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It’s gonna be 33 degrees (feels like 42!) again today in Toronto and across southern Ontario. Got some kids to entertain?

Keep it cool.

1. Giant Bubble Wand

Not only are these mind-blowing for little kids and grown-ups alike, if you bring the wand to your local park to test it out you’ll have a gaggle of kids around you in about 2 minutes flat. Instant Party!

These are a few recipes for bubble solution for the biggest bubblesbut all suggest a solution of approximately 6 cups water, 2-3 cups dishwashing liquid (cheap is best; some swear by Dawn) and 1 cup of corn syrup. Adding 2-3 cups of glycerin is also recommended for super strong bubbles – it helps keep the bubble solution from evaporating! You can find glycerin in your local health food store or in a drug store.

But you can forgo the glycerin and still make wicked gigantor bubbles – just get out there.

You can buy one of these wands —  or fashion one yourself from two dowels and some rope (which you can buy at any hardware store). Some use washers to weigh the rope down when you dip into the bucket. These instructions via The Crafty Crow make a super gorgeous wand.

Whichever way you go, these instructions are super easy to follow and you’ll be surprised how easy it is.

And if you feel nervous about mixing up DIY bubble solution, follow along with the fellow above: his super step-by-step instructions are informative too. Bubbles! A great way to teach science! (hint: it’s all about the Surface Tension)

2. Dinner al fresco

There is seriously no reason to stay inside, and even less reason to turn on your stove. Get your brood to the nearest shady park, especially if you live in a building; sitting under a nice stand of trees will help you breathe better, too.  On a scorcher like today, you might want to go and claim your shady spot a little early! Don’t forget to bring a blanket and multiple bottles of water – get some ice cubes in those suckers.

And please make it easy on yourself. Don’t fire up the stove, make a kid-friendly saladwe love this one from Ren Behan with Buffalo mozzarella, Egg, Ripe Tomatoes and asparagus if you can find it; green beans would be a delicious and easy-to-find substitution.

Buffalo Mozza and Tomato Salad is a kid-pleaser

PHOTO: REN BEHAN

And of course, ice cream. If there isn’t an ice cream shop in easy walking distance, you’d be amazed how well a small tub of ice cream keeps when you wrap it in 6 or 7 layers of newspaper and pop it in its own cooler. YUM perfection.

Last weekend we put a bunch of cut strawberries and blackberries in the freezer for 15 minutes before we left. We got a scoop of ice cream while we were out and about – instant sundae!

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And of course there’s always WATERMELON. Again, pop it in the freezer for a few minutes before you leave the house.

2. Bathtime Outside

Believe me, it’s refreshing for you and your little one. Make sure you find a shady spot, bring some familiar bath toys, and get busy! Toddlers love being outside and you can use a giant Rubbermaid tub if you don’t have a baby pool. Make sure you assemble all your supplies, including toys, soap and towels, ahead of time.

PHOTO: ANDREW BEESTON

PHOTO: ANDREW BEESTON

We used to bathe our baby in a cooler, so we know it can be done.

Great Ways to Stay Cool - bathe your kids outside!

 

Check out these three easy ways to stay cool in your backyard, too! 

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