Cool Outdoor Play for Summer Daycare Programs
Just because the school districts have released children from their daily lessons for a few months doesn't mean their parents get time off at the same time. Daycares have been helping out busy parents for centuries by providing a safe and fun summer programs for their kids. While activities and outings are often separated by age, there's one thing all kids have in common: they love to play outside. In fact, they need the space and freedom to run in order to get enough exercise and burn enough energy not to bounce off the walls during quieter indoors activities. Unfortunately, in hot climates where outdoor temperatures can soar well above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, it's not always safe to let kids play out in the heat as much as they'd like to. Keeping them hydrated and preventing them from overheating becomes a serious concern, but we have the solution. All you need to do is provide healthy thirst quenching beverages and a practical outdoor cooling solution.

Keep Them Hydrated

The most important part of beating the heat is to stay hydrated. If you've noticed kids getting too energetic inside but listless when you finally let them out for a recess, dehydration may the problem. The solution is a big beverage cooler with a spigot on one end, a large stack of little paper cups, and a recycle trash can. Fill the cooler about a third full of ice and then up to 3/4 full of water and let the kids come to you. Yes, they will throw some at each other, but they will also drink a lot of it. Small cups should prevent them from soaking each other too badly. To replenish electrolytes, you don't have to break the bank with name brand sports drinks. You can make an inexpensive low-sugar alternative with frozen orange juice that your kids will drink quite happily (and throw on each other less). Here's a 1-gallon recipe you can adjust to your cooler and classroom size:
  • 2 cups mixed frozen orange juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup salt
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 12 cups of water
  • ice to preference and container size

The Cooling Solution

Now that you're making sure the kids replenish the water and electrolytes they lose playing joyful sweaty games in the summer heat, it's time to make sure they can temporarily escape the sun and lower their body temperatures in the middle of their outdoor play time. Breezy awnings and tents are more effective than hiding under sun-baked playground equipment, but the best way to keep cool is with misting nozzles. All you need is a garden hose and a misting kit you can attach to the fence, a shady tent, or even the playground equipment itself. Each nozzle disperses fine droplets of cool water as a mist, actively pulling the heat out of the air. The mist works just as well on overheated skin, functioning as a second form of sweat and pulling heat out of the body as it evaporates. This will ensure that both the most active and most delicate children in your care can cool down whenever they need to. When you combine good hydration with an excellent outdoor cooling system, your daycare kids can finally safely play outside for several hours every day of their summer vacation. This will help them expand their energy, stay healthy and fit from all the exercise, and be ready to play quietly indoors when outside time is over. The little ones will nap peacefully and the bigger kids will happily settle into board games, books, and art projects having satisfied their need to be rowdy out on the playground.