Friday, June 28, 2013

DIY Giant bubbles + DIY bubble wands

Happy Friday!  Another crazy fun week of summer has come and gone.  We're getting 100 degree heat and I love it!  Friday means we have another Summer Fun Friday idea!
We went camping this last weekend and brought along bubble and bubble wand supplies.  This can all be done with things around the house!  We were making giant, awesome bubbles!

Let's talk bubble recipe first:
6 cups water
      1 cup corn syrup
                                 2 cups dish soap (not concentrated)

Combine the corn syrup and water in a large container.

Then gently mix in the dish soap.  Don't stir too aggressively, we don't want it to get frothy.

Yes, we are stirring with a funnel. : )

That's it!  Bubble making time!

We had so much fun trying all kinds of items to make bubbles.  We tried a funnel, mason jar rings, pipe cleaners, and straws and string.  Plus a couple dollar store bubble wands.

First up, the funnel.  The idea of the funnel is that younger ones can easily blow into the big opening.  Just dip the funnel tip into the bubble mix and blow through the big opening.  I seem to have not taken a picture of the kids using the funnel.  It worked okay, I'd like to see if a better funnel would work better.  Plus, the funnel bubbles were small and we were anxious to make huge ones.  For smaller kids who love to blow bubbles, but can't quite use the little bubble wand, this is a great option. : )

Second, mason jar rings.  These worked great!  They were a fun way to mix up the bubble blowing.

Next, pipe cleaners (my favorite!)  The kids could twist these together by themselves into a big or small circle.  Then just dip the circle part into the bubble solution and blow, or let the wind do it for you.  We found that 3 pipe cleaners made just the right size circle.  Any bigger and the bubbles broke before really forming.  The pipe cleaner wands were the easiest for all ages and the most successful.  Super fun!  And huge bubbles!!

(Despite the serious faces, they were having tons of fun.  They were very focused while making the bubbles. : )

Last, string and straw wands.  These made the BIGGEST bubbles, but took more practice and effort to master the skill.  Once the kids got it though, they loved it!  Even the five year olds figured out how to use it after a handful of tries.  

How to make them:

Thread some string (we used embroidery floss)  through 2 straight straws. 

 Tie the ends together and slide the knot inside a straw.

  Then hold up the two straws spreading the string evenly between the them.  

To make bubbles:
Hold the straws side by side and dip the whole thing into the bubble mix.  Then as you pull the straws up out of the mix, slowly pull the straws apart.  Then the wind does the rest.  

 To close the bubble, slowly move the straws back together.  As shown below. : )
This is my oldest daughter Adrianne, she's 10, and she had this fully mastered!

(Don't mind all the camp junk in the picture, I probably should have been a little pickier about our bubble blowing location.)

Popping HUGE bubbles is pretty much irresistible!

This was loads and loads of fun!  It kept the kids entertained for a long time.  And there was lots of yelling and squealing going on as we watched each giant bubble!  
A must do for some summer fun! : )

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

DIY Patriotic Shirt

This is a quick and easy project!  It was also FREE!
I took a little Patriotic dress all my girls have outgrown, a plain white shirt from the closet, and some red embroidery floss; all on hand. : )
(This is a great way to give those stained shirts new life!)

Trace a star onto the white shirt.  
I used a metal star I have up for the summer.
Of course, you could use a paper pattern of a star printed or even hand drawn.

Cut out the star.

Next,  I used the star I just cut out as a guide to cut a bigger, less accurate star shape from the red, white and blue dress.

This piece does not need to be pretty. 

Then I turned the white shirt inside out and pinned the red, white and blue star to the shirt.  Make sure it is right side down.

Then I turned the shirt right side out and
 started stitching around the star with a basic straight stitch using embroidery floss.


Tie off the end, and the shirt is done!  
I did a shirt just like this a few years ago, 
I can't seem to find it now, but the stitching never came undone!  
So think twice before tossing every outgrown or stained clothing item.  
Maybe it deserves a second chance. : )
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Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer Bucket List-Summer Fun Friday!

This week we're showing you our Summer bucket lists! 
We went totally simple on our lists. Steffany used the chalkboard that hangs in her kitchen.  I chose to use a poster and markers.  Both are just handwritten.  
                   Steffany's List:

                     Melanie's List:

Have you done a Summer bucket list yet?  It's definitely not too late!  Here's a couple great links I found for some fun ideas:

101 Almost free things to do with kids from Stay a Stay at Home Mom

This one is mostly helpful if you live in Utah:
Over 1,900 Cheap and Free things to do in Utah from It's Written on the Wall 

In case you missed it, here's last weeks Summer Fun Friday post:
Easy and yummy Jolly Rancher Lollipops

Friday, June 14, 2013

Jolly Rancher Lollipops

Can you believe we're already halfway through June?!  The saying "time flies when you're having fun"  is especially true through the summer months.   So with summer in full swing, we've got our days filled with kid friendly fun.  I'm excited for a summer series we're launching today!

Every Friday through summer, we'll be sharing a great idea for some super summer fun!  

Very first, I'm so excited to share these Jolly Rancher lollipops!  I saw this idea a few months back in my Family Fun magazine, maybe you saw it too!  I hadn't been able to get them out of my head since,  and finally tried them.  Good news:  they are seriously fun and easy!  My girls and a handful of their friends had a blast making these.  

All you need is a bag of regular Jolly Ranchers, some lollipop sticks, and parchment paper.

 Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
 Unwrap the Jolly Ranchers and lay them on the cookie sheet so they are touching.

Bake in oven at 275 degrees for 7-9 minutes until they are all melty.

Immediately add a lollipop stick, turning once to coat.

Let them set at room temperature for about 5 minutes to harden.
That's it!

We did some triple, some double and some single pops.  I think I prefer the double Jolly Rancher one.  It seems to be just the right size to me. : )

These have quickly become a neighborhood favorite, and for sure a favorite new discovery of mine!   We'll most definitely be making them again!

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

How to build a GIANT SANDBOX

Sand is the greatest kids toy ever!  My kids will play in sand for hours and hours.  For years we have had a little plastic one with a dome lid, and the kids would all squish in it.  But no more!  This summer my girls and all their friends can be in beachy bliss right in our backyard!  Woo hoo!

To build the frame:
We got these red landscape beams from the Home Depot, on sale for $1.89 each. 
  We needed 14. 

We cut 2 in half to make our rectangle frame. (This part of our yard is horrible-the tree roots bulge out of the ground and we had our shed there where all the grass is dead.  Huge sandbox is a great solution for these problems. : )
We stacked the beams 2 high.  Then, we (he, that is)  drilled through both beams at all the ends and corners.

 Next, we hammered a piece of Rebar through the drilled holes and into the ground.

This is what holds the whole frame together.

Then I laid down some heavy duty filter fabric and had 2 1/2 yard of sand delivered and dumped onto our driveway.

At this point, we had to be pretty quick, I couldn't keep the kids off the pile!  And holy crap- sand is heavy!  I got started shoveling and wheelbarrow-ing and completely burnt out just in time for Jay to get home and take over.  He moved much faster than me. : )

Lots of wheel barrow loads later:


 Later in the day there were 7 kids playing in there and all 7 had plenty of space and tools to be perfectly happy.  YES!!!

We now have our backyard fully fenced and something to keep the kids happy back there!  Oh man-I am one excited mama!!
Oh!  If you're thinking "that sounds really messy," you'd be right!  Absolutely messy, I'll be doing A LOT of bum dusting, sweeping, and vacuuming, but I'm sure hoping it will be a fair trade off!  Maybe a follow up post at the end of summer?  See if I still love it?  

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