With summer upon us, parents may find themselves falling back to the same old summer activities to entertain their children: Play-Doh, parks, sidewalk chalk, swimming, sprinklers, and eating popsicles. We’re going to explore 3 popular summertime activities that will not only be fun & exciting for the kids, but also easy on your wallet!
1) UNBREAKABLE BUBBLES
Blowing bubbles is a fun activity any time of year for kids of all ages. A quick trip to the store will show you many different varieties of bubbles, including scented ones! However, you can make your own bubbles right at home with a few simple ingredients. The Exploritorium shares the recipe they use in their bubble exhibits:
- 2/3 cup Dawn dish washing soap
- 1 gallon water
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of glycerin
After gently stirring the ingredients together, they recommend leaving the solution in an open container overnight to let some of the alcohol from the dish washing soap to evaporate. They also mention that the solution seems to get better over time so perhaps make up a batch a couple days before you intend to use it.
There are many other recipes out there, so if you do not have glycerin or cannot find it in the store, don’t despair! Corn syrup or sugar will also work well.
Now that you have these unbreakable bubbles, you’ll need some special tools to make the bubbles even more fun! You can definitely reuse bubble wands from previous bottles but making your own wands will be a fun craft for your kids. An easy DIY bubble wand can be made from pipe cleaners. Your kids can design their own with various colors and shapes.
Your older children may enjoy making slightly more decorated bubble wands using beads and wire. You can even attach a charm at the bottom of the wand for a more personalized look. These would also make super-cute party favors or birthday gifts! Refill old bubble containers with your unbreakable bubble solution, attach a handmade bubble wand, and you’re set!
However, if you want to make the largest bubbles for maximum fun, you’ll need cotton string and plastic straws (or wooden dowels). These large wands go together quickly to allow you more time seeing who can make the largest, unbreakable bubbles.
Want to make an even BIGGER bubble! Use a kiddie pool & a hula hoop! Even the grown ups will have fun standing inside of a bubble.
Last of all, you will need a place to store your bubble solution. Recycling an old laundry container is perfect! Your kids can help themselves to this bubble refill station anytime they run out!
2) ICE CUBE FUN
A great summertime activity for kids is to keep cool while playing with ice cubes, especially here in Texas where the temperature regularly hits the triple digits!
My son loves to use tools and pretend he’s a paleontologist or geologist, digging up treasures! So naturally, he loves this idea from Chasing Cheerios about excavating for toys buried in ice. You can freeze just about any toys in any size freezable container. Then arm your children with various tools & equipment such as hammers, picks, spoons, salt, water droppers, squirt bottles etc. Set everything up outside in a large tray, and you’re ready to go!
I really like this idea of painting with ice cubes, and there are two ways to do this activity. An easy option is to add water to ice cube trays then mix in liquid watercolors and freeze overnight. Then let your children paint with the rainbow ice cubes.
Another fun way to paint with ice is to make your own icy sidewalk chalk. You can experiment with this project by using whatever ingredients you have available: flour, cornstarch, koolaid, watercolors, food coloring, or even baking soda & vinegar for fizzing sidewalk chalk!
There are some great ideas for ice sensory play with your little ones. This OCTO-ICE idea from Growing a Jeweled Rose promises to be a fun new way to explore frozen materials! Plus, you could make extra rainbow pasta – some for your OCTO-ICE and some for lunch!
This ice boat activity would be a fun day care or camp project. You can experiment with the phases of water and talk about why ice floats. You could also build an aluminum raceway and let your kids race their ice boats!
This last ice activity involves using a variety of your recyclables. Gather up as many freezable containers as you can and make a rainbow of shapes & sizes. When everything is frozen, let your children make ice sculptures and experiment with how their sculptures change as they melt.
3) WATER BLOB
Water play outdoors is always a great summer activity. What if your kids are tired of playing in the sprinkler? Why not try out the water blob! This activity from A Bird and A Bean is sure to be a huge hit with your kids! You will need heavy duty clear sheeting from the hardware store, at least 4 mm thick, and duct tape. You can add in food coloring, glitter, or sponge toys for more exploring fun!
Have you tried any of these summertime activities with your kids? Share your stories with us in the comments!