Water Gun Painting

For years I have been wanting to try all of the fun water gun art projects you see in Pinterest.  We finally had an opportunity while visiting family in Mississippi.  This was seriously SO much fun! You definitely need to add this to your Summer Bucket List!

Water Gun Painting- Fun process art for toddlers, preschoolers, and older children--even adults! This is a great Summer Bucket List Activity

What you need: 

  • butcher paper, posters, or something else to 'paint' on
  • tape (to hang paper)
  • water guns
  • paint (we used acrylic, but I recommend this)
  • water 

What you do:

Hang paper outside. Be very thoughtful about where you hang your paper.  The paint will not stay on the paper.  It will make a bit of a mess. We attached ours to some tree branches away from the house.

Fill the water guns with a paint and water mixture.  The first time I made the mixture too watery.  You want it to be a little bit thicker...the paper will tear if it gets too wet.

Let your child go to town! Emma really got into this.  She also wanted me to help some, so I did!

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We had so much fun doing this, and I really loved the end product.  We plan to use these as decorations for her Birthday party (look for that post next week). BUT, this would make really cute wall art for a playroom or kid's room!

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Ideas for Water Fun

If you read my post last week about my weekly summer planning (free planning printable), you know that we plan to have Water Fun Wednesday this summer.  Of course we will mostly go to the pool and different splash areas around Dallas, but I made a list of water activities for those days we don’t want to leave. And some of these are just great for that moment when you realize you have an hour of time to fill.

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Paint with Water

Have your children paint with water.  This is great for ANY age. Literally all you need is a brush and bowl or cup of water.  They could paint the patio, the sidewalk, the fence, the side of the house, etc….The possibilities are endless.

Paint Ice Cubes

This idea came from Busy Toddler.  She has the best SIMPLE activities.  In this activitiy, she just had her kids paint ice cubes.  So simple. So fun.

Play with Sponges in a Plastic Tub of Water

Just place some sponges form the dollar store in a tub or bowl of water.  Your child will have a ball playing, and you just bought yourself a few minutes.

Outdoor Alphabet Match

This super cute idea came from I Can Teach My Child.  Fill a kiddie pool with water and foam alphabet letters.  Write the alphabet out on your sidewalk or driveway. Have your child match the foam letters from the pool to the corresponding letter on the sidewalk.  This is a fun way to cool off and fit in a little letter practice. AND, if you have a younger toddler or baby, they can splash in the baby pool while big sister or brother is matching letters.

Frog on A Log Activity

Does your child love the ‘5 Little Speckled Frogs’ song? Mine does, so when I saw this activity from My Bored Toddler I knew we would be trying it at some point.  This one takes a tad bit of planning, but would be worth it...especially if your child is learning to count to 5.

Bath Crayons

We use bath crayons all year long.  We love them. My preschooler doesn’t want bath time to end when we she gets to play with bath crayons. Occasionally I ask her to draw something specific or squeeze in a little letter writing practice, but I mostly just let this be a fun time where she can use her imagination.

Color Mixing

This activity from Hands On As We Grow is simple, yet so fun.  Just add food coloring to bowls of water. Have child mix the colors in new bowls.  This is a great learning through play activity, and such a tactile way to learn about mixing colors.

Pouring Station

If you have not tried a pouring station with your young kids, try it now.  This one is great for EVERY age. Just offer water in different containers/pitchers with plenty of scoops, funnels, etc for lots of play. Lots of math skills in this activity.

Make Bubbles

I’ve been reading about bubble sensory play for years, but have never taken the time (aside from a bubble bath) to offer this one.  This is going into my plans for this summer. All you do is mix dish soap and warm water. You can mix it with a hand mixer or have your child whisk the bubbles.  We will probably do a little of both. There is a tutorial here for those of you wanting more info.

Glow Stick Bath

This would be a fun rainy day activity if you have a bathroom with no windows.  I think every age would love this, and you can grab packs of glow sticks at Dollar Tree.  Go ahead and grab some so you will be ready for a rainy day soon!

Pipes and Water Sensory Play Station

In this activity from Moms and Crafters, you just place some building pipes, measuring cups, and funnels to your water play station.  

Water Gun Painting

We are looking forward to doing this soon to help with decorations for a Unicorn Birthday Party.  I will share the results on Instagram. Just add watered down paint to water guns and spray on paper, canvas, poster board, kraft paper, cardboard, whatever you like.

Painting with Ice

Dye water and freeze in ice cube trays.  Use several different colors. Then just have your child use the ice to ‘paint’ on white paper. Find a tutorial here.

Squeezing Water

Work on your child’s fine motor skills with this activity.  Have your child use this and this to squeeze water and squirt back out.

Water Balloon Stomp

Ok, this one is SO cute from Laura over at Sunny Day Family.  She filled a tub with water balloons and had her kids stomp on them to pop them.  I can just imagine the giggles that this brought on.

