No pool, no problem — 5 ways to beat the heat

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It’s been wicked hot. I can say that now because 1. I’ve lived here more than a year now, and 2. I finally figured out how to properly use the phrase.

But back to the point. We don’t have a pool. So, when the mercury starts creeping up to 80 (yes, West Coast friends, that is my new ‘heat point’) I start looking for ways to keep The Bug cool.

1. Fill a random tub with water. Your baby won’t know the difference between a Rubbermaid and a pool, and once she inevitably pees in it, there won’t be so much water wasted. Provide cups and things to play with and you have watery entertainment for at least an hour.

2. Hit up one of Maine’s many free, or nearly free swimming holes. Since writing a story about where to go, I’ve received countless emails and calls about more lakes and ponds than I can keep track of. We visited Green Lake in Dedham this weekend and it was beautiful, clear and sandy, just how I like it. I also crossed Chemo Pond in Eddington, and Sergeant Pond in MDI off the list last week.

3. Make popsicles! Freeze breast milk for the wee babies (bonus, it helps keep sore, teething mouths cool) or mix up a fruit puree with yogurt for the older ones. We’re also fans of frozen blueberries and grapes around these parts, and Pinterest is full of ideas as always.

4. Water (bath?) slide. Place a tarp on the ground, put a bit of soap on the top and spray with a hose to create a sudsy slip and slide. We used to do this a lot as kids, pretty sure it was my mom’s way of keeping us clean and cool in the summer. Just don’t forget to pick up the tarp otherwise you’ll have a nice rectangular shape of dead grass within a day or so.

5. Dye a large tub of water with food dye or another non-toxic, non staining dye, fill with toys and freeze. Give your children age-appropriate tools to chip away at the ice and take out the toys. Or, give them a bowl rock salt and teach them about the ice-melting power of salt.