Friday, June 10, 2011

Summer time activities

School is out and summer has arrived.
Not just the break from school but the heat too.
It is hot!
I often find myself wondering what on earth are we going to do.
I mean seriously, what are we going to do???
There is something called a budget that doesn't allow for shopping daily.
We can't spend mornings at the beach.
Or hiking along the trails in Colorado or NW Arkansas.
Double bummer.
HG and I have been working on a list of activities until MDO starts again.
After Labor Day weekend.
Then we will have 6-8 weeks until the arrival of baby bell.
Our list is full of crafts, learning activities, and fun adventures.

So far this summer our activities have been.......
Lots of swimming.
Play dates.
Family visits.
Swim lessons.
Picnics in the park.
Donating items.
Lots of dress up and makeup sessions.
Flying kites.
Feeding the ducks.
Hula hoops. We've already gone through one! This momma and her baby hips and belly can't really rock it anymore.
Sprinklers, water wars, water guns.
Bounce houses.
Reading, lots of reading.
Tents out of sheets and pillows. HG has a tent but when I let her destroy the house and build a fort, she is sure a princes for the day.
Visits with cousins.
Growing a miniature garden. HG loves to water the vegetables and flowers.
Bubbles. We have tons of bubbles and bought a bubble gun and machine on clearance at Albertson's last year. We spend hours playing bubbles in the evening.
Lighting bugs. How fun is it to catch them. We run wild all over the yard screaming and laughing trying to catch those little suckers.
Smoothies. We printed off Fresh Beat Band tags for the straws and blended fruit and berries. So fun!

Our crafts on our list for the summer.........
HG's birthday invitations and supplies. You can go see here and here what we have done so far.
Hand made fishing poles. We love our Dora ones but homemade are so fun!
Napkins. Buy napkins on sale and cut into fun shapes. HG loves to set the table for meals. Add these fun and cute napkins, and it is the perfect summer dinner touch.
Homemade play doh. Easy, fun and you don't have to stress about kids eating it. Plus, it isn't too smelly. (me and my smells!)
Chalk. Kids love chalk. We color the sidewalk for everyone to see. Rain or the hose is easy clean up.
Cards. Pop up cards. Who doesn't love cards? HG loves to write and mail letters. We are going to add pop ups to them.
My friend Nicolle sent me the cutest card recently. We plan to make these too. Don't worry, I asked her if it was okay. Get a coupon for Hobby Lobby and buy the pack of 50 brown plain cards and matching envelopes. Pick our your favorite picture or a couple and have Walmart print them for 9cents a piece. Super glue or hot glue to the card. Adorable! It made me smile receiving the card in the mail with such a personal touch. I can't promise HG's will be as warm but at least they will be cute. A little sneak peek is a picture of her 'hooker shoes' aka her dress up shoes.
Sock puppets. We have tons of lost socks. I swear that dang washing machine eats them. We are making sock puppets with the lost ones. Hg loves playing with socks. The rest we will fill with rice for sore necks and muscles. I hope to find some lavender to put in there as well.
Seashell jewelry..we are going to the beach and I'm sure HG will have a collection of seashells when we return home. I told her we could make a necklace out of them. Daddy has to help with this because we need a small drill bit.
Along with all the seashells, HG will make a wind chime out of seashells. She loves sitting outside of my dad's house with all the different noises,. If we have enough extra, we can make seashell bears or glue to one of the million sunglasses we have.
Rock pets. The husband did not know what a rock pet was. Too funny. HG grabs a handful of rocks each time we are at the store.
We went to the Dollar Tree and bought lots of items from their craft section. Bags, door knob hangers, frames, etc. We will paint these, decorate them and give them to family or friends. A bag of stickers and a frame occupied us for an hour the other day.
Bird feeders. We did this last year and the squirrels loved them. My dad has a trillion pine trees on his 3 acres. Okay, maybe not a trillion but it sure the heck seems like it. We gather up pine cones, cover in peanut butter or similar and roll in bird seed. This is quite messy but so fun!
Travel kit....we have many trips planned this summer. Some may just be an hour but others are 12 hours. We are working on putting items in there to occupy the time. We will include a few of the above items, books, coloring pages, pencils, etc.
Here is a website that i have book marked to check out for preschool crafts. Hopefully I will get to it this weekend.
Treasure hunts. These are great for outdoors but with the heat getting to me, we switched to indoors. It is always fun running around and trying to find an item.

