Keeping your kids cool over the summer holidays

8 Aug 2022 05:00AM by Paige Patching, Head of Family Activities at Northampton, Riverside Park

family swim

Ah, the Great British summer. Not always the most predictable of seasons but it pays to be prepared for those hot days. Making a mad dash to the beach can be fun but there are simple ways closer to home that you and your kids can keep cool this summer. 

We caught up with Paige Patching who is Head of Family Activities at our Northampton Riverside Park club to find out what she recommends to parents…

As Head of Family Activities, I’m always asked for ideas on how to keep kids entertained during the summer holidays. Some parents say that looking after their children during the holidays is expensive, and it can be! But there are also plenty of things that you can do cheaply or for free. 


Here are some of my favourite things to do on a warm summer’s day. 

In your garden…

Some of the best ideas are simple yet fun. Whether you’ve got a large garden or a small outdoor space nearby, water squirters are excellent ways to keep cool while also keeping active. And, you can get really creative with them too. Why not play water tag with your squirters to burn off some energy? 

For your younger kids, building up water confidence is a must in this weather. Paddling pools are great for getting them used to the water. You can always add some toys so they can practice getting their faces close to the water.


You might also want to try: 

• Freezing toys in ice blocks – have your children use tools to chip away at the ice to get their toys out 
• Jelly play – this is a great sensory activity getting them to make things out of the jelly or just get messy 
• Watering plants – you’ll be surprised at how many times this chore turns into a full-blown water fight! 
• Water balloon toss or a Balloon-and-Spoon relay 

In the kitchen…

Not everyone is able to get outside in the summer but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. There are plenty of recipes that you can try with your kids that not only keep them cool but help them learn new skills along the way. 

Some of my favourites are making ice lollies from fruit or from yogurt. Take a look online and see what recipes you can find. I’d love to see what you come up with so tag us on Instagram in your stories! 

Another idea: here’s a little science experiment that you can try too…

Everyone loves lava lamps and there’s a safe way to make something similar at home. You’ll just need some water, cooking or baby oil and food colouring. 

1. Fill a clear bottle half way with water.
2. Add some water-based food colouring and give it a shake. 
3. Then, in a jug, mix a different food colouring with your chosen oil and pour into the bottle. 
4. Screw on the lid, give it a shake and watch the colours transform. It’s quite mesmerising! 


Outside your home…

If you are looking to get out of the house, there’s a few places you could go. First, why not come for a splash in one of our pools! Your multi-access lets you try out different Virgin Active’s throughout the UK – just check to make sure they have a family-friendly pool before you travel. 

If you’re looking for something to do outdoors, why not have a paddle in a local stream? Or, why not head to the woods where the shade of the trees will keep you cool. You could make dens or play hide and seek. The choice is yours.

Got more ideas? Let us know. Simply tag us in your stories on Instagram and, you never know, you might even get a feature!  

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