Summer Boredom Busters – Sun Melted Crayons

summer boredom busters

Thanks for stopping by!  We’re on week 9 on our Summer Boredom Buster series and I can’t believe the summer is almost over.  This week the kids and I took all of our old, broken crayons and turned them into new ones.  This project has been on my radar for awhile since we started putting our broken crayons aside a few months ago.  I don’t know why but as soon as a crayon breaks, my kids don’t like to use it.  Needless to say, we had quite the collection of broken pieces!

Sun Melted Crayons

This project definitely requires a bit of planning but can be done any time of year.  To start, you need the following supplies:

  • Crayons (a perfect excuse to use broken ones but a fresh pack would also work)
  • Silicone mold (like this one)

We decided to do this project during our weekend trip to my parents house.  M was extra excited because Grammy got in on the crayon making fun.  After breakfast one morning, we took out our broken crayons and peeled off any paper still on them.

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After all the paper was removed, we broke them into even smaller pieces to fill the mold better.  Ideally, a mix of sizes would work best.  Then M was in charge of filling the molds with the broken pieces.  This is a fun task to give a little one responsibility for because they can decide how they want to spread the colors out.  M went with a little bit of each color in each mold.

Once they were filled, we put the mold outside in a spot that would get the most sun.  In hindsight, I should have done this project last week during our heat wave but oh well.  The goal was to leave the crayons outside all day, allowing the sun to melt them.  When we checked on our crayons in the afternoon, some were beginning to melt but most were pretty solid still.  I think if our molds were smaller, the sun would have melted them completely.

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Starting to melt

Instead, I helped the sun out a bit.  After the kids went to bed, I popped the mold into the over to help the crayons finish melting.  If you wanted to skip the sun melting aspect, you can go straight for the oven.  To melt the crayons, put the mold in the over at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.  To prevent a mess in the oven, I’d recommend putting the mold on a baking sheet in case any spills.

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Once they are melted, remove them from the oven and let them sit on the counter until they cool.  I left ours on the counter overnight and M was super excited to see them finished when she woke up the next morning.  The new crayons popped right out of the mold and M immediately took out a coloring book to color.

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The crayons came out really cute and they are fun to use since they leave a rainbow of colors on the page.  I was happy to have something to do with all the broken crayons instead of wasting them too!  This would be a really cute idea for gifts or goodie bags also.

Don’t miss next week’s final Summer Boredom Buster.  I’m hoping to finish out the summer with an outdoor obstacle course the kids will love.  If you’ve missed any of our other Summer Boredom Busters, check them out below.

Week 1: Easy Bird Feeders

Week 2: Water Play – Pretend Dish Washing

Week 3: Chalk Towns

Week 4: Ice Excavations

Week 5: Cotton Ball Painting

Week 6: Homemade Popsicles

Week 7: Giant Bubbles

Week 8: Water Play – Washing the Car

Week 9: Sun melted Crayons

Week 10: Obstacle Course

 

 

 

Our 2016-17 Curriculum Choices (Kindergarten and Tot School)

 

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In a few weeks, we’ll be officially starting our school year and the kids are really excited about it (as am I!).  As much fun as we have had this summer, I can see that the kids miss the structure that comes with the school year, especially M.  Below is the curriculum we’ll be using this year as well as a skeletal idea of how I hope it happens!

For all the subjects, topics and ideas we learn about this year, I plan to base it around reading as much as possible.  I’m also going to try out a Morning Basket concept that will include reading, movement songs and memorization.  Not counting our co-op, I plan to do school work 3 days a week.

M – Kindergarten / Preschool

I’m not sure what to call M’s “grade” this year.  Going by age, she should be in her second year of preschool.  Going by academics, she’ll be doing kindergarten this year.  But if she ends up going to a traditional school down the road, I don’t want her thinking she’s repeating a year.  That’s why if she asks, I’m going with “you’re in school”.

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Here’s an overview of her year:

Five in a Row, Volume 1: After our success with Before Five in a Row last year, I’m continuing with this literature based curriculum as our main source of work.  (You can read my thoughts on Before Five in a Row here.)

Handwriting without Tears: M will be starting with My First School Book and Kick Start Kindergarten.  This summer I’ve seen a definite spark in her interest in writing so I imagine she’ll cruise through them and will start Letters and Numbers for Me by the spring.

