Beat the Heat

Photo of children playing in waterWow! The summer heat is already in full swing, and August is promising to be even hotter! One way that I like to beat the heat is to face it head on by going outside and splashing around. You can do this too by going to the beach or the pool to catch some waves, or you can even turn to your own yard! Here are some ideas that will help you cool off at home.

  • Freeze toys in ice cubes — Place small toys like plastic cars or bugs into your ice cube tray. Fill the tray with water, and freeze it overnight. Take the ice cubes outside, and see who can melt theirs the quickest.
  • Ice cube painting — Fill an ice cube try with food coloring and water. (This is a great time to talk about color mixing.) Put plastic wrap over the tray and add craft sticks or toothpicks to each cube. (This is optional, but it will make a great handle for painting.) When the cubes are solid, use them to paint on paper or fabric.
  • Target practice — Draw a target on the sidewalk with chalk. Wet down a few sponges, and toss them into the target!

What would summer fun be without a soundtrack? Personally, I stay cool by listening to the Beach Boys, which you can find on Hoopla or on CD at your local branch. Or you can get really creative and make your own summertime playlist on Freegal.
Remember to wear sunscreen and drink lots of water!

Banishing Boredom

Photograph of bored childNow that summer has arrived, many children will find themselves with more free time on their hands. If you are worried about hearing “I’m bored!” we have a solution: create your own Boredom Busting Jar! When your kids say they are bored or have nothing to do, send them to the jar, and soon they will have an activity to keep them occupied. It is a genius idea in its simplicity. Children will have a stockpile of activities, freeing caregivers from being put on the spot to think of the perfect afternoon project.

Start with a jar with an opening large enough for a hand to reach in and pull out a piece of paper. If you don’t have a jar, you can use a box, coffee can or other container. Create a list of activities children can do on their own, together or with the family. Cut the individual activities out, and place them into the container. You can label or decorate it as desired. When someone utters the phrase “I’m bored!” send them to the jar for an activity.

Continue reading

Community Spotlight: Day Dreams Foundation

Day Dreams Foundation logo

Founded in September 2014, the mission of the Day Dreams Foundation is to eliminate financial barriers to participating in extracurricular activities and promote healthy life styles, goal setting, academics, team work and respect for others.

Children who qualify for free or reduced lunch at Columbia Public Schools can apply for scholarships from the Day Dreams Foundation to pay for the fees associated with extra curricular activities.

In 2015, the Day Dreams Foundation awarded $8,635 in activity fees and equipment costs to 42 kids in Columbia!

The following is a list of extracurricular activities for which the Day Dream Foundation will provide scholarships. Continue reading

Juice Box Robots

Juice BoxesLast month my mom received the cutest Valentine – a little robot made from a juice box and other snacks. We both loved how kid friendly this treat was and how easy it is to recreate. You can also use healthier options, depending on who will be enjoying (aka eating) the robots.This craft is easy for kids to make, and it’s a wonderful project to gift to others. Continue reading

Make Your Own Bird Feeder

birdHere’s a craft that allows you to combine three wonderful things:

1) Young children

2) Fine motor skill development

3) Minimal mess

Don’t believe it is possible to do all three at once? Read on, and find out how you and your child can make a simple bird feeder! Continue reading