Have you checked the forecast lately? Some summer days just aren’t made for the great outdoors. The temperature is skyrocketing, the air is thick with humidity, and after five minutes in the blaring sun you want to hide out in front of the AC until September. Instead of risking your kiddo’s health (yes, heat-related illnesses and dehydration are very real possibilities when the mercury rises), keep things cool and comfy indoors. That doesn’t mean that your tot has to spend those precious summer days slumped in front of a screen. Scroll on for our list of creative, crafty, and fabulously fun indoor activity ideas for you and your mini me.

Mother playing with kids at home

1. Artsy Ice: Combine art and science into one cool, rainbow-licious activity. Make colorful ice cubes by either adding food coloring to water or freezing bright powdered or bottled juice drinks. Give your creative kid the frozen cubes in a roll of white wrapping or butcher paper. They can slide the cubes around, painting a masterful mural as the ice melts.

2. Mocktail Mixer: Chill out with a refreshing drink — sans alcohol. Make a kid-friendly version of your favorite beverage by mixing up a batch of seltzer, juice, and/or flavored waters. Toss in fresh fruit and crushed ice, and for an extra-festive touch, garnish with a tiny umbrella.

3. Beach Baby: Even with the cool ocean breeze, the beach might be too sweltering anyway. But you can still take a trip to the sea — the one in your child’s imagination, that is. Magically transform the living room or playroom into a beach, complete with lounge-worthy chairs, beach towels, and exotic sea creatures that your little artist can draw onto poster board.

4. Shadow Play: A good patch in the shade is priceless in the height of the heat, and a shadowy area is equally valuable at home. Use a flashlight (or the flashlight feature on your phone) to cast shadows of your child’s stuffed animals, dolls, toy cars, or anything else you can think of. You can even make a shadow of your child! Trace the shadows with your kiddo and color in the drawings together.

5. Construction Site: You know all those empty shoe, packing, and electronics boxes you have lying around the house, and old cereal boxes waiting to be recycled? There’s finally a use for them! Take them out of the corners of your closet to build a fanciful fortress, towering castle, or another majestic creation by stacking and arranging the boxes. When your child is done engineering their architectural masterpiece, take down the structure and build a new one again.

6. Sail Away: You don’t need a real river, lake, or any other body of water to go sailing. Take your tot’s toy ships for a ride in the kitchen sink or bathtub. Put on your cutest bathing suits, shades, and sun hats, and sail away — inside your air-conditioned home.

7. Edible Rainbow: Make rainbows everywhere — with fresh fruit! Use cookie cutters with playful shapes like stars and clouds to turn watermelon, strawberries, honeydew, and other favorite fruits into a lot more than just plain ol’ slices. Add in raspberries, blueberries, bananas, and other colorfully hued picks and line up the fruit in ROYGBIV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet) order.

8. Storytime: Stage your own at-home summer story-time hour daily. Choose children’s books with a seasonal theme and read interactively with your kiddo. This means that your child gets hands-on by flipping pages, turning the book, and pointing to pictures. They can also get “minds-on” by asking questions and answering open-ended queries that you offer.

9. Mini Garden: It’s so hot, even the plants don’t want to be outside. Instead of your greenery sadly wilting in the summer heat, grow a pint-sized garden indoors. Plant a container garden that your child can water every day, and use a ruler to measure the growth, charting it together in a special notebook. Add an artistic element to the activity by encouraging your child to draw, paint, or sculpt images of the garden as it grows.

What’s your child’s favorite summer activity? Share your pick and tweet us @BritandCo!

(Photo via Getty)