Both my mother and mother in law give me the same advice every summer - Do something creative with the kids every day. It must be a mom thing and I imagine I will give my kids the same advice when they have their own kids.
There was a book that I grew up with. It may as well have been full of pixie dust because all anyone seems to remember about this book is the fun activities we made with it every summer. Nobody can remember the name of the book. I have a vague dreamlike vision in my mind of what it looked like. Swimming pool blue on the front cover with kids. The inside was blue too. Royal blue text and drawings to illustrate. I remember making a kazoo with a toilet paper tube. I remember the picture of the kid in the book marching with his or her kazoo too. The book is long gone now so I have to come up with my own ideas to occupy my children’s minds in the summer.
A week or two ago I went shopping with my friend. I saw some white t-shirts with Disney characters on the front that I felt like I had to have. Parker would not leave me alone about those shirts. He was always wondering when I would let them color with fabric markers. My poor friend was also harassed unmercifully by Parker’s incessant questions. I helped with both of her baby showers and at both I had the guests decorate white onesies with fabric markers. I had the darker “boy” colors but I accidentally left the neon “girl” colors at her mom’s house. Then I went ahead and forgot they ever existed until I saw the shirts. She said she would bring the markers to different activities and get togethers we would have but life got in the way. It’s like she has a 2 year old and a baby and is trying to sell her house!
I decided to buy more markers for convenience sake. I’m glad I did because I saw the markers my friend had and they were really bright and not the best colors for the characters on the shirts. I bought a set of markers that expanded my current marker color palette.
We went from this
to this. These shirts have been worn at least three times since they were decorated! I still have the character patches for other t-shirts. Another craft project for another day.
I was so impressed with how well the kids colored. It helps that I threatened them within an inch of their lives to do their very best work. No, I didn’t. We did have many conversations about coloring those shirts until it sunk in that this was a special project they needed to take their time with. They did an awesome job. By the way, we didn’t have any orange which was critical to the Cars shirt so we mixed colors. It was a shot in the dark but it actually worked! Parker colored with yellow then went over it with red then went back over it with yellow again. His orange turned out the best. Bright and true. Perfect for traffic cones.
In order to keep the colors from bleeding through I put these kick boards in the middle of each shirt. The kids never even use these kick boards when we swim in a big pool so it doesn’t bother me that there’s marker all over. You can tell how hard Parker was concentrating. There’s a complete Lightning McQueen on the yellow kick board.
Big thanks to my sister for telling me about these Squishy Fishies yesterday. It’s super simple. Just fill socks with rice and tie off the top.
The kids and I buzzed on over to Target for some socks and rice. There were lots of fun colors to choose from in the girl section. Our favorites were the bright, almost neon, colors that came in a pack of seven. I picked the biggest bag of rice I could find. The one sitting on top of the $1.79 price tag that was actually for Uncle Ben’s rice in a much smaller box. Whatever. I could imagine Heath teasing me about buying so much rice but there were seven pairs of socks!
The kids loved the project so much I filled as many socks as I had rice for. Eleven fishies in total. The kids were also in heaven with my extra huge googly eyes left over from another project. They took the fabric pens to the fish and decided how many eyes each fish got. No surprise that Parker’s fish resemble Disney Pixar characters.
Two large funnels full of rice made the large fishies and one funnel full made the little fishies that the kids kept squeaking were so cute!
Now they’re tossing the fish into a wire waste paper basket and giggling like crazy. Candi you scored with this idea! I had no idea it would keep them busy for hours.