We always look forward to Spring and Summer seasons and being outside in the beautiful warm Australian weather. It is the ultimate outside play time of the year! Getting outside and playing is important for the kids all year round, but there are steps parents need to take to ensure a safe and happy experience for their children during outside play in summer.
1. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. We all know this by now, but still so many Australians young and old still get sunburnt every summer. We know it’s easier to wrestle an adult crocodile than it is to put sunscreen on a toddler, but it must be done Sunburnt skin is damaged skin and is a serious health risk. People often make the mistake of putting it on too late. It needs to be generously applied 30 minutes before going outside. Also, not putting it on often enough. Read the directions carefully because each sunscreen is different. Some need to be reapplied after water play, others every 2-3 hours. We keep a bottle of sunscreen outside our back door, and also have one in the bathroom so it’s always easily available whether inside or out.
Top tip- Always check to make sure your sunscreen has not expired after being put away over winter. It’s so easy to just keep using the same massive pump pack and not realise it’s past it’s use by date (yes, speaking from experience here!)
Don’t forget lips and ears, they can often be forgotten. Get a lip balm with sunscreen in it if your children don’t like the taste of the actual sunscreen on their lips. And parents, don’t forget yourselves, we are getting so good at making sure the kids are protected, but forgetting about ourselves (I’ve done this one too).
2. Suitable clothing including hat. Most children are used to the “no hat, no play” rule from day care, kindergarten and school. Be aware of the type of hat and get one with a broad rim and protection over the neck if possible. Also, model good sun safety – we should all wear hats. Clothing should be light and covering, rather than a tank top or strappy dress which we can tend to reach for in summer when we are felling so hot.
3. Get out early and late. Mornings and evenings are prime play time. Make the most of this time and get them outside early, enjoying the cooler temperature and burning off energy, bring them back in during the middle of the day and then send them out again to release all the new energy in the evening. Hopefully this will help them go to bed when you ask them (we can dream right?)
4. Keep them shaded. Remember the old saying between 11 and 3 sit under a tree? On very hot days that is between 10 and 4. Having infants and very young children outside in extreme heat during the middle of the day should be avoided when possible but older children can play outside in hot weather. Short bursts and shade is the key.
All our cubbies provide excellent shade and the open faced aspect means they don’t trap heat inside. Our cubby houses are made for Australian conditions, including the harsh Aussie sun. We use Solasafe Polycarbonate roofing – it’s brilliant because it provides 99.9% protection from those harmful UV and provides outstanding heat reducing properties with metallic particle heat reflecting technology, so it does its best to keep as much heat out of the cubbies as possible.
5. Hydrate. Keep up those fluids. Drink, drink, drink. Even before they feel thirsty, just keep thrusting that drink bottle at them. Water is always best of all. A super fun way to hydrate is some sprinkler action. Running through the sprinkler is a time honoured Aussie tradition and one of the best things about summer so get out there and enjoy it 😉
Happy Summer holidays!
Now that we are well and truly back into the school year and daily grind, it’s easy for parental guilt to sink in.We’re so busy with work, life and endless to-do lists, we’re exhausted, and playing with our kids is not always our top priority. And it shouldn’t always be,
we promise we won't hassle you!