Math: an assortment of Singapore workbooks that I picked up at a used curriculum sale.  Math will also be incorporated into a lot of the FIAR work as well.

Phonics: We’ll be working on sight word activities and going through tons of early readers.  I’m on the fence about a more formal curriculum so depending on how things go, I may add in All About Reading midway through the year.

Themes: I really like unit studies since they give you such freedom to incorporate different subjects and just have fun digging deeper into certain topics.  They also let me plan activities that both M and J can be involved in.  I have 7 themes planned for the year, roughly 1 per month.  For each theme, we will do LOTS of reading and activities around the theme.  I’m also hoping to include at least one field trip that ties into each theme.

  • Our themes will be Dinosaurs, Solar System, Transportation, Human Body, Living/Nonliving, Geography and Weather

 

J – Tot School

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Let me start by saying that J is only 2 and in no way do I think he needs (or should) be doing formal schoolwork.  However, he and M spend most of the day attached at the hip so he has already mentioned that he wants to be included in school.  I’m going to take advantage of his interest and have planned hands-on, play based activities that will gently introduce him to shapes, colors and letters while also working on gross and fine motor skills.

I’m going to set up “tot trays” each week that he can play with during school time.  My plan is for these trays to be brought out during our school time only to keep things interesting for him and organized for me.  M is excited to be a helper as J learns throughout the year.

I’ll share more about the tot trays I have planned throughout the year – about half of them are seemingly random activities that will build a solid foundation for when he is ready for more formal work.  The other half are based around the themes mentioned above that we will be working through this year.  I also plan to include at least one activity per week that helps him learn to recognize and spell his name.

J will also be involved in our Morning Basket, all of our reading and many of the Five in a Row activities.

We certainly have a packed year ahead of us.  I’ll be sure to share our adventures along the way.  But first, I’d love to hear what you doing with your little ones this year!

Summer Boredom Busters – Water Play: Washing the Car!

summer boredom busters

Thanks for joining us for our Summer Boredom Busters series!  We’ve been having fun with different activities this summer and if you’ve missed any of them, be sure to check them out at the bottom.

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I’ll admit, this week’s activity was probably more for me than the kids but they had fun so that’s all that matters.  I have fond memories from growing up washing the cars outside with my parents and siblings.  Why not recreate that for my kids AND clean my car in the process?  It seemed like a win-win:)

While baby Q slept soundly in the shade, the kids and I took the hose, a few buckets of soapy water and washcloths and hit the driveway.  After I sprayed the car with water, J quickly gave up on actually washing the car and spent the majority of the time splashing around in the puddles that had formed on the driveway.  (Anyone else have a kid who is obsessed with muddy puddles thanks to Peppa Pig?)

M however, took her job very seriously and scrubbed the car with me.  We had a nice system – she cleaned the bottom half and I did the top where she couldn’t reach.  Even though she was having fun, she was also very clearly proud of the work she was doing.  She took pride in cleaning the car and liked that I let her be in charge of the hose to rinse it off.

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Inspecting her work😉

What I forgot to consider was that when the kids clean, things often end up slightly less then clean.  I’ll call the finished results “streaky dried soap clean”.  I’m certainly not complaining though, the kids were happy and the rain came the next day to help finish the job.

Afterwards M, a die-hard Cinderella fan, felt inspired to use her bucket of soapy water to scrub our driveway in the same fashion Cinderella scrubbed the floors.  I couldn’t help but laugh imagining what my neighbors thought as they drove by watching my little one scrubbing the floors.

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If you’ve missed any of our other Summer Boredom Busters, check them out below.  I also have some fun ideas coming in the weeks ahead so be sure to follow me by email or on Facebook so you don’t miss any!

Week 1: Easy Bird Feeders

Week 2: Water Play – Pretend Dish Washing

Week 3: Chalk Towns

Week 4: Ice Excavations

Week 5: Cotton Ball Painting

Week 6: Homemade Popsicles

Week 7: Giant Bubbles

Week 8: Water Play – Washing the Car

Week 9: Sun melted Crayons

Week 10: Obstacle Course

 

 

Summer Boredom Busters – Giant Bubbles!

summer boredom busters

I’d seen a few different variations of “giant bubbles” on Pinterest over the last few months and since my kids LOVE bubbles I was really excited to try to make our own.  If your kids like bubbles, these are definitely worth a try.  I imagine they would be a hit for toddlers through elementary school age alike.

