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Summer Activities to Stay Cool

It’s hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk these days, and while a year isn’t quite complete without a few afternoons that make you wilt, we could all do with some relief.

Photo by Mick Haupt, from

Something entertaining that will cool you off at the same time.

Here are a few activities for kids and their families to enjoy together.

1) Veepommi lahing ja jooks (water balloon battle/race):

Anyone can throw a water balloon and get someone soaked… but can you carry one delicately on a spoon without dropping and breaking it first? This game is a test of balance, speed, and then aim. First of all, choose a long space that you can run across; maybe with a few trees at the end to hide and dodge behind. Choose a start and finish line.

Everyone stands at the start line with a wooden or metal spoon. Fill up each water balloon so that it’s reasonably full, but still able to fit on a spoon. Make sure everyone’s balloon has the same amount of water in it so that it’s fair.

Then, on the count of three, players must run down to the end of the playing field with the spoon in their hand, taking care to not drop the balloon. Once you reach the end of the field, you can take aim and launch a balloon at one of the other players. If you get hit, you’re out. Repeat the relay until there is just one person left who hasn’t been hit—that’s where those trees come in handy! Make the race even more challenging by putting the spoon between your teeth as your run (just make sure you’re the only one who uses it).

2) Omatehtud puuviljamahla popsiklid (homemade fruit juice popsicles)

If you can find it at the grocery store or online, get a few popsicle molds. Then get a few containers of different fruit juices. Try some fruit flavours that you might find in Estonia, like kirss (cherry), jõhvikas (cranberry), must sõstar (black currant), õun (apple), and ploom (plum).

If you’re feeling extra adventurous and want to make a bit of a mess, get the fruit that these juices are made of and make it yourself. Kids can wash the fruit, cut it into pieces, and then drop it in the blender with some water. Then, an adult can close the lid, plug the blender in, and blend until the contents are thinned out and mixed together. Try mixing some unexpected flavours together to see what they taste like. Plum and tangerine? Why not! Pour it in the molds and store them in the freezer for three to four hours. You can even drop in some fresh herbs like mint, spices like cinammon, melted chocolate, or some small pieces of fruit in the mold (and eat them as the popsicles melt).

3) Joogiklassi sümfoonia (drinking glass symphony)

You can do this in the shade or inside where it’s cooler. Take as many drinking glasses as you can find and fill them up with water at different levels. See which notes are made when you move your finger around the edge of the glass. To make the note higher, pour some water out of the glass; to make the note deeper, add more water. A greater volume of water causes the glass to vibrate slower and the slower sound waves are perceived by our ears as a lower pitch. Less water causes the glass to vibrate faster. This also works if you gently tap the glasses with a spoon.

Pick a melody from a song that you like, maybe “Sauna taga tiigi ääres” or “Kuldne õhtupäike.” Once you choose the song, find the main notes that you’ll need and arrange your water glasses in an order that will make it easy to remember the melody. You can write numbers corresponding to each glass on a piece of paper and then use that as a memory prompt. Practice a few times and then perform for everyone.

Enjoy the long sunny days as much as you can, winter will be here before you know it!

This article was written by Vincent Teetsov as part of the Local Journalism Initiative.

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