DIY Splash Pad

I stumbled upon the cutest blog, Little White House Blog.  What she did with this square piece of concrete was genius! Check it out to see for yourself!

Backyard Carwash

Let your child wash their Cozy Coupe or other outside riding toy.  This is actually a good lesson in responsibility, as well as loads of fun for the littles.

Net Fishing

Fill a tub or kiddie pool with little caps, balls, or even rubber ducks.  Have your child use a net to fish out each item. Find out how one mom did this here.

Frozen Water Beads

If you caught my Top 5 Ideas for Sensory Fun post, you know just how much we love water beads! I thought this was a fun twist to water bead play.  Just freeze them, and then PLAY!

Colored Ice Cube Sensory Play

This one is a lot like painting with ice cubes, but this mom let her toddlers play with the ice cubes in a water tub.  Check out what she did here.

Pool Noodle Water Wall

Angela over at Teaching Mama put together this super cute pool noodle water wall.  Check out her tutorial here. We do not have a backyard, so this would be a good one for us to keep in the garage and pull out as needed.

Sprinklers

Set up a sprinkler in the yard.  SIMPLE. FUN. Gives you a minute to prop your feet up outside!

Water Table

Water tables are just a great way to entertain a toddler in the summer.  I suggest getting one NOW. You will not regret it.

Water Mat

I’ve never had one of these water mats. But might order one for our 6 month old.  I think he would really enjoy this.

Kiddie Pool

And of course, a kiddie pool.  I’ve mentioned this in several of the other activities, but the kiddie pool by itself is a great way to fill some outside time without getting too hot.

DIY Water Blob

I have always wanted to make one of these DIY Water Blobs.  I think it would be tons of fun. The next summer that we have a yard, we will be making one of these.  I’ve seen many tutorials for these over the years, but here is one that I thought was the best.

DIY Tin Foil River

This is a great activity for all ages, but I think your older preschool boys will LOVE this one.  Find all the details here.

Ice Block Play

The last activity I’m sharing is this one from Macaroni Kid.  I’ve wanted to do one of these for a while, and I think she did a great job of setting up this activity.  I really think this would bring a good hour of fun to your backyard.

Thank you for joining me today to read about all my ideas for water fun this summer.  I hope you found something that will add to some Summer fun at your house!

Ideas for Water Fun-Ideas for Stay At Home Water Fun--Every SAHM needs a water fun list for Summer

50 Ideas for Summer Outings with your Kids

50 Summer Outings with Kids

When we moved to Dallas almost two years ago, I was overwhelmed with the endless possibilities for outings.  There is seriously ALWAYS something new to go do. Thankfully, someone sent me a list of ideas they had for the Dallas area.  It helped me so much to have an organized list of activities, so here is a list for you. This is not just specific to Dallas.

50 Summer Outings for you Kids--50 ideas of fun Summer Outings for you and your kids

1-Indoor mall

2-Storytime at the Library

3-Church Play Area

4-Indoor Play Area

5-Target (we love looking at the toys...train your children to not ask to buy, but to enjoy looking)

6-Museum (TIP-ask grandparents for memberships as birthday/Christmas gifts)

7-Open Gym at local recreation center

8-Jump place

9-Park

10-Splash Pad

11-Picnic at a lake

12-Zoo (again, TIP-ask grandparents for memberships as birthday/Christmas gifts)

13-Feed ducks

14-Snow cone outing

15-visit an Orchard

16-Ice Cream Outing

17-visit a local farm/petting zoo

18- go on a hike

19- go to a movie

20-water park

21-amusement park

22-mini golf

23-bowling

24-ride the local train

25-go to a baseball game or other sporting event

26-Farmer’s Market

27-fly a kite at the park

28-take a one day road trip (Waco, TX is on our list)

29-manicures and pedicures for little girls (inexpensive and oh so fun!)

30-go fishing

31-attend an art class

32-trip to dollar tree

33-trip to pet store

34-Ride bikes on local trail

35-Chick-Fil- A (We live in walking distance!)

36-Aquarium

37-Trampoline Park

38-Trader Joe’s or local grocery store

39-Watch airplanes take off and land at airport

40-Fire Station

41- ceramic painting

42-home depot workshop

43- free local concert

44-Indoor ice skating

45-Take nature pictures

46-Disney Store

47-Visit a pool

48-Restaurant

49-Happy Hour at Sonic (Again, this one is walking distance for us!)

50-attend a music class

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50 Things to Do at Home This Summer

As a teacher, I learned that if I did not keep my students busy then things got out of control quickly.  As a mom, things get out of control even faster if we don’t stay busy...or at least have a purpose. I like to keep a list of different activities and prepare them in advance.  This way, if we find a free moment and need something to fill the time, we have something to do.

