Stay Sun Smart When Playing Outdoors This Summer

Whether it’s a game of cricket in the backyard or a day at the beach, being outside during summer is a staple for Kiwi kids. To make sure everyone is having safe fun in the sun this summer, we’ve put together some easy sun smart tips you can follow.

Kiwi summers are full of fun and we are amazingly lucky to live in a country that allows families to engage in a huge range of outdoor activities. Every family has their go-to summer activities but if you need a little inspiration, here are some of our favourites:

  • Head to the beach: Take a roadie to explore a new beach or break out the beach cricket at your nearby favourite.
  • Pool days: At home or see what fun activities your local pool has for kids over the summer.
  • Walks along boardwalks and treks through the bush: A great way to engage with kids away from their screens!
  • Grab a sprinkler or a hose and make a backyard slip’n’slide: Classic Kiwi summer fun.
  • Invest in some soccer balls, paddles, bowling pins and turn your backyard into a sports centre: Put some of these on the Christmas wishlists.
  • Pick a location an hour away from your city’s main centre and go exploring for the day: Be a tourist for a day and make some family memories.

Sun safety when playing outdoors

While the family is enjoying the outdoor fun this summer, don’t forget the sun smart rules. Teaching kids about sun safety is important so here are some easy tips to help keep your family safe from the harsh summer sun.

No hat, no play

This is imperative if you want to be able to play safely in the sun. Invest in a wide brim hat for each family member to help protect their head, face, ears, neck and even their eyes. Lead by example and pop your hat on every time you head outdoors (even if you’re only gardening) and encourage your family to do so as well.

Keep sunscreen everywhere

Keep sunscreen in the beach bag, on the kitchen bench, and in your handbag to make sure you’ve always got some handy to protect yourself and the kids from the sun. Apply the suncream 20 minutes before you head outside. A roll-on sunscreen can be kept in a backpack and makes it fun for kids to apply.

For an adult a full body application is 35ml or 7 x 5ml teaspoons for 7 body parts: face and neck, front and back, each arm and each leg.

Spread the word

When kids are with friends, encourage them to remind each other to apply sunscreen. The kids can turn this into a game as to who would remind each other first to reapply their sunscreen after swimming. Sunscreens only offer one element of protection, so remind kids to rock those hats and sunglasses, cover up and seek out shade.

Pop-up tents are your secret weapon

100% worth the investment, pop-up tents are a great way to keep the whole family out of the direct sun. Pop it under a tree in your backyard and make a little area for the kids to chill out in with beanbags and bottles of cold water when they need a rest. If you’re heading to the beach or the park, take your pop up tent and some beach chairs to make the space even more comfortable.

Our tip: Be sure to invest in one that provides an extra layer of protection against UV rays and use it as a station to reapply sunscreen.

Stay out of the midday sun

It’s true that the sun is at its worst in the middle of the day so plan your day as best you can to stay out of the sun during that time.

Don’t forget sunnies

Sun can cause a range of problems for the eyes both in the short and long term. This is especially important if you are out on the water as the sun reflecting on the water can accelerate the damage. Sunglasses that meet the Australia/New Zealand Standard and a wide-brimmed hat are essential.


  1. dawnblyth 01/12/2019 at 11:51 pm

    When we go out we always slip, slop, slap and wrap but for some reason when we are at home we often forget about these things. We might have a tee-shirt on but no sunscreen or hat. I need to work hard to remind my boys too get this stuff on!

  2. Micht 30/11/2019 at 11:52 pm

    Its been quite eye opening reading about sunscreen and the effective ones…i was very surprised to find the ones i trusted from the cancer society were actually not doing the job… so will have to consider the other options… its a real issue being safe in the sun.

  3. Shorrty4life1 28/11/2019 at 9:50 am

    Great read. 7 x 5ml teaspoon its a great way to remember how much sunscreen you need to put on yourself and your children. We are going to the beach after school today its absolutely smeltering here so it’ll be a great day for it and it beats them being on their screen time instead in having fun out in the sun thats for sure.

  4. Bevik1971 28/11/2019 at 9:26 am

    We are a bit overboard when it comes to sun safety haha. She isn’t allowed outside without a hat and has to wear sunscreen etc. She also wears sunglasses (which she likes to do anyway). I carry a small sunscreen high spf in my handbag all the time just in case. Not just for our daughter but us as well 🙂

  5. Mands1980 27/11/2019 at 9:09 pm

    Our kids get told most these things at school they can’t play outside in the sun with out a hat and if they forget it they have to stay in the shade. We always have heaps of sunscreen handy for the kids to put on. This reminds me I need to get my youngest sun some sunglasses for Christmas. We love beach’s over summer or pools so being SunSmart is essential.

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