Summertime and the living is … sweaty? It doesn’t have to be, though, even as the temps crank up. With a few smart, simple strategies, savvy parents can keep their little ones cool and comfy, even in the heat of summer—without holing up in the air conditioning until fall arrives. From breathable clothing designed especially for babies and children to nifty hacks that keep a stroller chill, here are seven easy ways for active families to beat the heat and keep your cool all summer long.
1. Plan activities for early in the day or late in the afternoon.
For many on-the-go families, summer’s balmy temps beckon for plenty of outdoor time, from a sand-and-sun beach trip to backyard play dates. But it’s wise to plan activities—especially ones that involve the kiddos running around outside—for the early morning or late afternoon when the sun’s rays aren’t as bright, hot, and harmful. (Bonus for parents whose little ones are still napping: A mid-day siesta is an ideal time to stay inside.)
City dwellers, especially, should aim for the a.m. to get out and about, since concrete sidewalks and buildings absorb heat all day and make afternoons toastier than mornings.
2. Choose clothes wisely.
With no heavy jackets, sweaters, and gloves to mess with, simpler summer wardrobes are a relief for many parents. Not all kid clothing is made equal, however. Lark Adventurewear is specially designed to keep kiddos comfy and cool, with eco-friendly, breathable fabric made of bamboo and cotton—and no synthetics or chemicals. Their kicky Pocket Shorties are ideal for active mornings at the playground, afternoon picnics, and everything in between; pair them up with a Pocket Tee for the perfect pint-sized outfit that can go the distance all summer long. Meanwhile, easy-open kimono-type styles, like the featured Lark Activewear rompers, make diaper changes and clothing swaps a breeze, especially for the babes in the bunch who aren’t quite walking yet.
And, in the spirit of summer, Lark Adventurewear comes in cheerful, gender-neutral colors and fun prints—with three new offerings for the season.
3. Protect little ones’ sensitive skin.
Sunscreen is a must-have for any summer outing—especially with little ones, whose oh-so-soft skin is far more delicate and sensitive than adults. Be sure to coat kiddos with sunscreen made especially for children anytime you go outside, and stash an extra bottle in the car, diaper bag, and stroller so you’ll never be stuck without it.
Another easy option for avoiding sunburned arms: Choose breathable long-sleeved shirts that won’t heat up even in warm temps.
4. Get spritz-happy with a mini spray bottle.
A fun, hands-on way to let the little ones keep themselves cool? A simple spray bottle they can spritz themselves (and each other!) with. This hands-down winner will keep them refreshed and entertained: They’ll still get the cooling effects of the water without the competitive vibe (and soaking sprays) of squirt-style toys. Go for a mini size that will be easier for tiny hands to squeeze, and sit back and watch the H2O action.
5. Go for frozen food
Ice cream is a beloved summertime treat for kids of all ages. But for a healthier everyday choice, opt for easy-to-freeze treats like frozen yogurt popsicles and fruit (like grapes). They’re a cinch to make (little ones can help, too), pop in the freezer, and pull out for a quick, cooling snack.
6. Use some chill strategies for the stroller.
The stroller is a staple for any family with little ones. But in the summertime, the ride can become a little, well, heated for pint-sized passengers, since poor ventilation can lead to extra perspiration and cranky moods. Ward off sweaty backs by making sure kiddos are wearing breathable, moisture-wicking clothing and make sure to use the cover to provide maximum shade protection. And to really earn some literal cool points with your kids, stash a couple of frozen water bottles alongside them in the stroller. (Make sure the bottles are wrapped in a light towel to absorb condensation and that the lids are screwed on tight, and you’re good to go.)
7. Seek out safe spots for splashing.
While the local pool and nearby swimming hole are great spots to take a dip and cool off, they require parents to stay laser-focused to keep their children safe. A more laid-back option for chilling out? Local splash parks or splash pads, as they’re sometimes called, with fun water spouts and other features that keep kids cool and entertained for hours—no submerging (or worrying) involved.