- By supernovamommy
- 18 July, 2012
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Summer Activity Ideas
By Angela Pounders
When most people think of summer, they think about the heat, the beach and keeping cool. These crafts play off of those themes. So, when it’s too hot to go outside, you aren’t at the beach and you are trying to stay inside and stay cool, try out the following!
Crepe Paper Sunshine
What is summer without a bright sunshine?! This craft is super easy and kept my little one busy for some time. We made it last summer and it is STILL hanging on our bathroom door!
This craft is a great way for younger children to use their fine motor skills as they tear the streamers into smaller pieces and then place them on the circle cut out. Not only is it fun, but it’s “green” since you can do it reusing materials around your home.
Supplies Needed: An old cereal box or any other type of cardboard box/yellow party streamers/glue stick/scissors
What to do:
- Trace desired size circle on cardboard and cut out. Older children can help with this part or do it by themselves.
- Have your child tear the streamer pieces into little “squares.”
- Cover one side of the circle with glue and let your child work at covering all of the glue, thus covering the circle.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Put on display! (You could hole punch the sun and hang by a string.)
Ocean in a Bottle
Can’t make it to the beach this year? Bring the ocean to you! Okay, it won’t be the same, but you and your child can have fun making your own waves! This project will show your child the effects of energy in motion. The first time I did this, I had too much water and not enough oil. It was still fun to play with, but these instructions will give you better results. Just about any kind of oil will do (read: not motor oil!). We used vegetable oil, but one site I saw recommended mineral oil because it is colorless. An adult will have to do most of the work on this one, but the end result is worth it!
Supplies Needed: Empty water bottle/water/oil /food coloring/funnel/scissors/masking tape and or hot glue/foam sea creatures, sand, little shells, etc
What to do:
- Remove the label from your water bottle. An adult may have to cut it off.
- Add foam sea creatures, sand, shells, etc to the bottle.
- Have your child fill the bottle half full of water.
- Add desired food coloring and swirl to mix. Just a few drops will do.
- Use the funnel to fill the bottle almost full with oil. Make sure to leave a small space for air at the top.
- Secure the lid with hot glue and/or masking tape. I used masking tape and only allowed my daughter to see her ocean in a bottle with adult supervision.
- Now sit back and enjoy the view!
Fruity Homemade Popsicles
Looking for a yummy way to stay cool this summer? Thanks to Sid the Science Kid (Kid, Kid), I came across this fun activity that teaches children about states of matters and reversible change (as well as patience!). Sounds like a huge concept, but my then 2 ½ year old totally got it with the help of this recipe. Your child will see how the orange juice turns to ice when placed in the freezer and will see the ice melt back into juice as the Popsicle is eaten. We carried this further with ice cubes and ice cream. *We made six popsicles with our one banana and had OJ left over for breakfast. We doubled the paper cups to ensure no leaking. This recipe is WAY kid-friendly as children can do most, if not all, of it themselves.
Supplies Needed: Orange juice (we made ours from concentrate ahead of time)/3 oz paper cups/Popsicle sticks/banana/knife/scotch tape
What to Do:
1. Peel and cut banana into half inch thick coin pieces. (Banana could even be cut with a Popsicle stick to make it safer for little ones.)
2. Push a Popsicle stick into each banana piece, being careful not to go all the way through and place one in each cup.
3. Pour orange juice into cups. *I don’t know why, but when we did this, some of the bananas started to float. Nothing of the sort was mentioned in the video we saw, but we easily fixed the problem by securing the sticks with tape to the cup. This helped to keep the banana piece flat on the bottom of the cup.
4. Put cups in the freezer and wait! It’s fun to check on the pops to see what state they are in. Older children can hypothesize how long it will take for the pops to freeze.
5. Just peel away the paper cup and enjoy.
Angela Pounders is a transplant to Manassas Park from Arlington. She is blessed to be a stay at home mama to two beautiful girls. As a former teacher (as well as preschool director and Children and Family Director), she is always on the look out for fun, easy and educational things to do with her girls. She also loves to share her ideas and is looking to start her own blog, The Master’s Daughter, by the fall.