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Archive for the ‘summer’ tag

July 24th, 2014 at 10:27 am

Fun Summer Crafts for Kids

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When school is out during the summer, it’s the perfect time to ready a list of crafts that will allow your kids having fun and being creative! Some of these crafts can be made from materials found in the great outdoors…have an adventure with your little one to collect the items before you make it. You can also make it educational by using it as a way to teach your kids about animals and nature.

 

Sandpaper Starfish from Meet the Dubiens

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Paper Plate Tropical Fish from Crafts By Amanda

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Nature Collage Suncatcher from Hands On As We Grow

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Turtle Herb Planters from Reading Confetti

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Tissue Paper Fish Bowl Lanterns from Juggling With Kids

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Beaded Wind Chimes from First Palette

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Glow-In-The-Dark Hanging Jellyfish from Craftiments

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Seashell Turtle from The Chirping Moms

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Hand and Foot Print Lobster from Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

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Styrofoam Cup Sea Crabs by Crafts By Amanda

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July 14th, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Making Summer Memories

 

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Summer is flying by way too fast! We’ve barely crossed some of our favorite things off of our summer bucket list, like going to the pool, visiting the zoo, and taking a vacation! That is what summer is all about to us – making memories.

One of my favorite summer memories is the local kite festival. We would always pack a picnic lunch and our favorite kites. They would have kite demonstrations and everyone, amateurs and professionals alike, would launch their kites at the same time! What a sight…it was just a good family event. The first year we went my youngest was only a couple weeks old so it was fun to see him grow older each year and to watch my oldest learn how to fly his own kite.

Some of my other favorite memories include:

  • Strawberry picking
  • Just watching the boys chat on the patio
  • Family basketball H-O-R-S-E tournaments
  • Sitting by the fire making s’mores

That’s the thing about summer…memories can be made in the simplest of moments.

What memories have you made this summer?

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June 20th, 2014 at 9:25 am

Outside Water Fun

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For my boys, one of the best parts of summer is WATER!! The only problem is the boys get bored with the same old fun in the pool. I wanted to share some other ideas for having fun with water!

I think this sprinkler might be a fun way to celebrate summer. A simple 2-liter bottle in the premix behind it. Or create a fun Water Blob to play on. That just requires some strong tape and plastic sheeting.

One of the projects we plan on tackling this summer are sponge bombs. With some sponges and zip ties you can make hours of water fun! Think of the possibilities – dodgeball, relay races to empty the water out of the sponges the fastest, or even a simple game of catch!

We love going to the local splash pad and running through the sprinklers, but why not bring the splash pad to you with some simple pvc pipe! Check out this way to make your own PVC sprinkler at home.

We host several gatherings with friends throughout the summer. Party games are so much fun for the kids and there are some great water games here. I especially can’t wait to have the kids play Catch the Water Bombs or Dip, Drip, Dunk! I think I may even pull these out during playdates when I start to hear, “I’m bored.”

Whether it be a store bought water toy, super soakers, a homemade water sponge or even just the hose itself – make sure to turn the water on when the temperature goes up to help the summer fun begin!

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June 19th, 2014 at 2:25 pm

Summer Birthday Party Themes

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If you’ve got a summer baby, you might already be thinking about their upcoming birthday party. As a winter baby myself, I was always jealous of friends who were able to have pool and beach parties during the summer. Technically, you can make anything work in any season with just a little creativity and imagination, but for the purposes of this post we’ll focus on some great themes and ideas for summer parties specifically.

  • Birthday Luau – Flower leis, grass skirts, blow-up palm trees, pineapple and coconut treats, hula hoops, etc.
  • Jungle Party - Everything animal print, scavenger hunt, exploration and adventure!
  • Garden Party – Tea time with juice and petit sandwiches, fairy tutus and wings, face painting, etc.
  • Splish-Splash Party – Slip and slide, water balloon toss, bubble fun, and everything wet!
  • Beach Party – Have it at the beach or bring the beach to your home with a sandbox and a kiddie pool.
  • Picnic In the Park – Sandwiches and easy on-the-go food, frisbee, t-ball, playground fun and more.
  • Wild West Party – Cowboys and cowgirls, pretend horse races, horseshoe toss, etc.
  • Mexican Fiesta - Build-a-taco bar and other delicious Mexican fare, Piñata, maracas, etc.
  • Carnival Party  – Popcorn, clown fun with balloon animals and face painting, funnel cake, etc.
  • Nature Party  - Nature walk and discovery! Learn about bugs, flowers, etc. Educational and fun at the same time!

