes will last a long time. Encourage her to place separate ice cubes in different places outside. Check the cubes periodically and discuss why some melt faster than others.
Looking for more chilly fun? Here’s a silly icebreaker game to play with friends and family that will definitely cool you in a hurry. Take a child’s wading pool and fill it with water and lots of ice cubes. Give each participant a bowl. Have the players sit around the edge of the wading pool with their feet poised over the water. At the word “go,” players try to move the ice cubes out of the water and into their bowls. The catch is they can only use their feet. It seems that the kids have a distinct advantage over the grown-ups because their feet and toes are more dexterous.
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