Things are hotting up in Brisbane. September is one of my favourite months – it’s hot without being too hot. It’s an in between month when the sun shines all day but it’s not too hot to sleep yet, and the overnight chill has definitely disappeared.
Brisbane winters are really mild, but houses aren’t built here like they are in the UK. There is a lot that we love about our house, but it does have a lot of issues. It has zero insulation, there are lots of gaps and we have blinds and not curtains which means those gaps around all of the single-glazed windows let in the cool overnight temperatures during the cooler months. Our house is also built to make the most of the shade, which is supposed to help in the summer (it doesn’t) and in winter it means the house can feel freezing even though the outside temperature is lovely and toasty.
Through the winter this year, we had already decided that our next big financial focus is going to be insulating the house. I don’t want to spend another winter feeling freezing even though it’s really not that cold outside. It’s going to be a long and messy project to get our house winter-proof but I know it will be worth it.
Now that summer is just around the corner, it’s hard to imagine the house getting that cold. From October until May our house gets unbearably hot (haha yes, we are never happy – freezing in winter, roasting in summer). I didn’t really think about how insulation could also help keep us cool until I read a really useful post on the ActronAir Air Conditioning website. It has really made me realise how important insulation is all year round to keep us hot AND cool.
So as I know another scorcher of a summer is ahead of us and our big insulation project is a little way off, I’ve been trying to think about ways we can stay cool this summer. I love the summer, but it does get HOT here! Our single air conditioning unit gets put into overdrive, and we end up spending most of our time in the pool but I’ve been thinking about all of the other things we can do to stay cool.
Ways to keep your kids cool this summer
Switch the duvets (doonas if you’re Aussie) for sheets or even just use empty duvet covers. Duvets definitely aren’t needed in Brisbane during summer!
Get ceiling fans fitted. We don’t have ducted air con yet (it’s on the wish list for the future) but ceiling fans do a pretty good job of keeping us cool at night. The one in the boys’ room has broken so this has just reminded me to get it replaced asap!
Head to the beach! Pack up a beach wagon full of towels, a picnic rug, sunshade, cool bag and buckets and spades and hit the sand. It always feels a little cooler by the water, and if you get too hot you can just dive in!
Take a late night dip in the pool before bed. This is my favourite way to start the night off cool. We swim in the dark with the pool lights on and it feels magical looking up at the stars together (if you don’t have a pool, a cool bath or shower helps too.)
Set up an indoor games room with ping pong, a pool table and dart board so you can play and stay inside during the hottest part of the day.
Eat ice poles or make your own ice lollies.
Wrap cool blocks (the kind you put in lunch boxes to keep food cool) in tea towels and cool yourself down with them.
Get the sprinkler going and let your kids have fun under it.
Let your kids clean your car in their swimmers. This is a win, win as your car gets cleaned and they have fun and keep cool!
Close your curtains to keep the cool air in (I’m going to need to go shopping for some!)
Keep half filled water bottles in the freezer and then top up with cold water for a nice cool drink when you’re out and about.
Set up an ice excavation – put an item in a flexible container and fill it with water. When it is frozen, pop out the big ice block and let your kids hack at it (if they’re old enough) or pour water over it to get the treasure!
Eat ice cream. Any excuse!
Create a Hot Wheels car wash with some buckets or bowls and some old toothbrushes and sponges and let them go to town washing their toy cars. My boys used to play at this for hours and now my daughter loves doing it too.
Create a shady snooze corner with some books and big cushions so they can get out of the heat and relax as hot weather is exhausting.
Eat barbeques because it’s a known fact that barbeques always taste better on hot summer’s days.
How do you keep your kids cool during the summer?
I can’t wait for the long, lazy days of summer. We are just one term away from the long summer holidays, and I have plans to spend most of it in the pool with the kids making memories.
How do you keep cool during the summer? Do you have any top tips?
*This post was written in collaboration with ActronAir Air Conditioning