Summer Break Ideas – Things to do at home to avoid the boredom!

Summer break for the school age kids and I seem to dread the kids being home for such a long time. They all seem to fight, eat everything, and I cant tell you how many times I hear the words ” I am bored.” So this summer we did things a little different around here to make it fun and not spend a fortune doing so! We did a variety of themes that I thought the kids would enjoy and incorporate smaller kids and bigger kids! I wanted to share with you all some activities, so you all can use them also in your home. So far the kids have loved it, and we have done a lot of fun stuff in just a months time. So let’s get started and if you think of any other themes we might be able to use over the years – please share!

Ocean Theme

We decorated the entire downstairs in ocean theme decorations. I got out any and everything I could think of to use that I already had. We had a baby pool, beach ball, pool rings and set them up in the living room. We used orbeez to create sensory buckets for the kids, and I did order some ocean animals ( Ocean Sea Animal ) off Amazon for a spectacular price to play in the buckets and on the kitchen table. You could even use a small amount of water in a bowl to play with them too! Just throwing some ideas out there for you all. We also took some time to do some easy crafts such as jellyfish paper bags and ocean sensory bags. I will show you how to do those and posts some links below for you to make your own. The kids loved these bags, and they were super simple to make.

There are so many different options for the summer break – do weekly themes as we do, organize bi-weekly ones, or even monthly! You can find so many different things to do with the kids for each of these themes that the options are endless! Our ocean theme was incredibly fun, and I can’t believe how much fun the kids had in the small pool we set up for pretend play. The jellyfish in the pictures I even made myself. The supplies were five bucks each at Walmart and only took me about a half an hour to put together. They can be saved or tossed at the end, but a couple of the little girls I watch wanted to take them home. A little creativity can go along way with this theme for sure!

Camping Theme

Camping theme for the week had to be one of my favorites so far! I have so many little ones that haven’t made it out camping that they were so excited to do this week’s activities! I created a camping scene right in my living room for them all when they arrived on Monday. Their faces were so lit up and all I heard all week was how neat the decorations were. I used a real tent we got for reasonably cheap at Walmart along with two little chairs I had laying around. I made a campfire with orange tissue paper, toilet paper rolls, and a silver bucket. I let the children come on Monday morning in their jammies along with sleeping bags, pillows, and blankets. We had a camping adventure that day and spent a lot of time on pretend play. We also had donuts in the morning just like you would do when you are camping. I can’t even tell you just how excited the kids were to do this with me. My kids slept in that tent all night for an entire week. The smiles were so bright when they woke up each day. It is something so simple that build memories to last a lifetime.

We did so many exciting projects for our camping week. We made smores one day together and trail mix for a snack during the week. I don’t know what kind of camping trip is complete without trail mix! Also, we did campfire handprints that turned out super adorable. I will share them with you in another post so you can do them with your kids too. I am super lucky that I have some fantastic daycare parents that made copies of camping images for me for the kids to color and stay busy. You can find these all over the internet for free to even print off for your little ones. I highly recommend setting up a camping theme for your kids – you can take blankets that you have at home and make a fort too. Just leave it for a couple of days and don’t mind the mess!

Olympic Theme

This is the very last theme we are doing this week with all my daycare kids. I bought a flag for the Olympics and a tablecloth to have for decorations this week. We will do some crafts, races, outside activities, receive medals and make torches. They will be worn out with all the fun activities planned and make some cute crafts along the way. I did come up with more ideas to do for decorations around the house but decided against it this week. Some of the simple activities we will do to compete with each other will include – bean bag toss, disc throw, high jump, and relay races. Honestly, you can do whatever you like with these too! On Friday we do water days around here, and we will have a water obstacle course set up in the backyard for the kids. I always set up the night before for those days because it does take a lot of time for setting up. I purchased about five different color pool noodles to use for the course as well. Those were cheap, and you can do so many different things with them.