What summer birthday party themes have you done?

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May 30th, 2014 at 4:47 pm

Encouraging Learning During Summer Vacation

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Just because school has ended doesn’t mean that kids should stop  learning. Summer is a great time to incorporate learning into your everyday plans, and work on skills for the next year.

Use Your Imagination
Summer is a great time for your kids to use their imagination. Play with Legos, dolls, or even stare at the clouds outside. If your children are at an age when they can write, have them keep a journal (it makes a nice keepsake for them to look back on as well).  Make  time to do some of these things with them.

Visit The Library
The library is a great place to explore regularly during the summer. While this is a great place to get reading materials, you can also investigate and learn about things you may encounter. If you are going on a walk in the woods, you may want to pick up a book about wild flowers or insects. There are children’s book clubs or story time events you can join as well.

Take Field Trips
One of my families favorite summer activities is exploring places during our lazy summer days. Take some time to check out nearby parks, wildlife centers, museums and more. There is so much you can learn plus it is a great way to learn about the area you live in.

Worksheets/Coloring Pages Are Fun and Educational
There are some great workbooks available to help your child. Something as simple as a journal or some coloring pages can help them too.

Study Nature And Science
Summer is a great time to learn about science and nature. How do bubbles work? Can the hot sun fry an egg? How do caterpillars turn into butterflies? The list is endless. Use this time to help your children what’s going on in the world around them. If you have a telescope, you can help your child identify constellations and such.

Sing Songs
My boys love music. Even if we are just outside hanging out, we love to listen and sing to music. Sometimes we even dance around. Look for outdoor concerts to enjoy. There is a summertime lunch concert each week in our town that we like to attend and bring a picnic lunch to. It’s nice to get outside and enjoy some culture!

Play Games
We love play card and board games together! Whether it be puzzles, strategy games, or just games of concentration, they are all fun tools for keeping brains sharp and focused.

How do you incorporate learning into your summer days?

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May 26th, 2014 at 9:00 am

Summer Fun Bucket

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One of my favorite things to surprise the kids with is a summer fun bucket! I take a bucket and stuff it with all the fun items we need for summer vacation. Here is a list of fun things to fill your bucket with:

  • Sandals or flip-flops
  • Inner tube or pool float
  • Goggles
  • Beach towel
  • Water balloons
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Bubbles
  • Fun craft set
  • Tickets to the zoo, pool, or another local attraction
  • Popsicle sticks and dixie cups
  • Water gun
  • Sparklers
  • Journal to document summer activities
  • Water bottle
  • Sandbox toys
  • Frisbee
  • Cards – to play War, Go Fish or other games
  • New coloring book and crayons
  • Sporting items
  • Glo sticks

What other things would you fill your bucket with?

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July 26th, 2013 at 10:26 am

Curing Summer Boredom

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Summer may only be half over, but it’s still not too early for boredom to already set in with you or your children.  After all, you can only spend so many hours at the pool or beach! There are still plenty of ways for everyone to stay occupied until school starts again.

  • Visit a local museum, zoo, or even an aquarium. Chances are the building will be air-conditioned and you’ll get to learn about all kinds of cool animals, artifacts, or science experiments.
  • Look for any upcoming events in your community, such as food festivals or carnivals. Some places even do outdoor movie nights to give you the experience of a drive-in movie without the cars.
  • But if you and the kids want a full drive-in movie experience, there are still some locations around the country. Maybe there’s one near you!
  • Check in with local churches, shelters, and community centers for volunteer opportunities this summer. Children can very often get involved and they will soon learn how rewarding it can be to give back.
  • Geocaching is fun for everyone, and all you need is a smart phone or GPS! Go to geocaching.com and search for the closest ones to you  The kids will love hunting for the geocache and seeing what’s inside!
  • Plant a garden.  There are many plants that grow well during the summer months, like cucumbers, lettuce, and radishes.  You can even get a head start on planting fall flower bulbs!
  • On really hot days, have a backyard water balloon fight or play in the sprinkler. These are easy ways to cool off without having to pack into the car.

