i know you said you try to hit the pool, but even that can be a pain - my sitter has the kids play in a sprinkler or small kiddie pool (the cheapo kind!) in the morning when it's not as hot. my son is SOOO into cars, he has several kinds, and those keep him busy. also i know it's not a lot better than tv, but if you have the patience for it (and the lap!) there are games online for toddlers where all they have to do is hit a button and things happen...try fisherprice.com and babygamer.com. good luck!