We’re so excited for summer to arrive during the winter — it means holiday time is just around the corner — but our elation quickly subsides when the heat drifts in. You’re drenched from head to toe, clothes are sticking to your skin, and it seems as if there’s no respite in sight. Maybe there’s not — so why not make some of your own. When the sun is scorching and you’re sweating buckets, consider one of these inexpensive ways to cool down quickly.
1. Homemade Slip ‘n Slide
You don’t have to buy the brand name product to slide across the yard in your bathing suit. To make your own inexpensive Slip ‘n Slide, pick up a tarp at the hardware store and a bottle of no-tears soap. When you get it home, put it in an area — preferably downhill — that has been cleared of debris, especially rocks. Squirt some of the no-tears soap all the way down the tarp and spray it down with water to make it slippery. Once it’s ready, line up your friends and have a go at it. You’ll need to spray it down with water every now and then, but keep the hose off until you require more water to slide down. This is an instant refresher — and a lot of fun.
2. Homemade Sprinkler
If you don’t have the patience to build a homemade Slip ‘n Slide, perhaps a homemade sprinkler is more your speed. All you’ll need is an empty two-liter soda bottle and a hose. Poke holes all around the bottom of the bottle. Then attach the bottle to a garden hose. You can pick up a piece of male-to-male hardware from the store that will attach the two, but duct tape should work just fine for this purpose. When you’re ready to get wet, throw the hose over a tree branch or something high so you can stand under it and get wet.
3. Instant Ice Packs
You know those ice packs you keep in the freezer to keep your lunch cool at work before you can eat it? Those ice packs can help cool you down in the summertime, too. Just wrap the blocks in a towel — don’t put them directly on your skin — to cool down in a flash.
4. Take a Cool Shower
The original sprinkler! Of course, it’s not as fun as getting wet outside, but if you’re burning up at home, hop in the shower to cool down.
5. Play in the Rain
A few years ago on a particularly hot day, a thunderstorm barreled through my neighbourhood, and my roommate and I took advantage of it by putting on our old shoes to run, jump and play in the puddles. I can’t begin to tell you how much fun this was — we felt like kids again — and we totally felt cool afterward.
6. Water Balloon Battle
Fill up lots of balloons with water, choose your teams, and head outside for a battle that will hopefully leave everyone wet and happy when the battle is over.
7. Wash the Car
Have some fun and get some work done. When it’s hot out, slather on the sunscreen and wash the car. Be sure to spray everything — including yourself and your car-washing buddies — with the hose for added fun.
8. Eat a Cool Treat
A frozen treat is the perfect way to cool down from the inside out — and it tastes great, too. I try to avoid ice cream when it’s really hot out because it can be too heavy, but an ice pop is made of mostly water so it’s light and refreshing.
Do you have even more cheap ideas to beat the heat this summer? Let me know in the comments below.