Enjoy the second half of summer and take advantage of the beautiful weather while you have it!

How do you and your kids stay occupied during the summer months?

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July 17th, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Beating the Heat

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It’s summertime and the weather is hot, hot, hot! During this season, it’s SO important to keep your family (pets too!) cool and hydrated to avoid the many heat and sun-related illnesses. Here are some ways you can beat the heat:

Sprinkler Fun

Who needs a pool when you can run in the sprinklers while the grass is getting watered?

Pooltime

Many towns and cities have local public pools you can go to, but home pools are more affordable than they’ve ever been. Walmart has this 12’ pool for only $99 right now!! Kids pools are even less expensive.

Beach/Lake

If you’re on the coast or near a lake, grab a boogie board and hit the waves (or lack thereof)! Just remember the sunscreen and drinks! An umbrella is a good idea when you need a break from the sun.

Summer Drinks

Experiment with some delicious summer drinks, and let the kids help you make them! Fruit-infused water is easy, tasty and refreshing. There’s also the classic half and half (iced tea and lemonade mixed together). Keep it iced and go easy on the sugar.

Water Play

Water balloons, spongeballs, and super soakers can be a fun way to cool off with a group of people. Make sure everyone plays nice!

Plan an Air-Conditioned Outing

When all else fails and you just want to get out of the house without having to endure the heat, plan an indoor activity like going to the movies or bowling. Sometimes it’s just TOO hot to be outside and even kids need a break from the wet stuff.

What do you do with your family to beat the heat?

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June 28th, 2013 at 5:00 am

Visiting the Zoo

Little kids love animals…they love singing about them, reading about them, looking at pictures of them, watching them, and especially touching them! A great summer trip is to visit a local zoo. There is a great list of local zoo’s here. The zoo is a trip that is great for everyone in the family, from the infant to adult. Every age can learn about animals while visiting the zoo and spend time watching all the fun things the animals might do.

Here are some tips to make a trip for the zoo successful:

-Wear appropriate clothing for the weather and comfy shoes. Zoo’s require a lot of walking so keep that in mind when dressing everyone. Also, many zoos have indoor and outdoor areas so the temperature can change rapidly. Dress in layers so you can adjust to these changes.

- Pack a lunch or at least some water and snacks. Most zoos allow you to carry in a cooler or bag of food, so take advantage of this. Hungry bellies lead to crabby kids, so you need to be sure to keep them hydrated and full.

- Have a stroller or wagon with you. Make sure you bring one of these along or rent one while at the zoo. There can be a lot of walking for little legs, plus a stroller is great for little ones taking naps if they get tired.

- Make it fun for older kids with a zoo activity like a picture or written scavenger hunt. Talk about what different sounds the animals make, and what they eat or sleep. At the end talk about what everyones favorite animal is!

Most of all make it a great family day with lots of pictures and memories!

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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June 24th, 2013 at 5:00 am

Going on a Nature Scavenger Hunt

Friday marked the official First Day of Summer! It’s a time to get outside, spend time with family and friends and enjoy your surroundings. What better than to go on a Nature Scavenger Hunt. This is something you can do in your own backyard, a park, along a trail, or on a hike. I want to share some great links for you to explore the world around you with the kids. It’s amazing what you can learn while admiring nature.

Pictorial Nature hunt

Egg Hunter Scavenger Hunt

Simple Scavenger Hunt for younger Children

Woodland Scavenger Hunt

Nature Scavenger Hunt

Paint Swatch Scavenger Hunt

We are hoping on to do some of these while we bike on our local trail. A good reason to stop and take a rest! Who knows what else we will find while looking!

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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