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6 Games to Make Putting Sunscreen on Kids More Fun (for You and Them!)

posted: 04/13/16
by: Amanda Mushro
father applying sunblock cream on daughters shoulder
iStock

I wasn't always so kind to my skin. I spent many years avoiding sunscreen and opting for zero sun protection. But now that I'm older and wiser, I know the risks associated with prolonged sun exposure -- a person's risk for melanoma (a dangerous form of skin cancer) doubles if he or she has had more than five sunburns! As the person entrusted with the precious skin of my children, let me tell you, I take sunscreen very, very seriously.

But getting kids, especially younger kids, to stand still long enough to apply sunscreen can be pretty ridiculous and lead to meltdowns for everyone.

So the next time you're headed outside and it's time to slather on the sunscreen, try one off these creative ways to get your kids covered and protected from the sun.

These tips are great for kids of all ages -- just be sure you do a final coat to make sure they didn't miss any spots.

1. Connect the dots

Squeeze the sunscreen in a dot pattern on your kids' arms and legs. Let them kids use their fingers to connect the dots. While they are happy connecting the dots, you can apply sunscreen to the rest of their body.

2. Body paint

Give your kids a makeup sponge and let them "paint" the sunscreen on themselves or on you. This game will definitely take a little longer when applying, but for kids that really dislike sunscreen or messy hands, they will love this type of painting session.

3. Jump on the sunscreen train

This one is great if you have a few kids or even a few friends around. Create a line and give everyone some sunscreen. Start the train and let everyone rub the sunscreen on the person in front of them. Bonus points for everyone using their best train sounds!

4. Set a timer

Set the timer on your phone and have a race with your kids to see how fast they can apply sunscreen everywhere. Who doesn't love a good race? Change up this game and add a little music or tell them to apply to just one part of their body--just arms or just their legs. Make sure they start with their feet and legs and work their way up since their faces tend to be where kids fight sunscreen the most.

5. Simon says sunscreen

Put some sunscreen in your child's hands and play a quick game of Simon Says Sunscreen. Simon Says put sunscreen on your belly! Simon Says put sunscreen on your right leg! Move the game in front of a mirror when they apply sunscreen to their faces.

6. Distraction

When you're running out of time or the games just aren't working, it's time for some distractions. Now come on, you know you're good at this one! A quick snack or an easy treat like a lollipop, or maybe a few minutes on the beloved iPad--just something to distract them while you slather on the sunscreen. Once you hit the outdoors, your chances of successfully adding sunscreen to your kiddos are dwindling. So apply before you leave the house!