Thursday, May 28, 2015

DIY Pool Toys / DIY Bath Toys

With the pools opening last weekend and the last day of school yesterday, Summertime is here!!! These are some fun DIY POOL TOYS that take just minutes to make. We like to throw ours around, splat them on the pavement and L likes to soak hers in water, then draw with it on the pavement. If you don't have a pool nearby, just fill up some buckets of water, toss in these fun and funky toys and play a wet and refreshing game of catch in the backyard. So much fun! (Be sure to scroll down to the bottom for some other DIY POOL TOY ideas too!)

Materials needed:
-3 sponges
-1 elastic hair band

First, cut the sponges long-ways into 3 equal sections.

Next, stack them up.

And lastly, tie a hair band around the pile. 

Too easy and so much fun!!!

Other fun and easy pool toy ideas? 
A large paintbrush! Your kids will have a blast painting with water on the pool deck or even outside on the sidewalk.

We love playing with these sensory bottles in the water too! Both the "baby sensory bottles" and the "sparkle bottles" are fun to bounce around. They are quick and easy to make and are fantastic pool toys for the little ones!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Tin Foil Jelly Fish Craft

I love this super cute, jelly fish craft for so many reasons. Our TIN FOIL JELLY FISH were inspired by a trip to the Baltimore Aquarium and the girls' fascination with "The Jelly Fish Invasion" exhibit. (Super cool...if you are anywhere near Baltimore, go see it!!!) I love that this craft costs nearly nothing to make and L learned all about textures and rubbings while coloring the foil. And I LOVE the way our jelly fish look hanging in our kitchen window. If you can, place them near an air vent...when the air kicks on the jelly fish will come to life, dancing and swimming in the sun!

"The Jelly Fish Invasion" at the Baltimore Aquarium...

Materials needed:
-tin foil
-permanent markers
-egg cartons
-other small, plastic containers (think applesauce, olives, etc.)
-string or fishing line
-painted stick 
-nail or sharp-tipped tool

First, cut your egg carton into little jelly fish shapes.

Next, take a few sheets of tin foil and have your children color them. This is a great opportunity to make rubbings. L colored on the patio furniture and bricks, over tree bark, on the textured sidewalk and on her slide. Not entirely necessary, but why not!? Your kids can also try making different patterns if coloring on a flat surface...stripes, dots, swirls, anything goes!

Cut the tin foil into little squares and have your kids wrap the egg carton cut outs with the foil. You may have to help them smooth down the outer edges. 

If you have some small, plastic containers to use as well, first poke a hole in the center. Next, cover the containers with the foil too. 

Cut strips of tin foil and tape the strips, 2 or 3 at a time, to the inside of your jelly fish. 

Using a nail or sharp tool, poke a hole into the top of each jelly fish.

Now, it's time to hang your jelly fish up. I knew ours would go in our kitchen window, so we hung the jelly fish along a painted stick. You could also make one large jelly fish and hang the smaller ones underneath. That method would be cute if hanging your jelly fish up under a light, in the center of a room.

We hung our jelly fish by stringing them onto fishing line and tying the line to a paperclip underneath each one. Some hung on their own, while others had a second jelly fish hanging underneath. Get creative and have fun with it! 

When doing projects like this, it's definitely easier to have the jelly fish hanging while you are tying them on rather than laying flat on the ground. 

Put them up to display and enjoy!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tin Foil River and DIY Boats

This morning the girls and I went to an awesome, little program for kids where we learned about the waterways in our town and L got to make her own toy boat. When we came home I decided to make our own "waterway" in the backyard with some tin foil. Too easy and so much fun!!! All you need is some aluminum foil, water, and some toy boats to float along! I mean, seriously...who wouldn't like a TIN FOIL RIVER in their yard? 

Boat ideas and links:
-ping-pong balls
-any small items that float, bath toys, etc.

First, decide which direction you'd like your TIN FOIL RIVER to flow. If your yard or driveway is on a slope, it's pretty easy to figure out how to get the water to flow...start at the top and end at the bottom. If you yard is flat, you can prop some of the river up or make it in a donut shape. We decided to make ours interesting, starting the river on the slide, having it flow under a chair, and bend and twist across the yard. 

Making the waterway is pretty can be a perfectionist about it and try to make all the sides even or just wham-bam make it, play with it. We tore large strips of aluminum foil and double-layered the foil to prevent any leaks. Fold the sides up. At any joints (places where you're attaching two sections of foil) you can add another layer of foil underneath. Same with the end of your river...we tried making our sides a little higher and extra-sturdy at the end. 

If you need to, you can weigh your foil down with some smooth rocks. Makes fun little obstacles too! If a side of your river starts to sag, it's pretty easy to prop it up with a brick or flower pot...whatever you have handy. The TIN FOIL RIVER allows for some terrific problem solving and experimenting with your little ones! I can't wait to see what L comes up with next for our backyard waterway!


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Fairy Mud

I first saw a recipe for FAIRY MUD a year or two ago on a blog called Happy Hooligans. When L's cousins came over to play on a hot day last summer it was the perfect activity! Fairy Mud is just as much fun for the kids to make as it is to squish between your fingers and play with! With the temperatures rising and our fairy garden in full bloom, we'll be making it again this week! 

Materials needed:
-1 1/2 bars of soap
-2 rolls of toilet paper
-food coloring
-1.5 to 2 cups of WARM water
-glitter, sequins, buttons, jewels, flower petals
-cheese grater
-2 large bowls or tubs

First, grate the bars of soap into a large bowl. If you have older kids, they can certainly help with this process!

While you're busy grating soap, have the little ones unravel 2 rolls of toilet paper. So silly, they'll just love it! Gather the toilet paper into the second large bowl. 

Once the soap is grated and the toilet paper unravelled, pour the WARM water into the bowl with the soap and add a few drops of food coloring as well. Squish and squeeze the soap shavings until you have some consistently melted and mushy soap blobs. 

Pour the water and soap over the toilet paper in the second bowl and continue to mush and mold the fairy mud concoction. 

While the kids are playing, add some glitter into the mix. Followed by jewels, flower petals, anything you and the kids can come up with!

Don't forget to pull out some measuring cups, spoons, and muffin tins so you can make some fairy mud pies as well! Amazingly fun!!! Enjoy!