Easy & Inexpensive Summer Activities For Kids, part 4

A few snapshots from my July, starting from above left: flip flops, a summer staple, top right: frozen pink punch, who wouldn't want that on a hot day? Bottom left: an epic failure I made for Independence day - there may be a post about it coming soon, and bottom right: taking in a ballgame  is always a highlight!

A few snapshots from my July, starting from above left: flip flops, a summer staple, top right: frozen pink punch, who wouldn’t want that on a hot day? Bottom left: an epic failure I made for Independence Day – there may be a post about it coming soon, and bottom right: taking in a ballgame is always a highlight!

Well, August is finally upon us, and around this time every year I begin to see hope for some relief from the hot weather not too far away. Although, I really can’t complain as this year has been one of the mildest summers I think I have ever experienced. Still…

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To continue with my series of easy and inexpensive activities for kids, lets make a popcorn cake, shall we?

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This is a cake I think just about any child (and adult!) would love; popcorn, gumdrops, peanuts, and melted marshmallows; it sounds like a creation fresh out of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.

With minimal effort, you can have this cake ready to eat in no time – which is good, unless you happen to have/know a child with an unusual amount of patience!

Oh by the way, a big bonus is no use of the oven needed!

Enjoy!

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Notes:

~ Please do not make the mistake I did, and end up with a popcorn + kernel cake… I used the microwave kind of popcorn and wasn’t sure how I would sift out the kernels so they ended up in the cake! :/ Yeah, that’s me…no worries though, my nieces never ate the actual cake, just some of the leftover mixture which the kernels could be picked out of – but lesson learned: don’t use the microwave kind of popcorn! (and yes, I’m sure it was sheer stupidity to use it in the first place…)

 

Popcorn Cake

With a mixture of popcorn, gumdrops, and melted marshmallows, this is a sure pleaser!

Ingredients

4 quarts popped corn

1 pound small gumdrops

1/2 pound salted peanuts (totally optional, I left them out!)

1/2 C. (1 stick) butter

1/2 C. vegetable oil

1 pound marshmallows

Multi-colored sprinkles, optional

Directions

In a large bowl, combine popcorn, gumdrops and peanuts (you may have to use your hands).

In a large saucepan over medium high heat, melt butter, oil and marshmallows until marshmallows are thoroughly melted and mixture is smooth.

Pour marshmallow mixture over popcorn/candy mixture. Stir (again, you may have to use your hands some) until combined.

Place in a generously (and I do mean GENEROUSLY) buttered tube/bundt pan.

Once the mixture has cooled, turn out onto a serving plate.

Decorate with sprinkles, if desired.

Must be prepared the same day it is served.

Serves 12

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Easy & Inexpensive Summer Activities For Kids, part 3

 

 

Could you get much more fun than slime, glow-in-the-dark no less?

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Two weeks ago when my nieces were over, we put this together and had lots of fun doing it!  Such a cool, inexpensive idea and  –  the best part is… they loved it!  I had been looking at this project for a little while and after having made glow-in-the-dark jellyfish the previous week, I decided to use some leftover paint from that to make the slime. At first I was a bit apprehensive as to whether or not this project would be easy, but once you have everything together you really couldn’t get much easier.

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Here are the supplies that are needed:

Borax

Water

 Glue

• Glow-in-the-dark paint

• Neon Food Coloring 

• Popsicle sticks

• Mixing bowls

Bottle for mixing borax/water solution

Those are the supplies that were originally called for, but I didn’t have some of them (like clear glue or neon food coloring), so here is what I used:

 Borax

•Water 

• Regular craft glue

2 different colors of glow-in-the-dark paint

Paper straws (for stirring)

• Spray bottle (for the water/borax solution)

• Candy cups (for mixing bowls)

Using these as opposed to the original supplies worked out just fine and if you have colored glow-in-the-dark paint like I did, then you can eliminate the food coloring!

Making this was so easy and fun, not to mention taking it into a dark room and watching it glow…

Enjoy!

