Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems are haunted. Heating works in the summer. Cooling works in the winter. You press the up and down buttons on the little control box, but it’s a trick. You think you’re in control, but it’s really something else – like Casper.
Unfortunately, there are also a lot of preschools that don’t have working HVAC units or have poor circulation. The kiddos drag their bodies in the sweltering heat or complain that their clothes are sticky.
As an honorary big man – and a visible one – I like to keep cool during the summer. Keeping cool during the summer is important, but there are tricks you can incorporate during the day to keep the kids – and yourself – fresh.
Water is part of everyday play. Well, it’s suppose to be. (Lot’s of work and maintenance). But a water table – or container or bucket – is especially useful during the summer months.
Water gets on the children’s skin, cooling them down. At times, I’ve seen children stop playing with their toys and move their arms back and forth in the water. They simply wanted the cold water to move across their skin.
I placed a water table in the shade so children would play there longer. And, if possible, offer more than one kind of water table or container so more than a couple of children can participate. I think some teachers think you need a big whole setup. Not true. Just something that can hold water. That’ll do.
“Teacher Gilbert. It’s hot!” said the student. Their face was all red due to the heat and running around. And when I look around the yard, the kids have unconsciously gathered under areas of shade, like the shadow of a building or underneath the playground structure.
I went inside my classroom and filled an empty spray bottle with cool water. Then, I made it rain. I shot streams of water up in the air. The water came back down as little droplets of cool. Kids came running out from the shade and stood underneath our artificial rain cloud. They were so happy. Their arms were up in the air, eyes closed, and mouths open.
This is a remedy I discovered from living in a home with a temperamental air conditioning system and 85-90 degree evenings. Nothing is more uncomfortable than trying to sleep in a bed where you’re uncontrollably sweating. Ewww!
I got a fan and mounted it by a window. I pointed the fan inward, so it was sucking air from outside. Despite the heat outside, the air was cool and it will fill your space with fresh air. And when I could, on the other side of the space, I had a fan pointed outwards. This setup created a stream of air, a wind tunnel of circulating air.
I’ve used this tactic when the day is especially warm, but mostly during naptime. When the kid finished eating lunch yet their faces are still red from playing outside, nothing induces a sleep coma better than gusts of cool air over your skin.