We’re almost there. My kids start school very soon, and even though I’m exhausted by summer, I’m really sad that they’re going back. I’ll miss them. So this week I’m pulling out all the stops to make sure we have a great last few days. There are outings and trips to the pool, but some days you just have to chill at home because you’re out of ideas and your kitchen floor hasn’t seen a mop since….let’s not talk about it.
So if we haven’t had outings to do, we’ve been digging deep for some fun activities that we can do outdoors when it’s cool enough, or indoors when it’s blazing hot outside.
Experiments in Catapulting
If you have a board in your garage and a rock in your yard, you have an instant catapult. We experimented with matchbox cars, pieces of chalk, small stuffed animals, and even dirt. I tried to warn them that the dirt would probably just fly into their eyes, but you know. Live and learn.
Car painting (with water)
This is the absolute easiest activity, and my kid will do it for MINUTES. Like enough minutes for me to feel like it’s a success. Give each kid a cup and a small paintbrush, and let them “paint” your car. Or your house. Or the ground. Whatever they want. It works best on dark colored cars, where they can see the change. Even better if your car is caked with dirt like mine.
Trampoline chalk drawings
My kids are so damn sick of sidewalk chalk. So when we actually had a morning cool enough to jump on the trampoline, I tossed some chalk at them and showed them that “Hey! You can DRAW on here!” Minds. Blown. Like it never occurred to them. Not really sure why, since they seem to think that every other surface in and around this house is suitable for drawing, but whatever.
This was especially cool because the trampoline was wet from hosing off all the pesky bird poop. Cleanliness and such.
Toilet paper roll painting
My kids get tired of regular painting on blank paper. This project only takes an empty toilet paper roll, some paint, and some paper. My kids go through a roll of toilet paper approximately every 2-3 hours, so no problem there. Just dip the end of the toilet paper roll in paint, and press onto the paper for a fun, colorful project.
My friend Angela from Jumping With my Fingers Crossed did a really fun project making a sun catcher from plastic beads. I have a shitton of beads, and this might actually be a good way to keep them from getting scattered all over my carpet.
If you don’t want to melt your own, you can get little plastic sun catchers and glass paint from the craft store for super cheap. This kept my girls busy longer than a regular painting activity, and it’s challenging to keep the paint inside the designated areas. And when we ran out of sun catchers, I may have handed them a white ceramic mug to keep them busy for a little while longer.
Don’t buy the overpriced kit that looks like a good deal, but in actuality only has 2 sun catchers in it and a few little vials of paint. Rip. Off.
I really wanted to find things that were free, that you could find around the house, but when Claire sat at the table for up to 2 hours yesterday, crafting the most excellent and colorful cat, I had to throw these Perler beads (affiliate link) in there. If your kids are done with the painting and the coloring and the playing outside, this might actually be worth spending a little money on. You can also find them at your local craft store. Someone gave me a set last year, and it’s been sitting in the top of my closet, waiting for the day I was brave enough to bust it out. (And it’s seriously therapeutic for adults who may need a little down time too.)
We’re almost there, moms and dads. How are you surviving these last few days of summer?