Summer Fun Month

I’m a little late on this post. Again. And just a quick note:

I think I am going to stop apologizing for being late. I’ve got little ones. It is what it is.

Good talk.

And now…It’s Summer Fun Month! We did this theme last July, and it was one of my fave’s because of the wiggle room that comes with it (which we moms SO desperately need about a month in to Summer).

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The point is to get outside as often as you can, and have fun. The simpler the better. And just about anything goes.

If you need some ideas, here’s our list for the month of July. Join us! We’ll be hashtagging on Instagram (#SummerFunMonth) along the way, as always.

Happy Summer!

  1. Wash your car together (or do a kids’ car wash)
  2. Have a Lemonade stand for a good cause
  3. Make larger than life bubbles
  4. It’s the FOURTH! Light sparklers (or make these)
  5. Go to neighborhood splash park (Here’s a list if you are in Dallas)
  6. Have a water balloon fight
  7. Find a new ice cream shop
  8. Make your own popsicles (these are our FAVE)
  9. Go on a picnic dinner
  10. Play in the sprinklers
  11. Make Firefly pets (we’ll be posting these ahead of time)
  12. Paint with spray bottles
  13. Bake cookies in your car
  14. Make root beer floats
  15. Have a backyard movie night
  16. Go to the Farmers Market
  17. Make Smores
  18. Go night swimming
  19. Find a hiking trail
  20. Go to a Baseball Game
  21. Have a Watermelon seed spitting contest
  22. Have outside story time
  23. It’s National Hot Dog Day! Go and get one!
  24. Go stargazing
  25. Get snow cones
  26. Make your own ice cream
  27. Go camping in the backyard (or camp in the house!)
  28. Cool off and go see a movie
  29. Go to the city pool
  30. Play mini-golf
  31. Have a shaving cream fight

 

Summer Fun: Christmas in June

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Yesterday was June 25th! So last night I decided to surprise my family with a little half-Christmas celebration.

Not only was it half-Christmas, but it was also my baby boy’s half-birthday. That’s right, he is officially two and a half. My, how time flies.

But really, anyone could have a Christmas in Summer celebration. With or without a birthday. I remember we once thew a “Christmas in July” pool party when we were kids. Complete with Santa hats and palm trees.

As for last night, it wasn’t anything fancy. Just a little festive cheer, hot cocoa, and…of course: A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS.

Because what’s a Christmas Party without Charlie Brown?

It was nice to take a break from the pool, stay cool inside, and even witness some snow (even if it was only on TV). 

Isaiah loved it. But really, who wouldn’t love to be surprised with hot cocoa in their jammies? In a Santa mug. In the middle of Summer.

Although he was a little confused for the rest of the evening, I’ll admit.

Such little effort, but again, it’s those little unexpected surprises that make our days special.

And last night was such a good reminder of that. ;)

Summer Fun: Straw Sailboat

Our Summer Fun month continues!

Today we made a straw sailboat to take with us on a family pool outing…

We had so much fun making our bubble wand out of straws, we figured…why not try to make our very own sailboat?

The boat construction was pretty much left up to Mommy, since it involved some serious scissors and a hot glue gun. But we definitely enjoyed our time together while making it. If your kids are older, they can definitely jump right in.

We started with about 18 leftover party straws and some red felt.

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First we cut the straws to our desired length. No magic measurements here, and also no magic number. We just eyed everything as we went.

Then once we had the straws in place, it was time to cut the “cross beams.”

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After cutting to the width of the boat, we glued three straws to the bottom, and two on top.

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Very Tom Sawyer. ;)

(This holds everything together and also gives the boat the structural support it needs to stay afloat.)

Next we glued the felt flag (just a triangle cut from red felt) to the final straw, centered it on the boat, and glued it into place.

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It held up great in the pool. Although if you are looking for a longer lasting boat, I’d definitely go with plastic straws.

After we played with ours, I thought:

How much fun would these be to make and RACE at a boat themed party?

Too much fun. I’ll have to store that idea in the back files for another day…

Summer Fun: Toddler Car Wash

As a part of our Summer Fun theme, we decided to have our very own car wash to beat the heat.

And okay, I confess. We moved ours inside. But that’s the beauty of this activity…it can be indoor OR outdoor. Either way, toddlers can make as big a mess as they like.

But this 8 month pregnant mommy chose the indoor option, because I’m not too fond of near triple digit temps these days.

So we did our car wash in a cool tub, with extra bubbles (per Isaiah’s request).

