Fun Ways to Survive the Heat Wave

rsz_subnSizzling temperatures, streaming sweat and screaming kids.

Fun times.

A mid-summer heat wave is blanketing the nation this week.  According to meteorologists, more than 50 million people will be affected by dangerously high temperatures which could last all the way through Saturday.

Hitting the beach or heading to a local pool is a great way to beat the heat, but for some kids the splishing and splashing may get old after a few days.  With excessive heat warnings posted in dozens of cities, some parents may opt to remain indoors with their children.  If you choose to stay cool in the air conditioned comfort of your home, but fear cabin fever may set in by mid-week, consider the following fun activities to keep kids busy:

Summer Luminaries

If it is so hot that you have to wait until evening before you let your children play outside, pass the time by making paper bag luminaries.  The simple craft is easy, affordable and allows kids to have fun outside even after the sun sets.

To start, gather small paper bags, stencils, cookie cutters, pencils, crayons, sand and flameless tealight candles.  Next, let kids use the stencils or cookie cutters to draw designs on their bags.  Then, have them cut-out the shapes without cutting up the entire bag.  Once the designs are cut, have the children decorate the remainder of the bag’s exterior with crayons, markers, glitter, sequins or stickers. Finally, fill each bag with two cups of sand and place a flameless tealight candle inside.  At dusk, send the kids outside to show off their masterpieces.  The luminaries can light a path to your house or can be placed around a deck or yard.

DIY Terrarium

Bring the outdoors in with a terrarium kids can make themselves.


  • Large glass or plastic jar with lid
  • Dirt
  • Activated charcoal (sold at aquarium stores)
  • Pebbles
  • Sheet Moss (sold at Hobby Lobby or other craft stores)
  • Small plants
  • Wooden skewers or chopsticks


  1. Add a layer of pebbles (about an inch thick) to the bottom of the jar.
  2. Add a layer of activated charcoal (about half an inch thick) on top of the pebbles.
  3. Place a layer of dirt (at least three inches thick) on top of the charcoal.
  4. Add the moss root side down on the dirt.
  5. Arrange the small plants in the dirt.  Use the chopsticks to push the moss around the plants.
  6. Once you have the plants placed in the jar, add water until you see moisture on the pebbles.
  7. For added visual effect, you could also add some decorative rocks, small toys or figurines in your new terrarium.


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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.