Summer-hydrationSummer is the ideal play-outside season for preschoolers and other children. The weather is typically good, they don’t need to bundle up in snowsuits and boots, and there isn’t homework to worry about. Kids can play hard all day, take a cool bath and then tumble into bed for a good night’s sleep.

A word of caution: Because a child’s body surface area is much greater than an adult’s in proportion to his or her overall weight, dehydration is a great risk. What are risk factors for dehydration? “Prolonged exposure to high temperatures, direct sun and high humidity, without sufficient rest and fluids,” according to WebMD.

And, although we can’t control the temperature or humidity, there are plenty of fun ways to keep your young child hydrated. Here are just a few ideas.

Nature’s Perfect Drink: Water

When it comes to summer hydration and overall good health, nothing beats water. On a typical day, here are recommended fluid intake amounts based on age:

  • 1-3 years old: 4 cups
  • 4-8 years old: 5 cups
  • 9-13 years old: 8 cups for boys, 7 for girls
  • 14-18 years old: 11 cups for boys, 8 cups for girls
  • Adult female: 9 cups
  • Adult male: 13 cups

Encourage your child to drink steadily throughout the day, and drink more when it’s a hotter day or when he or she is playing hard. If your child is headed out on a field trip or other adventure, you can pack a frozen water bottle in a lunch box for cool refreshment throughout the day. Let them see you drink enough water, too!

Fun Summer Drinks for Children

Although intake of pure water is important for optimal health, there are tasty ways to supplement that.

Are you a fan of the orange Creamsicles that come on a stick? You can also make a smoothie with that flavor, one that tastes “sweet and citrusy and creamy and altogether refreshing, like summer in a glass.” The recipe includes all kinds of healthy goodness, including mandarin oranges and pineapple and vanilla yogurt. For an icy, thicker texture, you can freeze the oranges first, but this isn’t required (you do need to freeze the pineapples, according to this recipe).

Are your children fans of delicious hot chocolate after building a snowman? You can make them a wonderful frozen version for the summer, too. Here is a recipe from Serendipity 3 Restaurant in New York, adapted to make it easy for children to help make. It includes chocolate chips and powdered hot chocolate—and is a great way to get children who don’t love milk to happily drink it down to the last drop.

And what would summertime be without a tall, cool glass of lemonade? This site provides not one, not two—but 18 delicious variations of lemonade to try. One is perfect for a Fourth of July celebration, with its red, white and blue coloring coming from layering raspberries and blueberries with lemon juice. Or, if your children love soda pop and you’re looking for healthier drinks to offer them, consider this club soda lemonade recipe that will provide a fun, slightly bubbly experience.

Looking to enrich your child’s learning and life? Horizon Education Center provides affordable quality care including educational and enrichment opportunities for children in the following Northeast Ohio locations.Horizon Summer Camp