All you really need is a sensory bin (any plastic bin will do) and your pick of plastic cars for washing. We added a few “car wash essentials” like a scrubbing brush, a sponge, and a spray bottle. We stuck with bubbles but you could even add some extra foamy car-wash soap (like shaving cream).

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And better yet, go outside and get your cars extra muddy before washing. :)

Isaiah stayed in the tub a full hour, which also gave Mommy a nice chance to get off her feet for a while.

Love those little extra bonuses from good activities…don’t you?
 

Summer Fun: Peaches and Cream Pudding Pops

I’ve been dying to make Popsicles lately– which I also figured was a very fitting activity for our June Summer Fun theme. And believe it or not, it just started getting hot enough here to enjoy them (counting our blessings).

I saw a recipe for vanilla pudding pops and decided to slightly alter it to make ‘peaches and cream pops’ instead.

The main change was making the pudding from scratch. Here’s what I did…

Ingredients
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 cups cold milk (whole)
1/4 tsp salt
3 large egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla
2-3 chopped fresh peaches (or as few/many as you like)

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1. Chop 2-3 fresh peaches into tiny cubes (more or less to taste) and set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
3. Gradually whisk in the cold milk, and egg yolks.
4. Put mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it comes to a boil.
5. Turn heat to low, and continue to whisk for about 2 minutes.
6. Remove from heat and pour mixture over sieve into a medium bowl.

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7. (Optional) Add peaches into mixture and divide into Popsicle molds. Note: I poured the plain mixture into the molds, and then added peaches at the top (or bottom, whichever way you look at it) which created the ‘peaches and cream’ effect. The more peaches you add into the mixture, the more the Popsicle will taste like peaches, instead of both peaces and cream. But that’s just a matter of taste!
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8. Refrigerate for one hour, then place into the freezer overnight.

9. Run molds under warm water to loosen the Popsicles, and enjoy!

The result is a rich and creamy vanilla peach Popsicle. Think ice cream, but creamier.

You can freeze the remaining pudding mixture for later use. Or, if you are like us (we ate all six Popsicles in two days) just refrigerate and make more when you are ready.

I mixed fresh strawberries straight into the second batch and I swear they tasted just like strawberry shortcake. I’m not sure which was my favorite!

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And…I must be a mean Mamma, because I believe these were Isaiah’s very first Popsicles.

After he finished it he said, “Mmm, baby just LOVES Popsicles.”

I’d say that was a success.

Summer Fun: Bubble Wand

I can still remember sitting on the back porch of my childhood home, blowing bubbles with my Mom on hot Summer days. Specifically home-made bubbles made from dish soap. To this day, the smell of Palmolive takes me back.

We had this awesome red-plastic bubble wand that was almost shaped like a pipe (remember that, Mom?).

Anyway, it allowed you to blow multiple tiny bubbles at once. And when we tried really hard, you could get a “monster bubble” as I like to call it.

Fast forward (oh, let’s just say several) years to today, when I became determined to re-create that wand for my little boy.

I did a little digging, and found out that you can make your own at home with nothing but straws and tape. So we decided to give it a try.

I made our own bubble mix first, using:

1/3 cup Palmolive (of course, what else?)
1 cup water
2 tbsp corn syrup

Then I went to work on our wand. I just used a few leftover party straws (any straws should do) and a bit of Washi tape (again, any tape should work just fine).

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I’ll be honest, I was doubtful. But I tested it out while my son was napping and practically giggled with delight when it created the exact same bubbles I remembered as a kid.

I was six-years old all over again.
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Isaiah absolutely loved it (no surprise there). He even let me take a few turns. And at one point, when I blew into the wand and didn’t make any bubbles, he politely told me…

“It’s OK. Just try again, Mommy. You’ll get it.”

So, according to him…I’ve got potential. :)

Summer Fun: Soda Bottle Sprinkler

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This month’s theme is “Summer Fun”! So bring it on, June.

(But don’t bring it on too much, ok? This pregnant lady is trying to push off the heat as long as she can…)

To kick things off, we made a soda bottle sprinkler for our first official day in the pool. I’m over at Modern Parents Messy Kids today, sharing just how we made it–plus lots of other ways to play in the hot Summer sun.

We even included a few indoor activities for our fellow Texans. Because when it’s too hot, it’s too hot. (Am I right?)

We’ll be posting more of our Summer Fun activities throughout the month. But take a look at MPMK if you want a bona fide Summer activity cheat sheet. I had a lot of fun putting it together. :)