0

Wait, Don’t Throw Away Those Tickets

 

 

Summer is in full swing, the kids are out, you’ve probably visited a few places.  Don’t throw away those tickets! Use them to make a summer memory bowl. Browsing through the pages of the Family Fun magazine, I came across this idea of a Summer Souvenir Bowl.  What a great idea!  Summertime is a great time for kids and families and when it come to an end, even though there is excitement of school starting, there are those days of wanting the summer days and nights to return.  This is a great idea to remember the fun times and be able to look back on them when the summer closes and the fall begins to roll in.  So, no, don’t toss those tickets, they are worth memories. In fact, this is a good idea, even for yearly keepsakes.

1

Break the Monotony: Summertime Activities for the Kids

It’s summertime again! I can hardly believe this year has passed so quickly.  The kids will be or are already home and there is bound to be some downtime at some point or another.  Looking through websites and ideas, I collected a list of things that could be interesting to entertain the kids with this summer.

Join a summer movie clubhouse: http://www.cinemark.com/summer-movie-clubhouse

Homemade Slime: http://www.skiptomylou.org/2009/07/24/how-to-make-gak-slime/

Yo Yo Balloons: http://www.skiptomylou.org/2010/06/24/yo-yo-balloons-from-jessica-of-zakka-life/

Chalk Paint: http://www.skiptomylou.org/2009/07/27/chalk-paint/

Homemade Playdough: http://www.skiptomylou.org/2008/08/26/homemade-playdough/

Tape a paper towel roll to the wall to keep toddlers busy: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mikespohr/activities-that-will-keep-your-kids-busy-all-sum

Pencil erasers home bowling game: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mikespohr/activities-that-will-keep-your-kids-busy-all-sum

Bar of soap in the microwave to make soap clouds: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mikespohr/activities-that-will-keep-your-kids-busy-all-sum

Popcorn Olympics: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mikespohr/activities-that-will-keep-your-kids-busy-all-sum

Balloon Ping-Pong: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mikespohr/activities-that-will-keep-your-kids-busy-all-sum

Play-Doh Filled Ballons: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mikespohr/activities-that-will-keep-your-kids-busy-all-sum

Pool noodle marble track: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mikespohr/activities-that-will-keep-your-kids-busy-all-sum

Chalk bull’s-eye target game: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mikespohr/activities-that-will-keep-your-kids-busy-all-sum

Throwing tarp: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mikespohr/activities-that-will-keep-your-kids-busy-all-sum

Paper towel roll drop: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mikespohr/activities-that-will-keep-your-kids-busy-all-sum

Summer bingo: http://www.enjoyutah.org/2012/04/summer-bingo-with-resources.html

Shaving cream slip and slide: http://www.playcreateexplore.org/2012/04/shaving-cream-slip-n-slide.html

Get creative with science: http://www.pinterest.com/redtedart/science/; http://www.growingajeweledrose.com/2013/05/science-fun-for-kids.html

STEM the summer Slide: http://www.middleweb.com/15579/ideas-activities-stem-summer-slide/

