Summer Bucket List

In my mind, summer is nearly here.  Although, Dylan isn't out of school until mid-June, June feels like summer and that is when we'll be kicking off our summer fun together.  I've been working on putting together a list of things that I want to do with the kids (and hubby) in the next three months as well as marking them in our calendar.  Dylan is curious, creative, fun, messy and so many other wonderful qualities but mostly he has so much energy and I find that on the days that I plan out, it not only goes much smoother but it can be a whole lot of fun.

I could list out the 50 items on my bucket list but you could also just do an internet search for 'Summer bucket list' to get a ton of ideas.  So instead, I will tell you how I am organizing it all and some of the activities to come which I will be blogging about this summer.

I came across a link to The Confident Mom in an advertisement in an email newsletter from  Money Saving Mom.  Curious, I purchased and downloaded Susan's (aka The Confident Mom) calendar packed filled with ideas for the summer.  She has some fantastic ideas for staying organized, links to some fantastic blogs (some that I have been to before) as well as three and a half months packed of things to do during the summer.  I'm the type of person who loves my google calendar so that is where I keep all my activity ideas. I have been combing through Susan's ideas as well as many other blogs, Pineterst, Chamber of Commerce for our area and other websites that I frequent to come with lots of fun for our summer.

When I use an idea that I got elsewhere, I will be linking back to their site (as I hope you will you enjoy one of my ideas!)  With that being said, we will be kicking off summer this week, so please check back to see what fun activities we will be doing this summer!

Sensory Activities

I love setting up different Sensory bins and activities for my boys.  Now that Ty is at the age where he can join in on the fun, I've been setting up activities geared towards both a 10 month old and a 5 year old.  I have a large clean plastic container that I dumped in a bunch of Cheerios.  Both boys had a great time putting their hands in the Cheerios, digging them around, swirling their fingers in it and of course eating them! Once Dylan got bored, I let the smaller one sit in the container of Cheerios.

Another day, we needed something to break up the day, so I took a small plastic container and filled it with warm water from the sink.  I didn't say a word as I placed it on a towel on the floor and filled it with a few floating toys.  Both boys were immediately drawn to it.  "Can we put our hands in it?" Dylan asked.  "Yes,"  I replied.  Of course, my ten month old didn't have to ask but made his way over to see what I put on the floor.  Right away, his hands went in and smiles came out.  Dylan, started playing with super heroes in the water and Tyler inspected all the toys that were in the water bin.  It was also fun as I asked Tyler to get the ball or to get the boat, he studied everything and pulled out the items.  

This next idea wasn't a bin at all but what a fun activity for my smaller son to do.  I gave him a ball of yarn on the floor.  He was instantly interested and proceed to bat it with his small hand across the floor.  He soon realized "the ball" was leaving a string behind and enjoyed shaking the string and then starting all over again hitting the yard ball with his hand and chasing behind it.  

Each activity probably took about 5 minutes to set up and a little longer to clean up but definitely worth it for both boys.  As with any activity, adult supervision is required.  I hope you try some of these sensory ideas and let me know what works for you!  For us, it not only breaks up the day, but the boys get to relax and explore while having fun.

Magic Milk Paint

I was trying to make dinner.  I had one child on my left hip and the other at my heels looking for something to do.  I had checked out the Clorox's Recipe for Fun site quite a few times and had the Magic Milk Paint on my mind for something to do.  Why not?  I grabbed a few baby bowls and filled each with a tiny bit of milk.  I told my son he was going to be using a magic wand.  I didn't have any toothpicks on hand, as the recipe suggests so we used the back of baby spoons.  I gave my son the food coloring where he got to add a few drops of the colors to whichever bowls he wanted.

He had no idea what he was about to do but he was having fun already!  I then put a little dish soap in a separate cup and he dipped each spoon handle into the soap.  Now for the fun part!  Put the spoon handle with the dish soap into the colored milk and watch what happens.

The colors seem to "run" from the dish soap.  It happens quick and only happens once but it was fun to watch.  He also enjoyed mixing different food colors to see what colors they created. I didn't like that we had to 'waste' milk but I did only use a tiny bit.  It was, however a great way to give my son a few minutes of fun while I finished getting dinner together.

For the full recipe as well as why this happens check out Clorox's Recipes for Fun website filled with crafts and wacky science ideas.

Handprint Butterfly Craft

We were having one of "those days". I had better find something fun to do to turn our moods around quickly. I was browsing Facebook and thankfully The Activity Mom had a post from No Time For Flashcards called "25 Classic Crafts For Kids". I clicked on the link and loved many of the ideas. I decided the handprint butterflies would be easy to not only because only a few supplies are needed, less mess and Dylan would be able to color, cut and decorate. Perfect!

Here is a direct link to the Handprint Butterfly Craft on No Time For Flashcards. Trace both hands on a piece of construction paper. Cut out each hand print. Dylan is old enough to trace and cut out his own hands, so he enjoyed that part. Now, line up the thumbs and glue them together.

Now the really fun part - decorate! We have a fantastic craft tray, I picked up a couple of years ago at Michael's Craft store. Laying the craft in the tray, makes less mess especially when using glue, glitter, feathers.

Dylan used glitter markers and feathers to decorate his butterfly.  He then glued his butterfly onto another piece of construction paper where he drew in butterfly antennas, flowers, grass and of course, his name and age.   It came out fantastic. I wasn't sure what a butterfly would look like with feathers but I think he made it work and I was proud to hang it up in our kitchen.  What a great keepsake of his hands!