I do have all sorts of things planned for July too. We will be on vacation next week but if you enjoy these ideas – I will post the ones we do in next month as well! I know it has helped myself get through summer without my own kids going crazy and bored. This gave the little ones some new things to do and play along with also having the older kids enjoy it too. In my book, it was a win-win in this house. Let me know what you think of these themes and any that I might not have thought about myself. I would love to hear from you!

Olympic Games 3×5 Feet Flag The Olympic Rings Banner with Grommets

International Flag Tablecover Party Accessory (1 count) (1/Pkg)

Honest Review of our New Subscription Box – Tinker Crate by Kiwi Company

We just got our new Tinker Crate box in the mail and wanted to show you what this one has to offer. For everyone new to this, let’s break it down a little bit. First, subscription boxes are a huge hit right now, if you haven’t heard of them you will probably see some ad, post, or a friend start talking about them soon enough. The options are endless on types of boxes you can get delivered straight to your door.  I am talking anything and everything you can think of from stylish clothes, workout gear, to even dog treats. If you want it, they probably have a box for it. I have to admit I have tried out a few different boxes and for the most part, loved it. Most of these companies offer a monthly box that ships to your house and it’s a complete surprise what is in it. I don’t know about you but I love surprises so this is the best part! Checking the mail and running home to open the box to see all the goodies inside! Most of the boxes run anywhere between $10 – $40 each month, which for most people is pretty reasonable. The Tinker Crate is for children of all ages and each box is put together for an age range.

 

Caiden, my middle son loves to put things together and build.  He has always been obsessed with legos and has always been a hands-on type kid,  so when I saw someone on my friend’s Facebook talk about Tinker crate, I knew I needed to look into it. The box we order is for ages 9-16+ and it focuses on science & engineering. The company refers to them as Hands – On Stem Projects. Kiwi Co does offer a variety of boxes for all different ages, from infant to teen. The box that I will show you today will be the first one we received,  a spin art machine. It took us about an hour to put together as it comes with a blueprint, all materials, and a booklet of extra experiments to do later on. Caiden can honestly do it all on his own if need be but each time the box has come in the mail we wait till the weekend to work on it together. He is 12 so I am really trying to soak in any quality time I can right now, I know some of you moms out there know what I mean.

This crate above we are putting together is battery ran and spins in circles. The final product is pretty amazing and we have kept each project we have put together so far. I’ve been super happy that he gets excited when each box ships and he has them stored in his room so he can take them out from time to time. This project will also be used this summer for the daycare kids so they can make their own spin art to take home as well. After building for quite some time, the crate is coming together and we are getting ready to test it out! This is the most exciting part!

The project is now complete and ready to be used and tested out. As we turn it on, we see it spin in circles. We can now add the paper to the spinner and use the paint that came with the box.  This is the best part of the whole thing and everyone gets a try. The end product is so worth it and my kids loved playing with it and experimenting! There are so many different types of subscription boxes to choose from and try out. most of them even offer a percentage off the first box to try it out! I am going to drop my link here at the bottom if you are interested in trying out any of the boxes from Kiwi Co. If you have used any – leave a comment too. I’d love to hear about other cool ones!

Here is the Kiwi Company website link – check it out! You will get a discount through the link too!

https://www.kiwico.com/Refer?i=DezaraeK

Cherrios Worm Craft For Kids

 

 

 

Look at this adorable worm craft. I can’t believe how super cute it is! This craft was one that I did with my daycare kids a couple of weeks ago, and they loved it. It was easy because it took some motor skills for them to be able to string the cherrios but it kept them entertained for a while. No one seemed to get frustrated and is a good thing for the kids to work on these skills to get ready for school. All you need is google eyes, pipe cleaners, and cherrios! We used regular cherrios for these, but honestly, you could use all different flavors. I ended up kinking the end of the pipe cleaner so the cherrios would stay on for the kids. The kids put the cereal on one by one until the pipe cleaner was filled up. I then took hot glue during nap time to glue on the eyes and they were ready to take them home!