Fun summer foods.
Having a little girl, she loves to be in the kitchen.
She will help with anything kitchen related.
I love fresh fruit and vegetables all summer long.
Potted chocolate pudding with twigs (mint or similar). I remember making these at St James when younger. I loved them. Mix chocolate pudding according to the directions and put in the bottom of a clear cup or bowl. In a food processor, grind up oreos or similar. Sprinkle on top. Then top with a mint twig, gummy worms (always a favorite) or another favorite topping.
Homemade ice cream. It is pretty easy if you haven't ever made it.
Pizza family night. We throw in a cheap red box or a movie on tv. We make our own pizzas and put our own favorite toppings. This is by far one of HG's favorite nights.
Cup cakes...
Butterfly cup cakes. Make the wings out of pretzels, Icing to connect the wings to the icing on the cup cake and finish with a m&m for the head.
You can put icing on a cup cake, sprinkles next and them stick a sucker in. It is an easy flower cup cake!
Ice pops. I've always made our own Popsicles. That doesn't meant that I don't have the normal syrup ones though. I freeze healthy juices, chocolate milk (fudge pop) and just plain water. HG loves ice!
Flag cup cakes (or cake). Use red licorice for the stripes and small dots of blue icing for the stars.
Fish bowls. We did this last summer and HG didn't want to eat them. We bought blueberry jello gelatin. Made it according to the directions and put in a glass bowl. I stuck in fridge until chilled. Next, I put in gummy fish and made fishing poles out of pretzels. HG thought it was Nemo but it tasted oh so good.
Good food (cake and dessert site) site here.

Volunteer at a soup kitchen.
Feed the homeless.
Take clothing, blankets, bathroom items to a shelter.
Fire station.
Movies. Dollar Theaters are great. They might not be the cleanest but I assure you that you get your money's worth. The dollar place we go actually has a 59 cent Tuesday. How fantastic is that?! If a Children's movie is on and we are in town with nothing else going on, we will en there.
Paint toe nails. We change up our color often.
Buy a jar from the dollar store or dig out that cookie jar. HG and I sat down with a pencil each and some paper. I asked what were her favorite things to do. Her answers were dress up, movie, target, swimming, Poppy's house, daddy's work, playing kitchen and making a cake. I wrote these down separately and put them in the jar. That afternoon where we are pulling our hair out or a rainy day, we go to the jar. She'll pull out a piece of paper and voila, we have something to do!
Dress up. We spend hours playing dress up. HG loves her mommas stuff.
Water balloons. Great way to cool down. We leave this activity for our visits to Texarkana.
Sprinkler, water wars, water guns, etc. HG laughs so hard when 'trying to get someone wet'.
Flying kites.
We HG for bowling passes for free. She gets 2 games free daily. How fun!!?
Blues Clues. Like a treasure hunt but HG looks for 'clues'.

Well, i started this list last week and finally finished it. This week flew by, goodness gracious! I can't think of anything else at the moment that isn't like the zoo, water parks, etc. The above are all fairly inexpensive or free.

I was added to a group on Facebook today that is for summertime activities. I'm sure my list is just a small portion to all the other great moms out there. Hopefully I will get some great ideas and be able to add many more to our current list to use for years to come.

Enjoy your weekend. Lots to blog about. Big day yesterday, birthday lunch today, birthday party tomorrow and Jax coming on Sunday after Mass.


  1. I need to make a list of summer activities. This week has been HARD on us. Between Boyd acting like a normal 3 year old, the heat, family drama, I'm just PLAIN WORN OUT. I'm so anxious/nervous for the long, hot summer. Let's for sure get together. We can come to you, and you are always welcome at our neighborhood pool. We went this morning, it was so nice and cool and not crowded.

    I hope you make the notecards. Seriously, I think that is what I'm doing from now on. I printed a bunch of cupcake pictures, and I'm using those as birthday cards now. SO inexpensive! :)

    I'm definitely going to make a goodwill sweep through our house this summer. Also I think I might check out the library for story time, but then I stress wondering if Boyd will sit still....

    ok, enough rambling from me!

    have a good weekend!

  2. ps. I just ordered this book, Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood. I'm excited to get it. A couple of friends recommended it for dealing with discipline, other issues for your little one. Not that you need it, but just thought I'd pass the info to you.

  3. One more thing, I used double sided tape for my pictures/cards. I tried a glue stick, but it didn't hold. I get the double sided tape that does not say "removable" on the label. It's all photo safe. :)