Monday, June 09, 2008

Summer's Here!

Now what are we going to do about it?

We spent the morning outside-- and it was already nearly 90 degrees at 9:00 am. The kids wanted to spend some time outside, so I knew first thing in the morning was our best bet. They stayed out for about an hour riding bikes, climbing trees, shooting baskets and finding bugs. You know, normal kid stuff. I sat outside with them on my laptop, working away in the midst of shouts of, "Mom, look at me!"

My son said to me last night, "Mom, can we have a fun summer this year? Not a boring summer like last year where we just did the same thing day after day."

Hmmm, I guess I need to get creative!

My friend Valerie posted an interesting idea on her blog of making a poster for her kids of all the things they could do for fun summer activities. When I get some time (??), I think I am going to do something similar. I have pulled out several craft activity books to help me-- but I thought I would also ask here. You guys are experts-- so please post a comment with an idea for something fun, cool, and relatively inexpensive you do with your kids in the summertime. I think this could be a fun exchange of great ideas for beating the summer heat and keeping our kids from checking out with electronic entertainment.

I will start the ball rolling with this recipe for "Super Goop," taken from "The Preschooler's Busy Book" by Trish Kuffner. (A book chock full of great ideas which I highly recommend. I ordered it used from Amazon for a song!) My kids ask to make this all the time and it keeps them occupied for longer than most activities. (I won't say how long, though, because it will depress you.) I will warn you: it is messy to make. But worth it and you can always make the kids clean up-- which will occupy them for even longer!

Super Goop
2 cups water
1/2 cup cornstarch
food coloring
mixing spoon

Boil water in saucepan. Add cornstarch and stir until smooth. Add food coloring and stir-- play with the food coloring to get the color you want. Remove from heat and cool. Let kids squish away on the tabletop!

(While this idea came from a preschool book, it entertains almost all my kids!)

Can't wait to hear your ideas!
Pin It!


Alyce said...

Sidewalk chalk is always fun for them and you can also get washable paint for sidewalks/concrete. My kids do get bored w/ it after a while, so I have to find some ideas too!! And with it already over 100 degrees and gas so high, we've got to get VERY creative!

Jen said...

We played outside early this morning to avoid the heat...9-10 actually. We do walks in the am too. Painting is fun for them set up outside in the shade. We enjoy making fun deserts for the evening too..strawberry shortcake, brownies, pb cookies, homemade ice cream...smores are a huge hit for the kiddos.
Catching lightning bugs too is fun. Madison has enjoyed making sun tea...and Miller and I have done lemonade together...he is 2...and yes makes a mess but he loves it.
Sidewalk chalk is fun....painting the driveway is fun too. We have a garden and they help with it. We go to the pool alot and are going to do the library some on really hot days.
Hope this helps....Rocks in my Dryer did a Works for Me Wednesday last week the I'm bored summer edition...lots of info there...good luck.

Bonita said...

When my kids were young I liked to get them up and outside very early so they could stay out for a few hours before it became unbearable. In the afternoon you can either get out the kiddie pools (for the little ones) or let them nap, watch movies together. read books together that you don't get to in the school year, or cook (something that doesn't heat up the house like homemade popsicles). Also, how about building tents in the house. I always enjoyed that as a kid.

Playdough is fun, but messy. I had designated Playdough days when the kids were little. Those days didn't come around that often which made it a special treat.

I'm excited to hear what others have to say for the older kids. I have one that works all the time and the other that seems to have way too much free time on her hands. I could only hope for some of that free time!

Joanie Butler said...

For my little one outside activities are #1 on the list. We like to take nature walks and try to see how many animals, birds, or critters we can see. We also go to a pond at the back of the property and fish a bunch. I have also been able to find a few downloadable games on the internet that can be printed off. Right now the current favorite is a BINGO game that is done with photos of various different items, rather than using numbers and letters. We are slowly purchasing some of the old favorite board games with allowance money.

Looking forward to more ideas since gas prices are crazy we will be staying at home.

Anonymous said...

Hi - I've been reading your blog for a while now but haven't commented before. I really enjoyed your article at HOTM this month.

I am going to try out the super goop recipe today! It sounds like something my 4 year old will love!

Amy :)

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

Oooh--I have that book, from the first time I had a preschooler. I need to dig it back out.