We have been working on letters the past couple of months doing projects for each and every letter. This W for worm has to be one of my favorites so I needed to post it on the blog so you parents can give it a try too.

Supplies:

Pipe Cleaners – Creativity Street Chenille Stems/Pipe Cleaners 12 Inch x 6mm 100-Piece, Assorted Colors

Google Eyes –Variety Value Pack SANC 1 box/lot (approx.1120 pcs) 0.16 inches (4mm) to 1 inch (25mm) round Plastic self-adhesive black googly wiggle eyes Wide Variety Assorted Sizes

Cherrios ( any flavor )

Make sure to let me know if you try it! Enjoy!

Update – Milkweed Coming In Strong!

I know I have been a little MIA over the last couple weeks. It seems like things have got crazy hectic recently, so I haven’t made a whole lot of posts on here or any social media. I am back and ready to keep going. Wahoo! Right now I wanted to share with you my milkweed plant! It is growing like crazy right now, and it’s exciting! It still has a lot more to grow, but hey, we didn’t kill it at least, and that in my book is a success!

Since this is part two of the milkweed, make sure to read part one down below. This project has been a lot of fun for me along with all the kiddos to watch it grow. I will keep you updated as we go and I love being able to document the progress myself. We are hoping to see some butterflies here soon, and if it’s successful then we might plant some more around the garden too!

Enjoy the update and keep your eyes open for some more fun projects and recipes coming your way! I know I am excited to share them!

 

New Snack Recipe – Peanut Butter Balls

We love peanut butter balls!!  They are delicious peanut butter and soft chocolate goodness I like to snack on. We make them all the time around here! They are one of the most accessible recipes to make even my kids can do it on their own. They only require about four ingredients along with water. Super easy run to the grocery store and BAM a yummy treat for everyone in the house. My mom used to make these when I was a kid, and I still remember them to this day! I figured I might as well pass them along to the world. So let’s get started!

Peanut Butter Balls Recipe:

1 Cup Peanut Butter ( Creamy )

1 Cup Powdered Sugar

1 Cup Chocolate Chips

1/2 Cup Dry Milk

2 Tablespoons Water

Directions:

  1. Measure all ingredients out and pour into the bowl ( except water )
  2. Add two tablespoons of water and stir
  3. Make sure ingredients are mixed well with a spoon.
  4. Roll into one inch balls on a plate
  5. Put the plate in the fridge for about ten minutes so they can get firm

PS. You can eat them frozen, from the refrigerator or soft when they first get made. We like to put them in a ziplock bag and stick them in the fridge!

PSS. You can also sub in m&ms instead of chocolate chips – too delicious!

How easy does that look? Now, don’t get me wrong…. I know they aren’t the best on calories but sometimes you need a little peanut butter and chocolate right?! My kids can make them for me and have them stocked in the fridge for parties or get-togethers. This recipe I have more or less kept to myself, but they are delcious and decided to share it with the world. Let me know what you think if you give them a try!

Fruit Infused Water Recipes – Taste Delicious & Easy To Make!

Fruit Infused Water Recipes are one of my favorite things to put together on the weekend!  I am so in love with these that I had to share with all my readers! A goal of mine for this year is to drink more water. Everyone is always talking about their water intake is lower than it should be. So I took it upon myself to share some incredibly yummy & simple recipes that help me to drink water throughout the day. I seem to do good with plain water for about two days then get bored of it. These infused water jars help me to stay on track. The recipes are easy to throw together and I love the mason jars to store them in. Not only do they look super cute but it helps me get through the week & stay fresh! If you haven’t tried something like this yet – you are totally missing out. They are so refreshing and hardly taste like you are drinking water! Each recipe has a different unique taste that you are going to love!

I literally just unscrew the lid and add a straw like you see in the pictures below. EASY PEASY! The best suggestion I can give you is to buy the fruit over the weekend and make your jars on Sunday. Then the rest of the week they are ready to go! This is just what works for me but I know I am home all day during the week. On hot summer days, you will be amazed how good these taste. My kids are in love with these fruit infused water jars too! It is a great way to get them to drink water and stay away from juices. To me, that is a win-win!

