Friday, May 24, 2013

Homemade Bubbles and Pipe Cleaner Wands

My 4 year old and I created a Summer Bucket List of 50 things we would like to accomplish this summer. Today, we checked another thing off the list.

Today's activity: Homemade Bubble Solution and Pipe Cleaner Wands

This activity can be done inexpensively with items that you already have in your home. I didn't have any glycerin in the house, so I was a little nervous about making bubbles that would work, but this recipe worked well and was very easy for the girls to make.

Homemade Bubble Solution Recipe
*I found this recipe on Apartment Therapy's website
  • 1/2 Cup Liquid Dish soap (Joy or Dawn work best, we used Dawn)
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 2 tsp Sugar

 Measuring the soap
Adding the water
Adding the sugar (my 4 year old dressed herself today...a very interesting outfit!)

We took the solution outside and made our pipe cleaner wands. The wands were easy to make, you just form them into whatever shape you would like and twist to secure to the "handle". Then it was time to blow bubbles!

We discussed how even though the wands were different shapes, that the bubbles all came out in spheres. We also observed that the larger wands made bigger bubbles. The girls had a great time and we went through the entire thing of bubbles!

What fun activities are you doing with your kids this summer? Please share in the comments!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Our Summer Bucket List: Pretend Birthday Party

My four year old daughter and I put together a Summer Bucket List of 50 things that we would like to do this summer as a family. I tried to get her creative input as much as possible because I want the activities to be fun and engaging.

If you would like to create a Summer Bucket List for your family, you can download my free printable here.

 Today, we decided that our first Bucket List activity would be to throw a Pretend Birthday Party for ourselves. We came up with a list of activities and threw ourselves a our pajamas or course!

First, we baked some "cupcakes", which are really Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins from Weelicious (my favorite site for kid friendly recipes). I am trying to adapt more of a Montessori teaching style in our home, so I am trying to let the girls do all activities that they are capable of doing by themselves. I helped make the "cupcakes", but allowed them to do most of the measuring, pouring, and mixing. Baking is a great learning experience for toddlers and preschoolers. It not only allows them to practice their fine motor skills, but is also a great introduction to counting and fractions.

Peeling and mashing the bananas

Whisking the wet ingredients

Putting the cupcake wrappers in the pan
Pouring batter into the cupcake wrappers

While we were waiting for the "cupcakes" to bake, we wrapped a pretend present using a shoebox and wrapping paper. I allowed both of them to cut the wrapping paper with their safety scissors and they taped the paper onto the box. I also had a bow and scraps of ribbon that they glued on for decoration.
4 year old cutting wrapping paper

Two year old cutting wrapping paper

Decorating the box
Next, the girls made birthday cards with markers and stickers. I had my four year old trace Happy Birthday and she wrote her name, while my two year old just drew free form.
By the time they completed these activities, the "cupcakes" were ready to decorate. They each chose two candle and we put on whipped cream and sprinkles.
Finally, it was time for the party. We sang Happy Birthday, ate our "cupcakes" and unwrapped the present.

This turned out to be a fun and creative pretend play activity. What is your favorite pretend play activity? Please share in the comments.

Our Summer Bucket List

I haven't posted in quite some time, but I want to share with you our plans for the summer. My eldest daughter and I came up with our summer bucket list. This is a list of 50 items that we are going to accomplish this summer. Hopefully, I will be able to share some, if not all of our completed activities.

We live in Arizona and it is HOT during the summer. I want to make sure that we don't fall into the trap of watching TV just to stay out of the heat. Hopefully on the days the day that we are bored and feeling uninspired, we can go to our list and find a few activities.

Summer Bucket List
  1. Vacation in the mountains
  2. Picnic at the park
  3. Family game night
  4. At home movie theater night
  5. Build a sand castle
  6. Have a water fight
  7. Run through the sprinklers
  8. Go to the zoo
  9. Make ice cream
  10. Visit the Children's Museum
  11. Go to the farmer's market
  12. Go to the orchard and pick peaches
  13. Make Popsicles
  14. Build a campfire
  15. Make s'mores
  16. Go fishing
  17. Create art
  18. Wash the dogs
  19. Dress up and have a tea party
  20. Paint our toe nails
  21. Write a letter and mail it
  22. Finger paint
  23. Make cookies and deliver them to a friend
  24. Sponge paint
  25. Make heart sugar cookies and decorate
  26. Build a fort
  27. Have a pretend birthday party
  28. Plant flowers
  29. Draw hopscotch and play
  30. Make an obstacle course
  31. Have a pancake party
  32. Play with sidewalk chalk
  33. Go swimming
  34. Wash the car
  35. Bike wash
  36. Go to the splash pad
  37. Make a picture with outdoor things
  38. Make a sock puppet
  39. Play dress-up
  40. Go camping in the backyard
  41. Make footprints
  42. Do a new puzzle
  43. Make bath paint
I have also created a FREE Summer Bucket List printable, so that you can make your own bucket list.

What is on your bucket list for this summer? Feel free to share the link to your bucket list in the comment section.