Let's Get Social!

It’s Hot Out There, But We’re Cool

As I mentioned in a previous post, my son and I aren’t made for this heat. Coming up in the elevator yesterday, he looked me up and down, wearily handed me his cute sun hat, and said, “Mom, we’re both sweating. Yuck.” Yeah. I didn’t even have the energy to agree beyond a nod. Over this heat wave (this summer seems to have taken a page straight outta Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing) somehow we’ve been able to find one thing after another to keep us busy and in a mood as sunny as the weather (most of the time, anyway). Even though they say heat's supposed to break—let’s say I’m not a big believer in the “they” who does the weather predicting, even though a monstrous storm is pelting hail on my window...yes, I write this!—I thought I’d share our hot-weather strategies. They’re fun even when the weather gets back to a more bearable state; the indoor ones are great rainy day activities, too.  

Some classic standbys

• Hang out in Barnes & Noble (they’ve got some awesome kids’ sections and are very tolerant) or your local bookstore • Head to the library for some cool kid programming or just to get some mellow reading time in • Children’s museums are called “children’s” museums because they are the only place kids can go crazy touching anything and everything they want. When I took my son last weekend to a “real” museum, he begged me to go to the “chiiiiiiiiiildren’s” museum instead…we had fun at both. We’ve got a comprehensive guide to the best exhibits and all the details you need for visiting the one closest to you. • Get wet. If you’re stir-crazy inside, go out—and straight into the water. Whether it’s a sprinkler in your neighborhood park, or a hydrant (love these shots from Huffington Post!), or a pool (even a “pop-up” pool!), you’ll feel like a kid again, and your kid will be one happy camper.  

My toddler’s fave indoor past-times of late:

• Puzzles. He’s learning sorting and the art of focus (and calm play) as we work together on a 600-piece Winnie the Pooh puzzle. Crazy? He asked for it, and asks me to sit with him every day. I think since he gave up his afternoon naps, he craves this quiet fun session, and I love sitting and watching him think. He loves the challenge, and all the high-fives we exchange when he gets a piece in by himself. • Dance parties. He lines up his instruments, from maracas to (heaven help me) a recorder, drums, and shaker eggs and instructs me when I'm allowed to use them. We have "penguin parties" with his two World Wildlife Fund stuffed friends as we dance like maniacs to the soundtrack to Happy Feet 2. Our musical repertoire ranges from Dan Zanes and They Might Be Giants to Dave Matthews and Spoon with a little Mickey Mouse Club thrown in upon request. This weekend as we were walking up the block, a car drove by with reggae blaring out the windows. V stopped dead in his tracks with a huge smile on his face: “Mom, I never heard THAT. Let’s get it and have a dance party.” Later, we scanned my iPod for some old dancehall songs (tough to find with age-appropriate language, but we unearthed a few) and he told me this was his new favorite. Kiwi Crates. I plan on writing more about this awesome activity subscription service, but for now I'll say that everything you need for a surprising and engaging activity is in one little box—including step-by-step (simple!) instructions, all supplies, and follow-up fun. Our first was bean growing, our second was superhero cape making. V loves watering his plant (though, we learned that severe heat like we've had is hard on a bean plant : (  

Get stuff done, guilt-free.

My boy is my willing and eager helper with everything. I know loves when we're just doing stuff, but on days when we do more of my stuff than his, I admit the guilt can creep in occasionally. I take full advantage during this dreadful weather, though, and try to get every errand done that involves AC or a car ride (idea: more AC). We’ve gotten a long overdue haircut, gone grocery shopping (primarily for things that don’t need to be cooked), and even justified a full weekend day inside by focusing on potty training—we even dressed Elmo in underpants for moral support. Somehow, it's all fun. And I feel so, so accomplished...and less sweaty. [caption id="attachment_2106" align="alignleft" width="300"] Barbershop: overdue haircut...and AC[/caption]

 Get updated regularly with specific ideas:

I discover most of the unique things we do through NYMetroParents weekly activities newsletter. I really do. Have you subscribed yet? You won't believe all the cool stuff that goes on in our area—most of it free!—that you didn't even know about. See a sample here.  


Free ferry ridesOther nearby water funWhere-To Guide to area beaches   Stay cool, if not dry.

Dawn M. Roode


Dawn M. Roode was formerly editorial director of NYMetroParents, where she launched the award-winning semi-annual magazine Special Parent. She was managing editor at Parenting, BabyTalk, Child, Harper's Bazaar, and Latina magazines. She is a strategic content specialist and currently writes and edits parenting, health, travel, and special needs features for various media outlets. Roode is mom to one son and recently relocated from Brooklyn to the suburbs of New York City. Follow her on Twitter @DawnRoode.

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