Here are 4 of my favorite recipes to make – let’s get started!

Strawberry Watermelon Water – cut up strawberries and watermelon. This one is super simple and I used seedless watermelon for this recipe. I didn’t want to be sucking up black seeds or hunt them down while cutting it up. I love to eat watermelon throughout the week so I spent Sunday cutting up and making a bowl for me and the daycare kids… then use the rest for my mason jars. If you love watermelon and strawberries alone you should give this one a try! It’s delicious!

Strawberry Lemon Water is one that I make weekly. It has lemons as a main ingredient and I have always read that lemon water is super helpful in aiding weight loss. So this recipe is one I stick with on a daily basis and try to drink it more towards the morning. It is also one of my favorites on taste because the lemons seem to be more powerful and strawberries take a backseat on the flavor. This one is simple to throw together – just do 3/4 strawberries and 1/4 lemon. Try this one out and let me know what you think!

This recipe reminds me of my favorite drink at Sonic – strawberry limeade! I love that drink so much that I put together this infused water recipe. This one is just 3/4 strawberries and 1/4 lime. The lime can be overpowering so be careful with adding too much. The mix of strawberries and lime can be so refreshing – this one might even turn into one of your favorites with time. Give it a shot, what do you have to lose?

 

The last recipe I have to share with you all is Citrus Water! This one is the combination of all citrus – I have used lemons, orange, and lime. There is no ratio you need to use for this recipe, just mix and combine as you like. You can also add any other citrus you like such as grapefruit. This one is delicious and the options are endless.

Making fruit infused water recipes are super exciting.  You can be as creative as you like as you start putting these together. I absolutely love to mix and match fruits to try out new things. There are so many different ideas out there –  you can even add in some veggies! As you all start putting together your own ideas… share them here in the comments with us! I would love to hear your favorites.

Spring Is Here – Bring On The Butterflies!

 

Spring is finally here in Arizona. We are super excited about spring around here – I love when we get to open the windows to enjoy the beautiful weather, play outside, and plant new things! We have a garden in the backyard that currently has mostly vegetables. We have been changing things up from year to year in the garden pots but this spring we decided to give growing milkweed a try! I got a cheap pot from Target and ordered some seeds on Amazon… and now we wait! I wanted to write a blog post about it so we can keep you updated to see how it goes and if we can get some butterflies to show up around here!

 

My youngest went to Butterfly Wonderland with his class recently and I had the opportunity to chaperone his class. It was so amazing to see all the different butterflies, the stages of the caterpillar, and how it transforms into a butterfly. We learned that with milkweed added to your garden you can bring the butterflies to you at home too. That’s exactly what we wanted to do! The process is just like any other type of plant – pot, soil and seeds planted. We have been watering it every day here as it is getting hot and seems to dry out quickly. We have also spent some time on the internet researching the plant and what exactly to look for. Its been quite a process for us but the kids have had fun and we all have learned something!

 

 

As far as research goes – we found out that the parents lay the eggs on the underside of the milkweeds young leaves. The eggs then hatch and feed on the plant to grow into caterpillars. Once they are big enough and go through their five stages as larvae they then will create the chrysalis on the plant as well. Two weeks later we should see the butterfly emerge! I am really hoping it works out and we can see all this happen. So far as of today we have seeds sprouting so we have been extra excited! That obviously was a basic run down for you all but there is tons of research out there so you can learn more! We will for sure keep you updated as the plant grows and post some pictures too!

 

 

Here is the link for the seeds if anyone is interested in trying this at home too! 🙂
David’s Garden Seeds Wildflower Asclepias Milkweed Tropical OS119FGR (Multi) 500 Open Pollinated Seeds

 

In Love With Leggings!