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The bubble mixture needs to sit out for at least an hour before you start so there is some prep required but it only takes a minute to whip it all together.  Also, whatever mixture goes unused doesn’t seem to work after that day so it just gets thrown away.

The mixtures uses ingredients that we already had on hand, including glycerine since I make most of our cleaning supplies from scratch.  If you don’t have it already, it can easily be purchased at some stores or on amazon.

 

For the bubbles, you need the following supplies:

  • 5 cups water
  • 1/2 cup dish soap
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 T glycerine
  • 1T baking powder

For the wands, you need:

  • 2 flexible drinking straws
  • Long piece of string

Mix all the bubble ingredients together slowly (making as few bubbles as possible).  Let that sit for an hour.  Then put the two straws onto the string and tie together, making a big rectangle.

When the mixture is ready, submerge the entire wand in the mixture and slowly pull it out.  Then have fun trying to make the biggest bubbles you can!  We found that if M ran with the wand it made skinny, long bubbles but they popped almost immediately.  If she blew at the wand like traditional bubbles they made big bubbles that floated a little bit before popping.

After making these bubbles twice within a few days, M thought they were pretty cool and had a lot of fun making different kinds of bubbles.  J was less than impressed since they weren’t very pop-able.  He had more fun splashing around in the bubble mixture.  I thought they were fun although I’m always surprised by how messy bubbles get.  Luckily the messier the better for my kids!

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If you’ve missed any of our other Summer Boredom Busters, check them out below.  I also have some fun ideas coming in the weeks ahead so be sure to follow me by email or on Facebook so you don’t miss any!

Week 1: Easy Bird Feeders

Week 2: Water Play – Pretend Dish Washing

Week 3: Chalk Towns

Week 4: Ice Excavations

Week 5: Cotton Ball Painting

Week 6: Homemade Popsicles

Week 7: Giant Bubbles

Week 8: Water Play – Washing the Car

Week 9: Sun melted Crayons

Week 10: Obstacle Course

Summer Boredom Busters – Homemade Popsicles!

summer boredom busters

I had every intention of making Pool Noodle Race Tracks with the kids this week but waited until the last minute to run to the store for the pool noodles.  I assumed I would have no problem finding them but I was wrong.  I found a sad amount of fall decorations lining the shelves as the summer stuff seemed to disappear overnight.  It’s only August 1st and even though I know summer is more than half way over, I’m not yet ready to think about the fall.

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So instead I picked up a few Popsicle molds from the dollar store.  The weather has been hot, humid and rainy recently so homemade Popsicles are the perfect way to have fun and cool off while staying indoors.  My culinary skills leave something to be desired so since there are a ton of delicious options already out there I decided to round up a list of the ones we will be trying.  Hopefully they will inspire you as well!

*For the most part, we eat entirely dairy and soy free due to a milk-soy-protein intolerance (you can read more about there here) so any recipe that calls for milk or yogurt, we subbed in coconut yogurt or almond milk.  I also avoided any chocolate based recipes since it would be harder to replicate dairy/soy free.  

In no particular order, here are some tasty treats will be creating / enjoying this week…

Bare Necessities Fresh Fruit Pops

Bare Necessities Fresh Fruit Pops #JungleFresh #Shop

Simple Watermelon Pops

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Blueberry Lemon Popsicle

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Avocado Lime Popsicles

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And if I’m feeling really adventurous, we’ll attempt to recreate these…

Rainbow Popsicles

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These should keep us busy and cool for awhile!  I hope your family has fun with them too.

If you’ve missed any of our other Summer Boredom Busters, check them out below.  I also have some fun ideas coming in the weeks ahead so be sure to follow me by email or on Facebook so you don’t miss any!

Week 1: Easy Bird Feeders

Week 2: Water Play – Pretend Dish Washing

Week 3: Chalk Towns

Week 4: Ice Excavations

Week 5: Cotton Ball Painting

Week 6: Homemade Popsicles

Week 7: Giant Bubbles

Week 8: Water Play – Washing the Car

Week 9: Sun melted Crayons

Week 10: Obstacle Course