Family Plan for Summertime

It’s summertime.  If you’re anything like me you have big ideas for family fun and projects to get done but before you know it summer has sailed by.  That’s why I loved this idea of my sister’s so much.  (She also came up with the game in the last post which just proves that she provides the best ideas!)

Anyway, last summer she made this chart for her family with spaces for Work, Play, and Learn.  She called a family meeting and then everyone in the family used a different color to write their plans in each category.  Their summer was well-balanced and productive but still a lot of fun.

Summer Chart

We were doing school this summer and the girls would probably blur Work and Learn together so our chart this summer was a little different with Play, Learn, and Projects as our categories.


This is such a quick easy way to focus your summer plans and make sure that everyone is on the same page.  I just think it’s such a great way to organize your summer!

Bad Bug Bite Blues

This has been a very buggy summer.  If you haven’t noticed then you probably haven’t been outside.  We have horrible mosquitoes here right now but it appears that many places are suffering from increased mosquitoes.  So, I thought I would share this super tip we got from a lady in CVS regarding mosquito bites.

That’s right, this tip comes from some random lady who saw us looking for something to relieve the girls’ bug bites while we were back East and she stopped us to share her experiences and recommendations.  She told us to have the girls soak in a bath in epsom salts.  And guess what?  It totally works!  When the girls get bad bug bites, we give them a bath and dump a bunch of epsom salt into the water.  Afterwards the swelling goes down and they itch less (I know because I do it too).

If you aren’t familiar with epsom salts, you can pick them up at any drug store.  They are cheap and tend to be in a cardboard box like a milk container.  They are completely safe, even if they get in your mouth (in fact, some people use epsom salt as a laxative).

Hopefully this brings you some relief!  And thank you to the random lady in CVS!



Beach Baby Tip

While looking through our summer pictures, I was reminded of this tip from my sister that has worked great for us.  And while summer is drawing to a close, it’s still beach weather or maybe for next year…  Anyway, my sister’s suggestion for when we go to the beach is to bring a baby pool!

Zoe enjoying the pool at the beach in 2010

We spend a week in the Outer Banks every year and this has worked great for us as well as for our nephews.  When they were tiny it was a great way for them to play in the water without being overwhelmed by waves, especially on rough water days.  Now that they play out in the ocean with us, they still love sitting in the pool to cool off or using the water to build in the sand.  Even my 9-year-old nephew appreciated being able to easily build sand castles with the water.

Mia in the pool in 2012

We just bring a little blow up pool with our stuff.  It’s easy to stuff it in with all of our other stuff and pretty quick to set up.  As soon as we get out to the beach we blow it up and then fill it with a few bucketfuls of water.



Sunshine On My Shoulders

If there is one thing we have a lot of here in Arizona, it’s sunshine so it only made sense to do some sun activities.  And ever since we read Fancy Nancy: Stellar Stargazer the girls have been obsessed with their favorite sun fact: “The sun is a star!”  We did two different art projects, a felt board story, and made sun prints.  We sang “You are My Sunshine” and “The Itsy Bitsy Spider,” and of course I played John Denver’s “Sunshine on My Shoulders” for the girls.  My biggest goal was for Mia and Zoe to start to understand why we need to wear sunscreen as we kick off our summertime fun.

Skills: science, art, life skills, letter recognition, music

Puffy Paint Suns

We used homemade puffy paint out of shaving cream to make these.  Thank you so much to Kendra for turning us onto this!  I mixed equal parts shaving cream and glue and then added in the paint.  Since the other things are white, I added in some orange to darken up the yellow paint.

We’ve done this before and I found it was easier to cut out the design ahead of time from posterboard (or another hard paper or cardboard).  Then I laid it over paper for the girls to go to town painting.  It took them a little bit to get used to the feel this time but they really loved moving the paint around.  Just be sure you can wash up immediately after this activity.  🙂

Paper Plate Suns

While our puffy paint suns were fun to make, they didn’t really look like suns when we were finished so I decided to have us also make these paper plate ones.  They were super easy to put together but Zoe and Mia seemed to enjoy them.  We painted paper plates with yellow, orange, gold, and silver sparkle paint.  Then the girls glued on the yellow and orange rays that I had cut out ahead of time.

Sun Prints

The sun prints were really cool (I think Ed and I were just as excited as the girls) and they really showed just how powerful the sun can be.  We ordered ours from Amazon; we just got a small package but there are all kinds.  There wasn’t too much prep except to get a bowl of water ready and then to find what we wanted to put on our sheets.

Sunny Letters

We also practiced our letter recognition with these sunny letters from Sparkle Box.  We used the letters as a file folder game matching the lowercase letters on cards to the uppercase letters glued to the file folder.  And then we also practiced finding letters.

Uppercase Sun Alphabet
Lowercase Sun Alphabet

Felt Board Story

It’s been awhile since we’ve done a felt board story and the girls seemed excited to have it back.  We did the Sad Little Sunbeam from Sun Safe Central.  All the pieces are included so I just printed them on cardstock, laminated them (so we can use them next summer), and glued sandpaper to the back so they’ll stick.  The story is long but it seems to get the point across about how the sun can hurt us and how to stay safe.  I wondered how much the girls got out of it but later I caught both girls re-enacting the story on the felt board.  And since they’ve talked about needing sun safe clothes and sunglasses.  🙂

%d bloggers like this: