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Entries in activity (276)


Balloon Fun

We have a birthday here this week so balloons are a must! Somehow they just make everything seem more festive! My friend Jennifer Cooper over at Classic Play posted some fun ways to turn balloons into a super cool toy!

I kind of want to try the yoyo first! 


Back From Vacation! and a Slingshot

We're back! We had an amazing trip and can't thank our guest posters enough for filling in while we were gone! The trip was pretty uneventful and SO relaxing. One small jellyfish sting and some bug bites were the worst of it. The boys loved catching geckos, anoles, crabs and toads. 

Would you all like to see the personal photos from our trip? I don't want to bore you with our vacation photos if you aren't interested so I thought I'd ask first ;)

My boys did want me to share the slingshot they made with their dad. Aunt T found the perfect slingshot stick on a beach walk. Dad made some small slits in the wood for the rubber band to "hold" on to. A thick plastic piece from a bag of avacados made a center piece (leather would have been better but we couldn't find any). By folding the plastic piece in half you can make a slit that doesn't go all the way through that the rubber ban can grab on to. The slingshot even made it home with us!


Messy Play Date

Posting for us today is Amber from Click Pray Love - you all have LOVED her toddler play ideas in the past so we had to have her back to share again! Take it away Amber!
A few months ago I was introduced to Crystal and her blog Growing a Jeweled Rose (which I highly recommend visiting if you are looking for toddler activities).  I was very intrigued with the messy play dates she hosts in her home.
A few weeks passed and Crystal posted "Tips For Hosting A Messy Play Date."  After reading her post, I was convinced I could host a messy play date.  I prepared and sent an email to several friends gauging their interest in attending.  A few things I included in the email (based on Crystal's tips):
  • I will gladly gather the supplies and set up the stations (along with a place to rinse off once the fun has ended)
  • Each family will be asked to give $10 to cover the cost of the supplies and a small lunch for the children
  • I need at least 10 people to commit before moving forward
On May 30th, I hosted my first messy play date and it was a BLAST!!!!!!!  Including my son, there were 14 children (plus 4 little ones) and 12 moms.  
There were 5 stations:
  • Creature Catch-Digging in soil to find plastic insects, bugs, lizards, snakes, etc.
  • Paint a Rock-Self explanatory :)
  • Barnyard Sensory Play-Rice filled pool with Little People Barn, plastic animals, containers to fill, handkerchiefs, and cowboy hats
  • Bubble Bazaar-Pan full of bubble solution with various wands
  • Marker Madness- Paper hung with available markers and stickers
The kids absolutely loved the Barnyard Sensory Play.  They enjoyed filling the watering cans/cowboy hats with rice and pouring it into the farm.  They also enjoyed dumping it out onto the ground, which we tried to prevent as much as possible.  This was probably the most popular station.

Kids simply love bubbles, especially toddlers.  To keep my first messy play date set up more simple, I decided to fill a tub with bubbles and allow the kids to be as messy as the wanted.  They are more used to their moms (me included) trying to prevent them from spilling the bubbles, being annoyed because they aren't using the wand correctly, etc.  

Not this time.......They were allowed to play to their hearts content and make as big of a mess as they wanted.

Kids love dirt and while some kids don't love bugs most of them enjoyed digging for them.  Plus, it didn't take long before those who weren't interested in the bugs to begin using the various instruments (shovels, looking glass, nets, etc.) to simply dig the dirt.
Great catch!!

When brainstorming activities I thought about the things my son loves to do.  One of those activities is play with stickers.  He doesn't love markers as much, but several of his buddies do.  I knew it would be easy to couple the two together and have a wall where the kids could stick and mark as they please.

Of course, this is where my son spent most of his time.
I did not anticipate how big of a mess the "Paint A Rock" station would be, but it didn't seem to bother anyone.  I know it was a messy play date, but even this kind of grossed me out (keep scrolling to see the aftermath).

