By the time kids tell you they're thirsty, they may already be somewhat dehydrated. Children are particularly prone to dehydration, so it's important for them to get enough fluids before, during and after play—particularly when it's hot and humid outside.
Water is one of the best thirst-quenchers around, so keep a cold pitcher of ice water and cups out on the porch or patio during playtime or on a lower shelf of the fridge for easy access. If your kids think plain water is boring, mix equal parts 100% fruit juice and cold water, or float orange, lemon or lime slices in a water pitcher.
Foods provide fluids, too. Offer cool, thirst-quenching snacks like chilled watermelon slices, all-fruit or 100% juice frozen bars, and fruit smoothies (blend fresh or frozen fruit with a dollop of low-fat yogurt and a splash of orange juice).
Before the kids go outside on a hot day, make sure they drink up. Remind them to take frequent drink breaks during the day, too. And when they come inside after a hard day's play, hand them a refreshing glass of water.