Friday, June 20, 2014


Wednesday - How To Train Your Dragon 2

Summer actually doesn't start until this Saturday (June 21st, 2014) however, today's temperatures were near blistering. When I use to work in a Summer Camp, we would also schedule the kids recess or outside play during the morning hours when it is still cool outside. The humidity was high, but the girls (my nieces) went outside this morning to play since they were calling for over 90 degree weather (the news that night mentioned that, how the temp felt outside, actually reached triple digits). My nieces had been asking to go see How To Train Your Dragon 2, so I looked up the showtimes and we planned our day. After lunch we headed out to catch the flick. My nieces loved the movie. To see my first review click here. Once we returned home the girls retrieved their library books and did their half hour reading. Once the sun started going down, they faced the heat and humidity and return to playing on the awesome new(er) swing set out back until it was time to go home.

Friday's Activity: Glitter Goo

Since I have two nieces, I have to divide and conqueror. This way they can pick their own color and have their own Flubber so no one is fighting over who's is who's and quantity. While some like to do it as a group activity (I've done this in the past as well) for my nieces I decided to let them both do their own experimentation and project, this way they are both responsible for their own Glitter Goo in their own marked Ziplock bags.

What We Used:

2 6 oz. Elmer's Glitter Glue
2 teaspoon Borax
1 1/4 Cup Warm Water
Large Bowl
Ziplock Bag (for storage)

Typically when making Goo (aka Flubber or Gak) ingredients can vary. Since the glue that we picked out for this project is already colored and has fabulous glitter in it, we didn't feel the need to add food coloring. We might try mixing food coloring another time. For this project though, we are calling it Glitter Goo. My eldest niece (through elimination) picked the yellowish green glitter glue and my youngest niece picked the pink glitter glue.

Step 1:

Emptying Elmer's Glitter Glue into bowel
Empty the glue into a bowl (we used an old Pyrex bowl and a metal bowl). Next, measure out 3/4 cup water and add to the glue. I wouldn't measure out the entire 1 1/4 cup warm water, by the time you empty the glue and get ready to add the water it will be cold. If you have a running faucet available, I typically just run the hot water until desired warmth and then have the children measure out 3/4 cup and add to their glue that is already in the bowl. Some suggest putting the warm water in the empty glue containers and swishing it around to try to get all the glue out, it's an option that some kids enjoy doing. 

Step 2:

Borax in Water dissolving
Next, in your cup add the 2 teaspoons Borax with the remainder (1/2 cup) warm water.  Kids love to measure out everything, have them measure out the Borax and add it to their cup, and then to run the warm water again and measure out 1/2 cup. Mix together until dissolved. This is a great opportunity to cultivate their schema; to ask them if they understand what 1/2 and 3/4 cup are and how much it would equal if they added them together.

Step 3:

Borax congeals to the glue
Mix the two concoctions together in a bowl. This is the messy part! Have them get their hands dirty (if they haven't already) and really mix them together. Some suggest to ease into the mixing by first mixing gently with a wooden spoon. Then, once the mixture becomes more formed to have them finish mixing and enjoying the Goo by hand. Either way - it gets mixed.

Step 4:

Finished Product
Once they're done playing with the goo, place in the Ziplock bag. We used the quarter sized freezer bags. Make sure their names are written in permanent marker. Also, when closing the bag try to get as much air out of the bag as possible before completely sealed. This will help preserve the substance and it'll be ready to go for the next time. I have also heard that it really hard to get out of carpet, so I would suggest children play with their Glittery Goo where it is most convenient for easy clean-ups.


Pic when we were mixing water with the glue
I think we'll play around another time with different amounts of Borax. We used 2 Tablespoons instead of 2 teaspoons and our consistency was much thicker. I think that the Glitter Glue was a different texture then Elmer's regular glue. The original mixture calls for 2 8 oz. bottles of glue, we used 2 6 oz. bottles of glitter glue. The glitter glue was thicker too, therefore the mixture was thicker. As well - just a heads up - if you use the glitter glue the glitter in the glue will get on hands and such. A little glitter never hurt anyone and it washes off easily enough. Overall, my eldest niece Arden wasn't too into it (she's 10). When I asked her to rate it a 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest = awesome) she rated the project a 3. But, my youngest niece (who loves these sort of things) was totally into it and loved it. She rated it a 4 out of 5, she also said she's excited about trying different mixtures. We'll definitely try it again.

Adding the two mixtures together
Kids really love this project and it will last awhile. Even if it becomes harder it is still a consistency that kids love to play with, stretch and bounce around with. If you put them in sturdy containers, kids love to push the goo down to make different noises (consistent with passing gas - to put it nicely). This is a great activity and most people have the ingredients in their homes. IF you don't have Borax it's really cheap and has multiple purposes, so it can totally be justified for purchasing. I have used it before when I ran out of laundry detergent. It can also be used (dry) to sprinkle in carpets (leave for a half hour before vacuuming) to kill fleas. It's been around for decades and is a valuable tool to include in your cleaning arsenal.


Homemade Gak Six Sisters Stuff
Pinterest has a plethora of great ideas for summer activities, that's how I found this wonderful site: I Dig Pinterest: 20 Fun Summer Activities for Kids
Wiki How

Tuesday, June 17, 2014



Conowingo @ Lighthouse Pool Managment Inc.

