Happy Monday! Time for a list! Here’s a few simple ways to make some memories this week with a special focus on summer fun.
1. Make ice necklaces! Freeze some long lengths of yarn in water filled muffin cups. Have the kids add bits of things to make designs if they like — flower petals, clovers, glitter, etc. — and then freeze till solid. Next time they’re really hot outside they can wear a necklace to cool down!
2. Teach the kids to whistle with blades of grass and stage your own backyard grass concert together.
3. Make pounded flower stationery. Take some sturdy white paper or cardstock and some medium sized, smooth rocks. Next, have the kids gather flower petals and leaves of all sorts and colors. Position your petals and leaves between two sheets of paper and then pound and pound and pound over the petal! Lift and see what sorts of colors have transferred onto your paper. You can also use flowers in other ways to stain your paper. You can rub yellow dandelions right on to stain the paper, and you can dust the pollen from lilies all over. We have some bright orange lilies that have such intensely colored dust that my kids often end up with orange noses. When you’re finished with your stationery, write a letter to a loved one on it and make someone’s day.
4. Shake a bush. No really, bear with me. Get a light colored sheet and put it beneath a bush and then have the kids shake it like crazy. See if any interesting little bugs drop down onto your sheet. If you like, catch them in a jar with some leaves and study them for a bit before letting them go under their bush again.
5. Make squirt gun art. Give the kids each a piece of poster board and some washable markers and ask them to use lots of colors and make a design all over the posterboard. They can do lines, colored circles, patterns, whatever. The more color the better! Hang them on the clothes line or prop them up in the back yard and give each child a squirt gun filled with water. Have them squirt their pictures to make the ink run and make new designs, colors and patterns.
6. Make fruit slushies in a bag! You may have tried making ice cream in a bag and tossing it with the kids outside (if you haven’t you should!). Even easier is to make fruit juice slushies. Simply put a half a cup of fruit juice in a small ziploc bag and seal well (we tape ours with duct tape). Then fill a gallon size ziploc bag about halfway with crushed ice and about half a cup of rock salt or kosher salt. Put your juice bag in that one and seal well. Have the kids toss and jostle the bag outside for about five minutes (they may want to wear mittens– it gets cold!). Unseal and you’ll have a fruit slushie!
7. Let the kids camp out in the back yard or living room. Better yet, join them. Don’t forget the campfire songs!
8. Fade some clothes. Let each child pick a dark or bright colored T-shirt and gather an assortment or rocks or other small, heavy shapes. Have the kids arrange their shapes on the T-shirts in a sunny place where they can remain undisturbed for a few days. Have them check their shirts every few days until they have faded enough to make the pattern really visible.
9. Go strawberry picking.
10. Invent some garden drinks. If you grow herbs like mint or lemon verbena (which is such a heavenly scent that I can’t recommend it enough!), invite the kids to pick some, wash it and crush it in the bottom of a glass. Add ice and drink of choice (carbonated water, 7-up, water, hot water for hot tea…) and honey or sugar to taste. They can experiment with other edible flowers like roses and violets if you’re sure they have not been treated with pesticides. Just keep in mind some edible flowers aren’t necessarily sweet! Nasturtiums, for example, are peppery and perfect for salads but not so nice for an iced drink. If you don’t have your own plants, pick up some strawberries, mint and such from the grocery store and invite the kids to use those. Alternately, just let them use scoops of fruit juice concentrate to make their private cococtions. I highly recommend investing in some cheap goblets for occasions like these. Kids feel so marvelously sophisticated when they get to drink from goblets!
And with that,I’m off to bed. Kiss your babies, count your blessings and don’t forget to take care of you!
Have a magical week!