I'm starting slow, with just a few ideas. Then I'll add things as we go along.
SLEEPFirst, and foremost, we are reorganizing our sleep! The kids are going to bed so late that it's leaving us with almost no free time at all, unless we go to bed so late that we are then constantly low on sleep. So, as of this week, we are switching that around! Kids are getting up at 6:30-6:45 am, and they will hopefully be going to bed around 8pm. Then, ideally, that means we will be able to go to bed by 10-10:30.
I think the kids will love this idea! They'll be so excited to keep some of their findings in a way that displays them better. I say some because I'm not sure I can handle a bug collection, or something like that, mixed in here. Maybe that's something Tyler can do with them if they decide they want to keep some bugs. (I'd hate to puke on their treasures!)
2. MINI SCRAPBOOKWe have a thing to keep their treasures now, but what about photos and journals? We need something for that too, right?!
I saw this mini-scrapbook (here) and thought it was so freakin' cute. I started making plans of how I was going to create this for each child. The papers I would use. The things I'd need to order to put it together.
Until that day, there is this idea too:
MEAD PRIMARY JOURNAL
I know. It's not nearly as cute, but with some creativity you can decorate it really cute! (This idea to decorate it is from my real life friend, "AJ Dub") I don't have a photo of it right now, but when we get them done, I'll show you what I mean. You can decorate the outside with really cute scrapbook paper. Then you can tie a ribbon around it to make it look even cuter. In the end, it's a very easy way to make the book look way cuter!
The photo next to the journal shows you a sample page. It has writing spaces for young children to write. They can draw a picture or you could even stick some photos in there for them.
I'm planning on this being a Sunday activity. Hopefully I'll be sitting with each of them and letting them write and color in it...maybe printing off some photos they want and sticking them in there too. (This won't be the official family photo album or anything! That will be something separate.) But I think it would be a fun way to teach journaling.
squirt gun, which we're planning on doing. I might freeze some of these little things in there, which then would give them some fun toys to play in the sand with (and maybe do some lessons on each of the little creatures!).
4. WATER BOTTLE WATERFALL:
The photo is self-explanatory. In case you can't see it, though, you can take a 2-liter soda bottle, poke holes in it, and fill it with water. Give it to you child and let them get wet as the water squirts out. We actually never have these soda bottles...but it's worth buying them for this!
Planning on going swimming lots this summer? If so, this site has some nifty waterproof camera cases. You can get some for your phones or cameras. This is the one we're getting. Better description is here, but better priced on Amazon here (when you include the free shipping, assuming you get that). If you want some for your normal point & shoot, they have covers there too for that (again, be sure to compare to Amazon because the prices are most likely better)!
Here is Rhys playing in our community pool (I'm not sure how we survived in Texas without a pool this long!). I was too scared to get very close due to the phone not having a waterproof case on it (and I shouldn't have used the "hdr" mode because it made it blurry!). Can't wait to use the camera in the pool. I'll let you know if my phone dies because of this. hehe.
Puddle Jumpers (they range in price depending on the design you get). There isn't a floatie part on the back (at least not equal to what is on the front), so it helps encourage their faces to float up, keeping their face out of the water. I don't know if anyone recalls back when TS was about 18 months old, and we were at Sea World. His life vest actually held him face down in the water while I was running to get to him! He would have drowned. (Freaked me out how easy it can happen.) So, I really really really love that these help keep the faces out.
6. Oops, one more. Have you heard of Pick Your Plum? It's a site that offers really great pricing on random items. It ranges from fabric to craft ideas to fun toys for kids, etc. You sign up for their emails and every day go peek at what they have for sale that day (changes every day). They have great prices on stuff. I bought the kids some fun drinking straw eye glasses for just a few dollars. You are limited in how many you can buy, but it's usually enough for what most people would need.
Okay, I'll stop rambling now. I'll try to do some "after" phones of these same projects!
Hope you all have a great summer!