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Aluminum foil is the most effective material for blocking radiant heat, especially from the sun. If the sun bakes you through a window in a southern or western-facing wall or door, partially cover the glass area with aluminum foil. Leave an inch or two-wide area open around the foil to allow some light to come in and allow you to see out.
It is most effective to put the foil on the outside of the window to block the heat before it gets into your house. If you put it on the inside, it will block glare and stop some heat, but since the heat is already inside the glass, much of it will stay inside.
Another fun family-oriented option is to cut a piece of cardboard to the size of the window. Have your children cut small openings (dog, star, etc.) in the cardboard. Cover the cardboard with foil and tape it to the glass. When the sun shines in through the openings, it will make interesting patterns on the floor or wall.
Use standard double-sided tape to attach the foil to the glass. With the foil on the outside on the window, it protects the tape from the sun's direct rays so it should last a full summer season. With the foil on the inside, you will have to replace the tape several times over the summer.
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