0

The Mailbox: A Letter, A Surprise, Something Special for Me

IMG_0551“It’s my turn, It’s my turn,” Isabella was expressing in her fervent voice as she ran to the mailbox.  William had already won the race to the mailbox.  I watched them as they ran to the mailbox and noticed how much they enjoyed doing this.  I know as an adult I look forward to getting mail, the fun kind of course.  As I think back, when I was a kid, I had a mailbox, one from Fisher Price or something similar.  I can picture myself looking in the mailbox, wondering when the mail was going to arrive or how it was going to get there. When it appeared, I would be there to get it! I Wondered if there might be a letter, a surprise something special in that box for me.  That must be the excitement of the little ones–wondering if there is something mysterious and fun in the mailbox.  That day, I decided that they would each get their own mailboxes. I wasn’t sure how it was all going to come together or how it was going to work, or if they would even like it.  I decided to have them make their own mailbox, well, at least paint their own mailboxes.  We went to the craft store, picked up some unpainted wood boxes and brought them home to paint.  William, Isabella, Daddy and Mommy and even one for Liam who was not born yet.  They enjoyed this project and the idea that they would receive mail.  We found a spot on a shelf in our family room that fits all of our mailboxes.  When the red flag is up, there is mail! I write to each child, just a simple letter.  The way I organized it is beginning with how the day was, notice some good things I saw in them during the day and remind them of some things they could work on to help themselves become better in their relationships, behaviors and actions with their family, friends and those they interact with. I include a little treat along with the letter. Perhaps it is the treat they like!  Though, I have found that it is a great way to communicate and spend time with my children. We became quite regular at our mailbox time though for some reason we stopped. I thought the kids didn’t enjoy it, I thought I didn’t enjoy it.  Today, I realized that I did enjoy it even thought it takes a bit of extra work. I also realized that it makes a difference to my kids and myself.  I have not committed to everyday of mailbox though I will work to fit it in as much as I can. If you are looking for a fun way to spend time, talk to, or read to your kids, try a mailbox!

I include below an example of a letter I write to my kids.

Dear William,

Wow! I can’t believe how fast today went.  Today was your first day of 2nd grade!  How did it go? (He usually answers *smiles*) I have noticed that you have been working really hard at being an example to your brother and sister.  That really helps mommy and daddy and our family.  Thank you for doing that.  Oh, I also noticed that you had a harder time sharing your toys today. Do you think you could work on sharing when your sister is asking?  Alright, time for bed!

Love,

Dad and Mom

I usually include this as part of our bedtime routine.  It is relaxing for the kids and for me. I have found it is a good way to wind down the day.

Have you used a mailbox with your kids? Does it work for you and your family?

0

Keeping Growing Minds Busy–48 Summer Activity Ideas

The summer is in full effect, the kids are out of school!  I have one in school, William, and he is so used to being busy that I have had to be proactive and think of some things to do this summer.  My younger kids have a blast going along with the fun activities too!  I have spent some time on Pinterest gathering ideas.  The websites I visited most were: U Create, 101 Kids Summer Activities, 100+ Science Activities for kids and 500+ Activities for Kids. It is a great place to spark the creative side.  Today, I hit a couple of stores collecting materials for some activities this summer.  So far this summer we have had an obstacle course, water balloon fight and marshmallow shooters.

1. Paint Rocks

2. Go to the zoo with your zoo passport

3. Hiking

4. Bowling

5. Camp Out in the Family Room

6. Make S’mores

7. Go on a picnic

8. Scavenger Hunt

9. Have a water balloon fight

10. Indoor Fort

11. Fun Summer Reading Program

12. Make a time capsule

13. Go to a drive-in movie theater

14. Go Camping

15. Camp out in your backyard

16. Homemade Marshmallow Shooter

17. Make a video

18. Treasure Hunt

19. Make root beer floats

20. Ice Cream Party with toppings

21. Make Puppets and have a puppet show

22. Bucket Game

23. Make a fruit salad

24. Alphabet Treasure Hunt

25. Board game day

26. Feed ducks at a lake

27. Splash Pad

28. Balloon Tennis

29. Sandbox Scavenger Hunt

30. Indoor Hopscotch with pillows and tape

31. Neighborhood reading party serve snacks

32. Go on a stay-cation (with a pool)

33. Summer Journal

34. Summer Exercise Program

35. Make treats and deliver to neighbors

36. Homemade pizza night

37. Window markers

38. Sponge ball tag

39. Around the World

40. Science Experiments

41. Shaving Cream Slip and Slide

42. Neighborhood clean up

43. Easter Egg Hunt

44. Pool noodle race track

45. Dress up party

46. Water Balloon Pinata

47. PVC Pipe Play

48. Make homemade Gak