Beat the heat: top summer tips for daycare teachers

If you’re in the United States, you’re probably experiencing the seemingly never-ending heat like we are here in Oklahoma City. We understand the challenges of keeping everyone cool, avoiding sunburns and tantrums, and balancing activities and hydration. Here are our top five tips for daycare teachers to inclusively beat the heat this summer:

Get their hands dirty

Sensory play gets so much more fun in the summer! You have lots of opportunities to interact with the environment around you.

  • Ice: If it’s hot, you can show kids how quickly ice melts and dries! Try having an “ice race” and see who can get their piece to melt quickest. Freeze small toys inside ice cubes and let children “excavate” them with water droppers or small tools.
  • Bugs: Turn all the critters crawling around into an animal science lesson! See if your kids can catch a creepy crawler or teach an indoor lesson on all the creatures in your area, whether they are year-round residents or migrating through.
  • Shadow Puppets: You don’t need a flashlight to make this work! You can show kids how to make puppets with their hands or toys and help them notice and understand how light and shadows work.

Hydration hacks for small kids

There is nothing worse than hungry or thirsty headaches. Here are some fun ways we have heard to keep littles in a great mood and adequately hydrated.

  • Race: You definitely have some little competitors in your class. Come up with your own version of the Summer Olympics. Do water bottle races each day, or come up with a reward system for drinking their water throughout the day.
  • Treats: Who said the kids can’t be part of the fun? Involve them in making their own hydrating treats like fruit-infused water or yogurt popsicles. Use ice cube molds or trays to create fun shapes, or add cool additives like fruit or flowers.

Sun protection

The skin is the largest organ, so we have to protect it! Teach kids about sun protection, UV rays, and more, and create a plan with parents to ensure everyone keeps their skin safe from those pesky rays.

  • Sunscreen: Work with parents to ensure each child has their own sunscreen bottle, and build it into your routine to ensure everyone gets some on before prolonged sun exposure. You can even have a fun sunscreen song! Use sticks or spray for easy application.
  • Fashion: Encourage kids to wear hats, sunglasses, and UV-protective clothing. Have a “Sun Safety Fashion Show” where kids can model their sun-safe outfits.

Mindful scheduling

You may not have direct control over the schedule, but you can work with your team to ensure everyone can effectively use outdoor and indoor spaces.

  • Peak times: You know it’s nearly unbearable to be outdoors at certain times of the day. How can you incorporate outdoor play into your pickup and drop-off procedures so kids can still get their wiggles out?
  • Cool down: Just because your kids are a little old for a nap doesn’t mean quiet time isn’t beneficial. How can you incorporate mindfulness, yoga, or just a chill hour during the heat of the day for your students?

With these advanced tips and ideas, we hope you’ll create a dynamic, safe, and engaging environment for all your children during the summer months. Embrace the heat with creativity and care, ensuring a memorable and cool summer!

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