Have you spent the past six weeks refereeing water fights and supervising trampoline time? Kids spend so much time at home during the summer months that even the most festive activities may feel tired. Here are six creative ways to make it through the rest of the summer!
Build a fairy garden
Although small, these ethereal displays pack quite a powerful punch. Find a container or space to grow your fairy garden, perhaps a barrel or abandoned tree stump. Then, arrange potting soil, moss and small plants. Accessorize with stones, gems, sea glass, wood slices or sand. Incorporate fairies, gnomes, wizards, cottages, and other whimsical miniatures for an enchanted array kids are sure to love!
Plant a pollinator garden
Kids can get outside and get their hands dirty, all while helping vulnerable species! Numbers of monarch butterflies have decreased significantly over the last 20 years and, this year, the rusty patched bumble bee became the first ever bumble bee to be listed as endangered. Get involved today, learn a little and have some summer fun by planting a pollinator garden full of flowering plants native to your area. All you’ll need is a sunny spot, some local nursery-started varieties and nutrient-rich soil. Then, simply wait, watch, water and weed. Which pollinators will stop to smell the roses?
DIY stepping stones
Kids can also show off their creative flair and help accessorize the garden! To craft personalized stepping stones, have them arrange shells, stones, tiles, small mirrors and other decorative elements on the bottom of any plastic mold. Spray the mold with cooking spray, mix quick setting concrete and pour. Let sit for about an hour before turning over, removing the stone and adding to the garden.
Mix up your own chalk
Speaking of creativity … Most elementary-aged artists are familiar with sidewalk chalk, but the DIY-ing can be just as much fun as the drawing. For a fresh take on a classic, try making sidewalk chalk yourselves. Cover one end of a toilet paper tube with tape and line the inside with wax paper. Fill a bucket with warm water and sprinkle plaster of paris over the top. Stir with a plastic spoon until the mixture starts to harden. Then, add tempera paint to the mixture and stir thoroughly. Press each tube, tape side down, onto a flat surface and pour the mixture in. Tap the sides of each tube to release air bubbles. Leave undisturbed for three days to dry thoroughly. Then, hit the pavement and make a masterpiece!
Blow giant bubbles
Similarly, you can skip the store-bought bubbles for the rest of the summer! DIY a giant bubble wand and homemade bubble solution for sudsy summer fun. For the wand, drill holes in one end of two dowels and screw in eye bolts. Cut 3 feet of cotton rope and fasten to the ends of the dowels. Cut 5 additional feet of rope and attach to only one end to the dowel. Thread a few washers, to serve as weights, on this length of rope before attaching the other end. For the bubble solution, mix 2 cups of dish soap, 2 tablespoons of baking powder, 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and 4 tablespoons of glycerin. Stir in a half gallon of distilled water and let sit overnight.
Play in the water
If your children are tired of the sprinkler, give water games a fun, fresh twist! Instead of a typical water balloon fight, play water balloon baseball or string up water balloon pinatas. Create your own slip and slide with just a hill and a drop cloth. Even a simple bucket of soap and water can fascinate younger children. Plus, the less time that sprinkler runs the more water you save!
Shopping for a new kid-friendly home this summer? Find a mortgage expert at a Motto Mortgage office near you.