Keep cool outside – Tips and Tricks for Enjoying the Outdoors in the Summer

by Jen in Green life,outdoor play,summer

keep cool outside
Something happened in Toronto when school ended…someone flipped a switch and it became instant summer. I mean really. We had some pretty cool days in June. Suddenly it is hot, humid and sunny. I am not complaining. I love the summer. I love packing up the kids and heading outside for the day…9-5! I wrote a post about staying cool inside your house…now to tackle the great outdoors. It’s a little trickier, but with some planning it is possible to keep cool outside too.

Know your limits – plan accordingly

Check the weather the night before. If they are calling for a scorching, high humidex day decide if it really is the best day to spend on the beach. Maybe it’s a better day to spend in the cool ravine or the library. Being flexible is important. We walk everywhere, to avoid overheated walks it is wise to do your walking in the cooler morning – not at high noon.


Water is critical. I think we all know this one. We always have change in our pocket for an emergency freezie. Add some ice to your water bottles to keep them extra cold! Outdoor water spots like splash pads, wading pools and the beach are popular for families.

Shade, shade and more shade

We love our umbrellas. We may look strange – but carrying our umbrellas gives us the shade we need as we walk along the sidewalk. My daughter picked up an adorable parasol the last time we were in Chinatown…it cost about $2…worth every cent. Another item we never leave home without are our hats. Sun protection is pretty basic. Don’t forget to walk on the shady side of the street. It is amazing the difference between the sunny side and the shady side of the street.

Eat regularly

You might not feel like eating – you’re hot – but you need to eat. Fruit will provide you with a sugar and water boost. Stick to small, light meals like salads and sandwiches. Skip the oven – use the BBQ – or don’t cook at all.

Have patience

No sense being in a hurry. You are hot, your kids are hot…slow down. When I’m hot, my temper rises too. There is no point in having an unrealistic schedule.

Sunblock or Sun Tan Lotion?

This one warrants an entire post. For now, let me just say that we have been using Burt’s Bees “Chemical Free” sunscreen this summer. So far, so good. Yes, it goes on a little sticky and a little white…but it keeps us burn free. In fact we were just out all day on Sunday, in a pool, and none of us got a burn. That’s pretty impressive. The Environmental Working Group – Skin Deep ranking doesn’t like this sunblock’s perfume, and it’s technically not “chemical free.” However, it is a lot better than some of the options on the drug store shelf. As I have said before, the success of these types of products is very much up to the individual. This lotion seems to work for our family. What works for yours?
The important thing is to get outdoors in the summer. If you plan ahead and take the right precautions your family can have a memorable and fun time in the sun.
VillerayMama July 6, 2011 at 2:46 pm

We use Arbonne 30 SPF waterproof sunscreen for kids. They sell it at my hair salon. It’s a great product!

Peggy-Sue July 7, 2011 at 12:37 am

Jen – thank you! Honestly, the the last couple of days I’ve wondered if I could get away with walking around with an umbrella because the sun has just been brutal – so yay! I won’t be the only one out there with an umbrella! And your post is perfectly timed because the kiddos and I are going to Kensington/Chinatown tomorrow and maybe Gracie and I will scoop up a couple of umbrellas! And thanks for the sunscreen tip – it’s good to hear of a product that’s doing a good job. Oh – and also loved the post on the garden fairies!

KitchenCounterChronicles July 7, 2011 at 8:23 am

Hey Peggy-Sue – good to hear from you! For sure pick up a parasol when you are in Chinatown today! I think it’s a fashion statement! Thanks for stopping by…see you next week!

Hillary Brooke July 12, 2011 at 8:05 pm

Hi! Stopped by via the little hedgehog’s green mama blog hop & love your blog :)

This heat has made it very hard to play outside here in Philly…especially with Hux’s teething temp. being unruly.

Great advice though!


KitchenCounterChronicles July 12, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Thanks Hillary – yes, it is crazy hot here too! We spent the afternoon in the shade and in the local wading pool! Teething does give little ones quite the fever, and they are so uncomfortable – here’s hoping his teeth come in soon. Thanks for stopping by! Jen

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