Glow-in-the-dark slime tutorial

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Sorry I don’t have any pictures of the actual slime – couldn’t get a good one! 

Easy & Inexpensive Summer Activities For Kids, Part 2

Okay, so I am really beginning to wonder where all of these cool crafts were when I was younger, especially ones like this weeks craft: glow in the dark jellyfish!

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As a kid (and I must confess that this has not changed…) I was enthralled with octopus, squid, jellyfish, and just about any sea creature in general. I mean, one of my biggest dreams was to see a live octopus… or bigger yet, a giant squid! so you can imagine that even though these are not octopus or squid, how excited I would have been to put together a craft like this. Anyway…

This craft is super fun, super cute, super easy, and CHEAP. As I have mentioned before, please visit the website for a step-by-step tutorial, but just to give you an idea these are all the materials that are needed (and again, there is a good chance that you probably already have some of them):

~ heavy-weight paper bowls
~ white yarn
~ glow-in-the-dark acrylic paint (under $3 for a 2 oz bottle of Folkart paint)
~ paint brushes and painting supplies
~ scissors
~ zipper sandwich bags
~ skewer or sharp pencil

We got three different colors of paint: pink, yellow, and green. While my nieces were doing something else, I set everything out, cut the yarn and divided it between different bags (each girl got three bags, one for every color). Then when they were ready, I put some paint in each bag and let them “squish” away! Then, while I went to hang the yarn outside to dry, I let them paint their bowls.

The great thing about this Texas sun and heat is that when you hang something wet outside, it’s dry in a flash!

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To get to the point and not bore you with details of what exactly we did, this craft is really a great one for kids of many ages (my nieces ages span from 6 to 3) and is not too time consuming. Plus, I think they would be great to hang up in a bedroom or playroom!

Glow In The Dark Jellyfish Tutorial

Enjoy!

Aunties secret: mommies make homemade juice popscicles, aunties BUY juice (um, natural of course… 🙂 ) and stick it in the popsicle molds.Voila! No muss, no fuss, and the kids are just as happy! 😛

Easy & Inexpensive Summer Activities For Kids, Part 1

Everybody needs things to do with kids, especially in the summer, right? And I’m not even necessarily talking about things just for mommies; I’m also talking grandparents, aunts, uncles, or any person spending some time with kids and in need of some fun and (big bonus!) cheap things to do. I am an aunt who currently babysits her three nieces every week, so you can imagine my interest in finding some fun, easy, and inexpensive things that they will enjoy doing with minimal stress on the adult party!

During my searches, I have been very happy to find activities that have fit into these categories, so each week that I (or my Mom, sister, or brothers for that matter!) do a new activity with my nieces, I will try to post it along with a link. Please don’t expect any good pictures however, as most likely any pictures will be taken in the moment with a phone/iPad. 🙂

I hope you find these crafts/activities just as helpful as my family has – some of them can be quite fun – where were these things when I was a kid??

The craft I want to share with you this week is rather genius and I was wondering who came up with this idea (whoever you are, thank you!). It is simple, quick, and inexpensive as you most likely already have most (if not all) of the supplies needed. The craft I am referring to is sandpaper art t-shirts. This activity is great for kids of all ages and is especially good if the child loves to draw. All it involves is white t-shirts, crayons, sandpaper, paper towels, and an iron.

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Don’t you just love it when you are reading a tutorial for a craft for kids on a mommy/crafting blog and they always look so perfect? Well don’t be fooled, this right here is the real deal! Hey, that actually looks like a child’s drawing on that t-shirt…

Basically, (these are not the detailed instructions, so please visit the website for a step by step tutorial) what you are going to do is, have the kids draw on a piece of sandpaper and then (you the adult) iron it on to the white t-shirt. How simple is that?

Sandpaper art t-shirt tutorial.

Here is also another (tasty!) activity that is inexpensive and so easy for kids – check it out! Although, be sure to explain it better than I did – my nieces ended up eating the pretzels fondue style: dip, eat, repeat…

Enjoy!

What are some fun, easy, and inexpensive crafts/activities you like to do with kids? I would love some new ideas!