My question is how you use your laptop in the sun. I try, I try, but it's tough.

maudie-mae said...


for hot summer days, there's nothing like a water fight--water balloons, water hoses, anything wet to cool them down.

for something fun, gooey and wonderfully tasteful, finger painting with chocolate pudding, your children can lick their fingers when they are done--use cookie sheets for mess containment.

if you have a globe, play where am i going today? spin it and stop it with your finger to see what exotic location you are going to today.

make your own playdough using kool-aid (the old fashioned kind--email me for the recipe along with some others for fun activities)

there's always the all-time favorite--making homemade ice cream

let your school age children have one day a week to plan and make dinner with adult supervision but as little adult involvement as possible--one summer i offered to teach my children how to cook three things they'd like to be able to cook on their own. my son chose pizza, mexican food, and dessert. my daughter told me she could read a recipe and didn't need my help. now that she's 22, she's recanted that statement.

if you sew, teach your children how to use the sewing machine, or sew a button on, or make something simple.

i got some fabric one year and some little squirt bottles and put some ceramacoat type acrylic paints that i watered down. i hung the fabric up and let the children squirt the fabric. make something with it OR get a white t-shirt for each child and let them squirt them and color them at will.

have a day of face painting

set up a back yard carnival with some simple games

i've given you lots of ideas that require some prep and forethought on your part, but if you get together with some other homeschool moms, you can do these as a collaborative effort and have a blast

sigh, i miss the days you are having with your children--mine are grown and out of the house now.

Michelle said...

Super Goop is so fun! Great ideas. Yesterday, Karla at Looking Towards Heaven posted about a FREE Family Film Festival of G and PG movies at Regal Cinemas around the country. Regal's site lists locations and schedules by state. I have a couple craft ideas I'll post later also.

Anonymous said...

I'm planning on doing a FUN olympic unit study! We will learn about China, eat chinese, make a lapbook (freebie from homeschool share) have a mini-olympics games with a few other families....FUN!!

Anonymous said...

Looks fun. We spend all summer in our bathing suits--we live on an "island," (really a peninsula, but it sounds fancier to say The Island, I suppose). If we're not in the pool, we're out on the boat. Just a little spritz of water and we're cooled off. We rarely even leave the house in the summer.

Lysa TerKeurst said...

We have discovered a new family obsession that is sooooo much fun. It is an outside game called Bocci (sp?) ball.

I bought our set for Art for an early Father's Day gift from Dick's Sporting Goods... on sale!

It is so much fun for everyone!!! Just don't let the little ones drop the balls on their toes.

I'm praying for you today. And for Curt. And for your book. Give your precious kids a hug for me.

Digging for Pearls said...

Hi Marybeth,
Just wanted you to know that I am praying for you as you are getting things ready for She Speaks next week. May you feel God's loving presence in a special way.

Chatty Kelly said...

Just a note to let you know I"m praying for the P31 team as you head into action next week! And I'm enjoying your book (Write Reasons) in prepartion.

Thanks for the goo! (that sounds so odd, doesn't it?) But my 4 yr old and 8 yr old thank you!

Nicki said...

We'll have to try this!!! Sounds like fun!!

I just wanted to tell you that I'm praying for you as you prepare for She Speaks! I can't wait to see what the Lord does and meet you!

Lisa said...


Once again, what PERFECT timing you P31 ladies have!!! I have two little ones and summer is looming on the horizon (we had a district strike so we're the very last ones to be done with school) and I'm already more than a little panicked about keeping them entertained.

I just wanted to let you know that I'm praying for you and all the ladies making preparation to attend She Speaks. I wish I was one of them!

Love and blessings!

Sonya said...


I saw on Lysa's post that you are having trouble posting today. I am praying for you and your family.

You are such a blessing to so many people. You are touching lives that you probably don't realize! Don't get discouraged, fight the fight and lean hard on God. The end result is victory! We may seemingly loose some battles along the way, but because of what Jesus has done we have already won the war!!

Michelle said...

Praying for you, the P31 team and attendees preparing for She Speaks. For the Write Reason has been such a blessing in my preparation for the conference. I look forward to meeting you there.

Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

MaryBeth-because of the Lords leading, I will be in one of your sessions at She Speaks next week. Know that I am praying fro you daily until we meet!!

In His Graces~Pamela

Joyful said...

Hi MaryBeth, I read on Lysa's blog that you're having technical difficulties. Praying that clears up soon - that can be SO FRUSTRATING!!!

Hope you don't have another "boring summer" :o) When my son was younger (he's turning 16 tomorrow!), one of his favourite things to do was pack up his lunch and head to the park - with NO time restrictions! We would take books, kite, blankets, toys for creating sand castles etc...and just have simple fun.

I will be attending "She Speaks" next weekend and I just wanted you to know of my prayers. I am praying and claiming Psalm 91 over you - that God will guard, guide and protect you and that you will find your refuge, strength and hope in Him.


Alyce said...

hi there..just letting you know that I am lifting you and the team up for the She Speaks conference..stay focused and let God lead!