  1. make slime
  2. play in a rice bin
  3. build something (we are obsessed with magna tiles...click here to see which ones we like)
  4. blow bubbles
  5. pour station with water
  6. play in a bath
  7. paint a picture
  8. play a game
  9. sensory bin fun (check out 5 Ideas for Sensory Fun)
  10. eat a popsicle
  11. free play
  12. watch a show
  13. bake cookies
  14. make homemade pizza
  15. make playdough
  16. play with playdough (Play-Dough Fun for Toddlers and Preschoolers)
  17. make bricks and build with Mad Matter (click here)
  18. have a dance party
  19. sidewalk chalk
  20. build a fort
  21. make ice cream
  22. paint fingernails and toenails
  23. tye dye--we have not actually dont this...but I have promised Princess P we will soon.
  24. read books
  25. play doctor
  26. color
  27. busy bag activities
  28. have a tea party
  29. play dress up
  30. play ‘family’
  31. hula hoop fun
  32. jump rope fun (10 Jump Rope Activities)
  33. mommy and me workout on youtube (this is Emma’s favorite)
  34. practice cutting with scissors (or tearing paper)
  35. practice writing name
  36. clean the house
  37. water fun in backyard
  38. riding toys in driveway
  39. build with blocks
  40. play with pom poms
  41. have an indoor picnic
  42. watch a movie
  43. take a bubble bath
  44. take a walk
  45. bake cookies
  46. write a letter/color a picture for an out of town family member
  47. invite a friend over to play
  48. cuddle
  49. play school
  50. play grocery store
Summer Fun Ideas- Stay At Home Momming- 50 Ideas of what to do at home this summer

Weekly Summer Fun

Now that I have my daily summer schedule set, I want to make a weekly plan.  The reason I also want a weekly plan is so that I can make sure I am offering a wide range of experiences instead of doing the same things over and over. Of course, Pinterest was a great help in setting this plan. Make sure you read to the bottom to see a free printable for planning each week!

Messy Monday + Movie Monday

Messy Monday’s will be spent doing crafts that make a mess or making a sensory activity to play with during the week...or maybe even just playing in mud!  Emma LOVES a good craft and gets really into sensory bins... So I am always thinking of ideas that I think she would love (and that focus on necessary skills). To see what we do on Messy Monday’s follow us on Instagram.

We also love movies at our house, so Movie Monday was a must for us.  We will make a special snack (normally popcorn with M&M’s) and cuddle up on the couch for a movie.  We will mostly stick to movies found on Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Take a Trip Tuesday + Tidy up Tuesday

On Tuesday we will GET OUT OF THE HOUSE.  My next post will be full of ideas for summer outings with young kids.  Sometimes outings can be a lot of trouble and stress mommy out, but they are so good for the soul...for mommy and kiddos both.  Sometimes it will be just the three of us, and sometimes we will go with friends.

Most Tuesday nights we host our community group from church, so Tidy Up Tuesday is very important.  I include Emma in cleaning up and preparing our home for guests. This is a very teachable moment, and something that I feel is very important for her to learn.  We want her to grow up in a home where others always feel welcome and loved. Also, having a set time to clean helps me to stay on top of housework...I tend to let things pile up if I don't have a set time to complete housework.

Water Fun Wednesday

Water Fun Wednesday will probably be Emma’s favorite day of the week...not sure about Robert!  We are fortunate enough to have access to a pool where we live. Last summer, we could go and stay for hours at a time.  I’m sure we will spend most Water Wednesday’s at our pool. But sometimes we will venture out to a splash pad, or we will head to The Dallas Arboretum for some water fun.

Take a Trip Thursday + Thoughtful Thursday

Just like on Tuesday, every Thursday I plan to get us out of the house. We will also have Thoughtful Thursday.  I plan to spend this time making cards, a special craft, or even a fun video to send to our out of town family. This is a great way to keep Emma connected to our families since we do not live close.  This is also a great way to help her learn how to think of others.

Fun with Food Friday

And, lastly, Fridays will be spent cooking or baking. I am excited to be more intentional about spending time with my children in the kitchen.  Sometimes I am hesitant to do this because of the mess that will surely ensue, but I will purpose in my heart to just get over that this summer.

If you made it to the bottom of this post, thank you! I look forward to sharing our summer adventures with you over the next few months. Follow along on Instagram to see the details from each week!

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Top 5 Summer Essentials for the Stay At Home Mom

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Summer is already just weeks away, so I thought today I would share with you some summer essentials every SAHM needs/would benefit from having.

Pool

Since we live in a townhouse, we do not have a yard. BUT, if we had a yard, number 1 on my list would be a blow up pool! These were my two favorite finds on Amazon.

