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Summer Fun with the Kids

School’s out, summer’s here, and the living is easy!
We love summer because it gives all of us a little extra daylight to slow down and spend some quality time with our kiddos.

Speaking of Q.T., if you follow Jessica on Instagram, then you know how much she loves a kid-friendly project that is fun and artistic (like that time Ace channeled his inner Jackson Pollock). We asked some of the mamas around the office for their thoughts on how they make the summer interesting and engaging for their littles, and we came up with this list of super-creative outdoor activities everyone will love. 

Maxi and Ace love a good, old treasure hunt and this one is custom-made for the long, hot days of summer. 
They can play and stay cool all at the same time and we know that when little Birdie is old enough, she’ll love this treasure hunt, too.

What you’ll need

For part one, a large plastic bowl, cold water, a selection of small toys (we like plastic dinosaurs, tops, rubber balls, shells, coins, plastic rings, and Lego minifigures); for part two, warm water, spray bottles, paintbrushes, salt, spoons, a small hammer.

What to do

Fill the plastic bowl with an inch or so of water. Add a couple of toys and freeze. When the first layer freezes, repeat the process until the container is full and you have a solid block of ice (note: this project might take a couple of days, but the final product will be worth it!). Remove the ice block from the bowl and let the kids excavate the goodies with everything from the spray bottles to the spoons, saving the small hammer for the last crack (under adult supervision, of course). 

This might just be the answer to all of your bored-kid summer problems—it’s fun, it’s creative, and it will keep your budding little abstract expressionists engaged all afternoon long. The best part is that even if the kids turn the squirt guns on each other, all you need to do is hose them down before letting them back into the house.

What you’ll need
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Five to six different water-based or watercolor paints, one squirt gun per color, standing easel, roll of paper.

What to do

Fill each water gun with a liquid watercolor (like these) diluted with water.
Set up the easel with paper in your backyard and let the kids go! 

This craft is one of our favorites because it’s great for kids of all ages—including the grownups!

What you’ll need

Round coffee filters, a spray bottle filled with water, clothespins (one per butterfly), pipe cleaners, Crayola markers, wax paper, brown lunch bags.

What to do

Give a piece of wax paper and two coffee filters to each child. Have them flatten the filters on the wax paper, and decorate the filters with the markers (pro tip: the wax paper will help with the color bleeding through). Then, let your kiddos mist the filters until just dampened. Pull the filters apart and let them dry for at least an hour. In the meantime, have the kids color in the closepins. Fold each filter like an accordion, and clip them together with the closepin. Then slip a piece of pipe cleaner through the hole in the closepin to create antennae. Then snuggle in with your homemade butterflies to read one of our favorite books, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle!