Monday, July 20, 2015

5 Rainy Day, Bouncy Ball Games

It wasn't a "rainy day" here today, but it might as well have been! L was having fun, being a kid, over the weekend and ended up with stitches in her, no swimming for the week while temps are in the upper 90s. Yuck! We had a ball this morning though (every pun intended) playing with a little, sparkly bouncy ball and some paper cups...kept us entertained for hours! You really could play these games anytime and just about anywhere!

Materials needed:
-bouncy ball
-paper cups

Game #1 (our favorite!): Catch the Ball
This can be a one person game or multi-person game. 
One person drops the ball, bouncing it on the ground, and everyone tries to catch it in their cup. This is a great activity for little ones to learn and practice hand-eye coordination!

Game #2: Find the Ball
This game can be played various ways. You can perform the classic challenge, where you hide the ball under one of three cups and move them all around. The other person watches and then guess which cup the ball is underneath.  Or, you can have 5 or 6 cups laid out, upside down. One person turns their back on the game, while the other person hides the ball under a cup. It's fun to move the cups around into various shapes and patterns as well, while hiding the ball. 

Game #3: Stack and Find
Take turns stacking the cups and hiding the ball inside. The other person is left to guess which cup the ball is in.

Game #4: Bounce into the Cup
Put the cups out onto the floor. Take turns tossing or bouncing the ball, trying to get it into a cup. Getting it into a cup isn't too hard, but doing it gently enough so the cup stays upright is!

Game #5: Hungry, Hungry Hippos
Sit facing each other, with your feet touching, making a diamond-shape with your legs. Drop the ball, bouncing it in front of both players. Each person tries to cover up the ball, catching it underneath a cup. This game reminded me of "Hungry, Hungry Hippos"...hence the name. Enjoy!

What other games do your kids like to play involving bouncy balls? 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

DIY Toy Catapult

What kid (or adult) doesn't love launching things through the air? This DIY TOY CATAPULT takes only minutes to put together and your kids will play with it for hours...days even! I love how kids naturally experiment while playing with this toy. Even as young as three, L was moving the can (the fulcrum) around, placing the balls in various slots, and went on to launch her toy parachute, as well as her shoes! So much fun!!!

Materials needed:
-yard stick
-can of food 
-egg carton
-hot glue gun
-permanent markers (optional)

Things to launch:
-ping pong balls
-pom poms
-cotton balls
-plastic figurines (fairies, dinosaurs, army men)
-marshmallows or cereal (to catch in one's mouth)

First, cut your egg carton in half.

Using a hot glue gun, glue the egg carton onto one end of your yard stick. (Don't worry...when your kids are done playing with their catapult, the egg carton and glue should peel right off the yard stick! I take ours apart every time we're finished playing with it!)

Next, number your egg carton slots and your ping pong balls. This step is optional, but it makes it easy to keep track of what ball goes the farthest and which slots you're putting things into...especially if you're launching multiple balls at once!

The set-up of your catapult is easy...just place the can on it's side in the grass (keeps it from rolling) and place the yardstick on top. Fill the slots with your projectiles!

Now, time to play!!!
Launching balls...


 And L's shoes...

What will you all send flying through the air???

If your kids like the catapult, they'll definitely love making POCKET PARACHUTES...another "make something from nothing" craft! Enjoy!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

DIY Citrus Stamps

How cute are these DIY CITRUS STAMPS we made this week? They really were simple to make and the outcome is adorable...perfect for Summer! L and I stamped t-shirts, tea towels, and a pillow case for her bed. Just think of the possibilities... You could use this stamping technique to brighten-up party invitations, gift bags, skirts, shorts, a tablecloth, shower curtain...the possibilities are endless (and sweet)! 

Materials needed:
-an orange, lemon, & lime
-tea towels, t-shirts, etc.
-acrylic or fabric paints
-flat, plastic lids or plates
-paper towels
-parchment paper

If you need to, iron your tea towels or t-shirts first! Protect your work area with parchment paper. (Usually I use cardboard or old newspapers for projects, but with this one I didn't want the texture of the cardboard to effect the stamping and I didn't want newspaper to discolor my cloth. Parchment paper was perfect!)

Next, cut your orange, lemon and lime in half with a sharp knife. If you like to, cut a little "handle" in each fruit half...makes stamping easier, especially for kids!

Turn the fruit over onto a paper towel, to soak up some of the juice from the fruits.

Next, squirt your paints onto plastic lids or plates.

Dip the sliced fruit into the paint. Blot it onto a paper towel, if there appears to be too much paint.

And press the fruit gently onto your cloth. Too easy, right!?

We experimented and made some of our tea towels patterned, while others we stamped randomly. The random was definitely our favorite...a little more carefree, like all things "summer" should be!

If you have some prints that are more solid looking (a bit too much paint), don't fret...just overlap another fruit in another color on top! It will look like you planned it that way all along!

Instead of stamping an entire tablecloth, you can just stamp tea towels and overlap them as we did here. Looks great on their own or with a solid tablecloth underneath!

Too cute, huh!?! Enjoy!!!