Puddle Jumper

Emma has been in swimming lessons this spring, but I am not ready to tackle the pool with a baby and a 4 year old not in floaties.  So for everyone’s sanity AND SAFETY, we will be using our puddle jumper this summer...unless dad is with us to help out!

Picnic Blanket

I love this picnic blanket. I just got one for Mother’s Day. I’m looking forward to using it at the beach in a couple of weeks, but I’m also gonna use it when we go on picnics.

Bubble Machine

As wonderful as summer is, it can bring some crazy days for moms and kiddos alike.  I don’t know what it is about bubbles, but they always calm down the crazy at our house.  We absolutely love our bubble machine.  From babies to big kids, bubbles are a must for summer fun!

Something to Build With

Make sure your child has a way to build this summer.  This engages their creativity/imagination and works on early math skills. Our favorite is MagnaTiles, but we also like to pull out the blocks and legos.

Summer Schedule with a Baby and a Preschooler

As I mentioned in my last post about summer, Emma and I LOVE a routine.  I actually have a hard time getting anything accomplished if I do not have a routine in place.  It took me lots of years to learn that, so now that I know this about myself I can actually do something about it. Emma goes to preschool 3 days a week during the school year, so our summer schedule looks completely different than our school year schedule (although lots of routines stay the same).

Before I begin, it is important that you understand that I see a schedule as more of a goal for each day.  Some days it works. Some days its a flop. The days that it works, we thrive. We typically struggle on the days the schedule doesn’t work for us, but that is ok.  What a great teachable moment...even if things don’t go as planned, we move forward with smiles on our faces.

Next, it is important that you understand that, as the mommy, I make or break the schedule.  The schedule simply will not happen if I do not do my part. This means getting going first thing in the morning.  Sure, we will have days that we have a lazy start to the morning (this means me sitting around with a second, or even third, cup of coffee), BUT it is my responsibility to get us started off each morning on the right foot. One thing that really helps me make this happen is to wake up early.  I have learned that it really makes our days so much better when I wake up early to have a quiet time and to prepare myself for the day.

So, here is our schedule:

7:00 Wake Robert up if he does not wake up on his own. Change diaper, feed, and spend a few minutes cuddling. 

7:30 Wake Emma up (some days I will let her sleep late), Breakfast and Bible time at the kitchen table.  Bible time for us is a story from The Jesus Storybook Bible, a short bible verse (we do a different one each week), and sometimes a short catechism question.

8:15 Morning Chores- Emma’s morning chores include clearing her place at the table, unloading utensils from the dishwasher, and replacing the trash bag.

8:30 Emma will get to pick a show to watch.  Robert will play with toys at his high chair in the kitchen, while I unload the dishwasher, clean the kitchen, and pack lunches.

9:00 Get dressed for the day (unless we are having a PJ day at home).

9:30 Robert goes down for nap (sometimes this will be in his bed, sometimes it will be in his carseat as we are leaving for an outing).  If we are staying home, I will take advantage of Robert’s nap time to spend some time with Emma.  I plan to do a little formal teaching during this time this summer (more on that later). But again, some days we will just play and enjoy spending time together.

11:00 Feed Robert, and head outside.  Sometimes this will be just going on a walk.  Sometimes it will be a short trip to the park or the Dallas Arboretum for a picnic and play time. The point is just to get out of the house.

1:00   Back to house, feed Robert, squeeze in a quick bath if necessary.

1:30 Nap for Robert, rest time for Emma...I'm still trying to decide exactly what rest time will look like this summer.  

3:00 Puzzles, books, or craft time for Emma

4:00 Feed Robert, Emma picks show to watch

4:30 Clean up--we like to make sure the house is clean before daddy comes home from work. This is also where I will squeeze in bath time if we didn’t do that before nap.

5:00 Emma completes lesson on ABC Mouse while I cook dinner and complete daily chores

6:00 Dinner

6:30 Feed Robert, Emma can watch a show or read books with Daddy

7:00 Bedtime

**Robert is breastfed, so his feeding schedule is not set in stone. On some days, he will eat at exactly 7, 10, 1, 4, and 6:30; but other days he will do his own thing. AND, that is OK!! Also, some days he will need to squeeze in a third nap still.**

**I like to do the kids' baths before my husband gets home from work. This allows for less stress after dinner and more relaxed family time spent together.  I realize that most moms wait till dad is home to do bath, but this is what works best for our family.**

As I said earlier, this schedule is more of a goal in my eyes.  Sometimes we are right on time every step of the way. Sometimes we might be an hour off.  Sometimes we might just throw the schedule out completely. Also, let’s just be honest, with a baby in the house, the schedule is ever changing.  I just know that, for myself, I will be much more productive and feel much better about time spent with my kids if I have a plan, or a goal for each day. I hope you will follow along with our summer fun this year (click to sign up for emails)!

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