If you are an individual on my page that seems to know me pretty well… you know I am obsessed with wearing leggings whenever I can. I’m literally in love with leggings. Now my husband doesn’t seem overly impressed with them but after a long 12 hour day of kiddos at my house – I wear leggings daily! Fabulegs is one of my favorite brands to wear as they seem to last and not fade like some of the other ones I have tried. These ones above are called the ‘coloring book’ and they are one of my favorites so far! She comes out with new patterns each month and you get the opportunity to vote on which ones you want to be printed. I love that she listens to her fans and takes them into consideration. If you have some time take a little time to check out her site – www.fabulegsmelissa.com!

Another really neat thing about these leggings are the sales she runs! They are amazing and the leggings are such a great price you can’t beat it. I seem to buy a pair or two at every sale – they are prices you can afford. These two above are new ones I just got in the mail along with a pair of plain black. How cute are they and the shamrocks are PERFECT for St Patricks Day this weekend. I’m literally so excited! They come in all sizes from Small-XL and even kids sizes! If you are interested to join her on facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/fabulegsmelissa/! Also on Instagram is @fabulegs. Right now she offered me a free code to share with you guys which is QCFREE – and you will get free shipping on your order.

 

Let me tell you a little more about these amazing leggings. They are super soft like butter and made with high-quality material. They aren’t thin and see through like a lot of leggings you see other women wear. The colors are bold and bright and the patterns are made to last for sure. They offer all different sizes and even kids. Another thing I love is the capris that can be worn during the summer months instead of the long leggings. Melissa offers a variety of styles and even shirts to go with the leggings at a great price. She also has an amazing heart and helps a lot of charities along the way. I am very impressed with how she runs her business and grateful for her big heart too!

 

Keep your eyes out on Instagram and Facebook for a giveaway of a pair of these amazing leggings! If you haven’t tried them out – join her facebook page & Instagram so you can see all the new patterns coming out each month. You will not be disappointed! Dont forget to use the free code to get free shipping too!

Butter Slime

Butter slime has to be one of our favorites to make now after testing out all sorts of different slime recipes. It is a super nice consistency without all the sticky mess! I am not a huge fan of the slime that makes a huge mess and is honestly a pain to clean up. I know most moms feel exactly the same way as me too. Have no fear, as this recipe seems to be fairly easy to do and seems to last a while. The only downfall to the recipe is you will need soft clay to make it. The link to the exact clay we used is here: Soft Clay for Slime, DIY Toys Clay for Homemade Slime. (pink). Now let’s get started!

 

Recipe:

Two bottles of clear glue

Soft Clay

Sta Flo

 

Directions:

So make up your slime. Take 2 containers of clear glue that are 5oz each and pour into a big bowl. Add tablespoons one by one until it starts to actually clump together. I know this part can be kind of confusing but keep going with the recipe! You want the slime to be on the tougher side in order for this to work. Just keep stirring and adding sta flo until you can get in one big clump and it’s not too sticky on the hands. If you have made slime before – make this batch a little more rigid. Once you have played with this first step of slime for a while start adding in the clay by folding it in. We found this works best. The soft clay comes in multiple colors so you can use whatever you like on this step. We used white clay and the exact amazon link is above. Once we started mixing it in we had to add more Sta Flo as ours turned into a sticky mess. This fixed the problem immediately.

 

Once the slime is light and fluffy – you will love it. I have to admit this is one of my favorites to play with when I am stressed or in the mood to do slime with my daycare kiddos. I’m in love with the fact that it doesn’t make a mess everywhere and is simple to put together. It makes a decent amount that can be shared with the kids. Make sure it gets put into an airtight container and saved once you are done. It seems to last a good amount of time at least two weeks or so. If you give this a try make sure to let me know in the comments and how it worked for you. I love hearing from you all!

 

My Kids Learning The Value Of Money!

We did a thing last week with the kids that I think was more fun than I was expecting. When I first mentioned it to them they cringed and complained of course, but after I got some rules drawn up they were more excited. I noticed recently how much more food costs and how quickly we tend to go through it-  especially with my oldest that is a teenager. Yes…. Yes… I know being a teenager and a boy, I should expect as much. I am pretty understanding,  but he is getting older and wanted to teach him a thing or two about money.  We went down to the bank and opened a teen checking account for him before we even started this experiment as well. The thought of him being able to work and drive here soon is sort of scary for me. It came quicker than I ever imagined! I was really hoping this exercise might open his eyes a little to the real world around him but I do realize he is still just a teen.

I came up with this idea in my head one night while taking a shower, my main goal is to simulate bills as an adult. It took some time to come up with ground rules but I eventually made a worksheet for them and each child got $50 to start off with. They would end up paying rent, electric, phone, water… etc. They could pay in advance or daily – it was their choice. Whatever they had left over or wanted to spend would go toward groceries. I took them each down to the store on Saturday to buy their own groceries for the entire week. I wasn’t sure how this would all pan out as we have never done anything like this before, but they finally started getting excited. Friday night when they got their papers and money, they started writing out grocery lists. It was pretty neat to watch them each go about it a different way. My oldest and youngest got together and used the Kroger/Frys app to figure out the cost of each item they wanted so they could total it up before going. While my middle one sat down in his room and used a little more organization and logic for his list. Surprisingly, they all paid in advance for the bills so they had a set number to use towards groceries. My youngest was really trying to buy as little as possible so he could purchase other stuff from the store which pretty much cracked me up.

Once we got to the store, they had way more fun than I ever imagined. Granted I know they won’t choose the best meals but for a week they will live and its one of those experiences they won’t get often, right? Well, that’s what I keep telling myself. Ha! While picking up their food they shopped on their own and did the entire transaction by themselves with the cash they had. It worked out great and they did very well budgeting for the week. I think the oldest two children that are 15 and 11 really seemed to understand that you don’t get much but that amount of money seems like a lot when in hand. I loved watching them figure out what to do and what to eat especially for dinner. They did buy themselves some treats along the way whether it be a small thing of candy or six-pack of soda – which I don’t really buy anymore. So they got to spoil themselves a little too! I took photos of the kid’s stash of food for the week after we got home too – check them out below!

This is what my oldest ( Corbyn ) picked for food for the week. I think he did a pretty good job of picking out each thing. Now, he seemed to be the one that fought me the most on wanting to do this activity but by the time we got it done… you could tell he had fun. He was even telling other family members about it and how excited he was. I was so happy to see him come around! He seems to be the one that eats most of the snacks and sometimes even two dinners at night. He is a growing boy that is for sure and can eat so much! The pop tarts here are actually his “snack” not a meal. That part made me laugh a little.

The next food shown here is the middle one child – Caiden.  He is 11 years old and seems to not eat too much. He does like junk for the most part but he hasn’t hit his growth spurt of eating everything in the house. I am sure we will get there with time though. He did a good job and took a little more time to do his list and made sure he had enough stuff for school. He was determined not to be hungry in school, which was totally cute! He seemed to get a little more food than my first and planned to make it last. He had a plan and was going to stick to it.

Last but not least is my youngest – Kobe that just turned 9! He wasn’t too thrilled about this whole experience and needed a little more help along the way but overall he did pretty darn good too! Once the week seemed to go along he enjoyed it more and more! He got a good amount of stuff at the store and does an amazing job of budgeting his food out to last. He seems to be the worst one in the house to eat junk. He is very picky and honestly could eat top ramen if need be every single night.  He does football throughout the week so we did have to be careful with that so he wasn’t just eating junk and not feeling well at practice.

 

PS: I will do an updated post on the kids as the week goes along and maybe some things they learned along the way. I am hoping this is a learning experience vs something mom just wants to try out. I want it to open their eyes and also learn some skills. I do have to mention they did learn the value of a sale. That’s for sure! They mostly went for the cheaper brands as they knew it would save them money in the long run. I hope you enjoyed this blog post and seeing what our household does and our crazy antics! I love to try out new things and teach my kids as much as possible, but I do value that they are just kids too! Talk to you soon!