While it may seem like everyone is leaving Dubai for the summer, there will be many families who, for one reason or another, will be spending all or part of the summer here in the sandpit with the kids. This is enough to fill some parents with dread – because what can you do to survive the summer when temperatures soar into the high forties and outdoor activities are no longer an option? To try to ease those those fears I’ve put together some ideas to inspire you and help you survive the summer in Dubai:
1. Get Active
Just because the kids can’t go outside doesn’t mean they have to sit on the sofa in front of the TV or iPad all summer. Keeping active helps kids burn off excess energy and releases plenty of feel good endorphin’s. Put some music on and have a dance party, try out some yoga for kids or do a workout video together. If you have space inside at home don’t be afraid to bring outdoor games inside, tiled flooring common in Dubai makes for easy clean up and easy rolling of wheels on scooters or ride ons. Get a soft ball for catching practice, mark out a hopscotch on the floor with masking tape or use a laundry basket and soft ball to play an indoor version of basketball.
2. Get Creative
Paint, draw, stick, make. Pick up cheap art supplies in the hypermarkets and let the kids channel their inner artist. Pinterest is a great source of inspiration for projects or just leave a bunch of materials easily accessible and you might be surprised what your kids’ imagination comes up with.
3. Get Reading
The UAE declared 2016 the year of Reading and the summer is a great time to escape the heat into the wonderful worlds and adventures you find in fiction books. Or prepare to impress your teachers when school starts again by swotting up on fun facts about anything that interests you, be it trains, dinosaurs, flowers, animals or everything in between. Hit up the Old Library at DUCTAC or arrange a book swap with friends for some new reading material at a low cost.
4. Get Wet
When the heat is on the only way to be outside is to be in water! Whether its swimming in the community pool, splashing at the splash pad, visiting the waterparks or hanging out at a hotel beach club, water play is the coolest way to be outdoors this summer.
5. Get Recycling
Rather than buying new toys to get through the summer how about making some with the contents of your recycling boxes?! From water bottle ten pin bowling to cardboard box play houses, your imagination is the only limit. Pinterest is an endless source of ideas and inspiration and once your child gets bored of the toy you can just throw it back into the recycling box without worrying about how much it cost.
6. Get Cooking
Not only is cooking a great creative outlet and a fun indoor activity, it is also an important life skill. Getting kids involved in the kitchen teaches healthy eating habits and encourages them to try new things. Bake savoury muffins, fruity cakes and oat cookies or prepare family meals together. Let the kids make menu suggestions and talk about ingredients and where they come from to develop a rounded understanding of how food comes to the table.
7. Get Musical
Sing, bang drums, do karaoke to the radio, play air guitar or start a marching band. Whether it’s nursery rhymes or the latest chart hits, many kids respond well to music and it’s a great way to just get silly and have some fun together!
8. Get Out and About
Summer is a great time to get out and about and take advantage of the quieter months when you won’t face so many crowds and queues in Dubai’s favourite spots. From the tourist attractions like the Aquarium and Underwater Zoo at Dubai Mall to kids play areas like Mattel PlayTown and Kidzania to cultural experiences like the Dubai Museum and Sharjah’s Museums or facing nature at the Dubai Butterfly Gardens. There are plenty of air-conditioned options to fit all budgets. Even just a morning wandering around a mall can provide plenty of entertainment – we’ve been known to pass time just playing in the various toy stores!
Working parents who don’t have the time to set up and participate in the activities suggested here need not fear. There is a huge range of summer camps available in Dubai where kids can get involved in the above types of activities under supervision. From multi-activity camps covering a range of interests to more specialist camps, there will be something for everyone. Check out the summer camp listings on afterschool.ae for something that suits your kids’ interests.
Have a great summer whatever you get up to!!
More about the Contributor:
I am Harkee, part-time lawyer, full time mummy to two little munchkins (Monkey, aged 3 and Missy S, aged 1) and wife to a wonderful man (Mr). Having moved to Dubai in 2007 from the City of London, I spent years caught up in the corporate world with little time for much else. Starting a family forced me to re-focus my energies and allowed me to get back in touch with my creative side. My kids inspire me every day to be creative, whether through art, music, play or food. I try to encourage their natural urge to explore the world around them and learn through play. We are lucky to live in an amazing city with so many different experiences and opportunities accessible to us and I hope to make the most of these to give my kids richly diverse childhood memories and also enrich my experience of motherhood.
This blog is about our journey through the day-to-day; the experiences we have, the lessons we learn and the joy we share. It’s not always going to be plain sailing so there may also be some trials and tribulations involved (although for my own sake I hope not too many!) It’s about Monkey and Missy being kids, me and Mr being parents, us being a family and being part of a wonderful expat community here in Dubai.
Through this blog I invite you to come along with us on our journey, AS they grow.