In the midst of this impossibly hot weather, I’ve been trying to think of things to do with the kids that don’t involve us (well, me really) getting too sticky and sweaty.
I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me before but ICE is such a great, low-cost, boredom buster. Today we spent a good hour outside doing icey things, which worked so well in this nasty heat. And you can always teach some science on the sidelines – freezing, melting, surface tension, adhesion, cohesion, hydrophilia, hydrophobia blah blah blah.
But it’s really too hot to get into the science. So on to the activities –
- Ice-racing – Give each kid a piece of ice and get them to blow it across a table. The first person to blow his ice off the opposite end wins. It helps to wet the table thoroughly to minimise friction. One variation we also tried is to use drinking straws to focus our blowing more precisely.
- Ice carrom/hockey – Kids are to use their fingers to flick their ice cube carrom-style into a goal (I just used my hands in a V formation). They can also use straws, spoons or some other item as a stick or bat.
- Ice fishing – Fill a basin with water and throw in some items that sink like marbles, coins or paper clips. Cover the surface with ice, the more ice the more challenging. Give each kid a spoon and they are to fish out as many items as they can. If you mix items you can give more difficult ones more points. To increase squeal factor, instead of spoons they are to use only their index and middle fingers (like chopsticks). If you have a bigger basin, you can also try bigger items which the kids must fish out use their feet.
- Ice bags – Fill a small Ziploc with ice cubes and seal. Practice throwing and catching, and take cool break in between!