The play date began around 9:45 a.m. with lunch served around 11:15 a.m.  Following lunch, some played a little longer, but several had to go home for nap time.
We live in South Florida, so it was HOT, but you can't keep your kids inside all summer.  Crystal hosts her messy play dates in her basement, which is another great option if you don't have carpet.

There was a lot of set up, but I will definitely do it again.  It was totally worth the time, as the kids had a BLAST and it was great to chat with some of the mothers.

I am now planning a water based messy play date for July.
You can see more photos from our messy play date over on my blog Click.Pray.Love. and explore more messy play date ideas at Growing a Jeweled Rose.  
If you have any questions about hosting your own messy play date, feel free to email me at amboleslie{at}gmail{dot}com

Now, I'll leave you with my little cowboy!!

Fort Friday

For a special Fort Friday this week head on over to Modern Parents Messy Kids where I'll show you how to make a structure for your fort out of newspaper! If you haven't seen Modern Parents Messy Kids before you're in for a treat!

Next week we'll share some forts we found while in Hawaii!


Oversize Paper Airplanes

Today with a fun post for you is my friend Jenn from Ambrosia Creative (the genius who created the design of my header and buttons)


Oversize Paper Airplanes

On any given day, my boys are making and flying paper airplanes. Indoors or outdoors, it never gets old to them. To mix things up a bit, I thought it might be fun to experiment with oversize planes. While the learning curve to launch the plane was a bit steep for my 4 and 6-year-olds, this would be enjoyable for older kids and mom or dad.

You will need some large paper (we used sheets from this Crayola paper pad) and/or some lightweight poster-board. We kept our plane designs simple and first folded a traditional dart.

 This airplane gets awesome distance! Though if flying outdoors, any small gust of wind can blow it off track. And the second plane (instructions below) is a great outdoor trick flyer if folded from lightweight poster-board.

With the larger plane size, you may have to do some tweaking and adjustments like taping the nose so that the wings stay closer together, or folding the wings so that they slope upward. Allison has some other great ideas for flyers and that would also be fun to experiment with in a larger size. Happy flying!

Lawn Games

There's the usual lawn games - horshoes, mini golf, and croquet. If you spend a lot of time outdoors lawn games are a fun addition to your yard to keep little (and big) people busy and having fun. I found some fun DIY games and a few fun ones to buy if you'd like to add some fun to your backyard this summer.

DIY Shishkaball from This Old House

A DIY cornhole game from the DIY Network

Pipe ball also from This Old House

Ladderball from Lowes Creative Ideas

Giant bowling from Amazon

We are busy making our Summer Bucket List have you started yours yet?


The Wheels on the Box

I recently discovered The Cardboard Collective a beautiful blog filled with cardboard inspiration. I loved this smart idea so much I had to share.

You know those extra sturdy fruit and vegetable boxes? (we've gotten them at Costco here) Well attach some casters to the bottom of one of those + one of dad's old ties and you have lots of (cheap) fun!

Check out The Cardboard Collective for all the details and even more cardboard fun!


Summer Bucket List Challenge!

My friends over at the Happy Family Movement are hosting a big Summer Bucket List challenge!

The Summer Bucket List is free, fun for all ages challenge is based on a simple premise: time spent together as a family is time well spent. Participating is simple, too. All you have to do is sign up on their site!

We are going to be playing along too - there will be some fun giveaways on their blog (including one from us) and most important, inspiration to have fun as a family!

Families who sign up for the Summer Bucket List Challenge will get a set of fun tools and resources designed to help them along the way:

• a Summer Bucket List Challenge guide, complete with sample activities
• eligibility for weekly prize draws
• regular updates on the Happy Family Movement blog (yes, we’ve got our own Summer Bucket List!)
• access to a great community on Facebook

What are you waiting for? Go sign up!

We'll share our Summer Bucket List soon. I'd love to see yours!