Kicking off the summer right, we decided to spend the first official day of summer vacation at the pool. We lathered up and enjoyed dipping into some refreshing chemically treated water. I even got to read a little while laying out. My nieces are 9 and 10 and can swim proficiently, especially since their mother and grandfather were both lifeguards. The 'deep end' isn't really that deep at the pool we go to. It's perfect for them to go and jump in (no diving). They brought some cool sinking balls that they could swim after and go underwater to retrieve (we just had to watch out for other kids picking them up).

We got a little late start (I usually like to be at a pool closer to opening time) so, we weren't able to snag any chairs or tables. It worked out though, we laid our blankets out on the grass and used our bangs and things to hold them down (so the wind didn't carry them away). Some tricks I've learned over the years, pool side (an you probably already know them): Take at least one extra towel, I like to put a towel over my bag to shield it from direct sunlight. Otherwise the suntan lotion and other things inside will get dangerously hot. Something I am going to start doing also is to pack a visor, because of the sun reflecting off of the water (even though we lathered up with sunscreen twice) our cheeks burned. Another tip I've learned is when taking off your shoes (we usually wear flip flops) turn them over. This way the sun isn't baking them and you won't burn the bottom of your feet when you try to put them on again.

"The Girls" having a blast at the pool
Overall it was a great day. Because we set-up camp in the grass we had a picnic styled lunch. We had packed lunch before we left the house. After our time at the pool had come to an end and it was time to go, we managed to rally enough energy to stop by a local spot for some ice cream before I dropped them off home. My youngest niece and I got small dipped cones while my eldest niece got a milkshake. Needless to say, we were all exhausted by the end of the day.


Harford County Public Library

Make sure to verify the Library branch times of operation before you go. We didn't have to wait as long as some other people did, we only waited ten minutes, but still that can seem like an eternity to a child. Anyway, once we were in the girls had fun looking for books. I snagged some grade level book recommendations to help guide them for their summer reading. While we were there we also signed up for their summer reading program. There are great incentives too! Each of them received a little bag with information inside. They received a sheet of coupons and vouchers. One of the coupons was for a free personal pan of pizza, so we stopped and picked up their lunch on the way home. They also informed us that if they read ten books by the deadline then they will receive a free ticket to an Iron birds game. This really excited the girls and they both picked out two books each. When we got home, after lunch and some down-time, I instructed them to read for about thirty minutes. They began to read outside, but since it's a hot-one today, they didn't last too long out and came in to cool down. They loved going to the library and we decided to make it a weekly trip.

Saturday, June 14, 2014


 Make Your Own Wind Sock:

Materials Pictured Here: Ribbon, Tissue Paper, Tape, Scissors, Construction Paper, Streamers, and Flags

The first project for the summer kicks off on Flag Day! I was able to round up most of the materials here from items we already had around the house. The only items I had to purchase were the red, white, and blue streamers and the small American Flags. Each streamer was only .97 cents and the flags came as a set of four for under $3.00. If you don't have money for streamers you can cut long strips of tissue paper or use the string or ribbon for the tail of the Wind Sock. We also used toothpicks and a stapler - not pictured. You can also have crayons, markers, stickers, and anything else that your child(ren) like to decorate with. 

We connected the flag to the paper using tape. If you use glue make sure you leave time to set aside the project for adequate drying time. Another alternative would be to use a stapler too.

First, we removed the flags from the little poles that they came on. Second, we measured them on the construction paper leaving space so that decorations can be visible. We also learned to leave a lip on the side of the construction paper (as seen above on the right side). This way when you close them together you have enough to connect the sides together without overlapping of their decorations. This can be a great activity for little ones to practice writing their name, you can also talk about how many stripes and stars there are on the flag and their significance. To get the facts visit here

My oldest niece wrote "FLAG DAY" on the bottom
Here is a pic after we connected the sides together and made the cylinder

My youngest niece opted for less decorative space on the bottom
She measured a wider piece of paper resulting - the upper sock (blue) is slender
where this one (red) is wider.

In the next step we connected the sides of the construction paper together to make a cylinder. We opted to use tape, you can also use a stapler to connect the sides together.  We then used toothpicks to poke through and connect the string for easy hanging (this part the kids needed a lot of assistance). You don't have to use toothpicks, you could use a hole punch and then just knot the ribbon or string so it is secure and doesn't slip out of the holes.

In the last step we cut the streamers to create the tail of the Wind Sock. Here you can also add
string, ribbon or cut long strips of tissue paper. The materials wouldn't last long outside with the elements, but they are cute to hand inside the house. Kids love these activities because it gives them a change to unleash their creativity. I like to make sure the kids can follow the rules, while also expressing their own individualism. Also, expressing that everyone is different so it's o.k. if one wind sock looks different from others. We connected the tails with the stapler, which depending on the maturity of the child, they'll need assistance with. Once you have finished - hang them in the house and enjoy!

What is great about making your own wind socks is that you can utilize materials around the house. You could also use empty paper towel or toilet paper containers (cylinders). It's great to get the kids involved too, you can tell them that you're going on an treasure hunt and start hunting around the house for red, white and blue items. This is a great opportunity for kids to ask questions (if they can use one item over other material). Younger children will need more assistance. My nieces are 9 and 10 and only needed minimum assistance. Afterword they began to manipulate pieces of construction paper to make other things (such as a castle and a fort).

After arts and crafts died down, we played Disney's Sorry and my eldest niece kicked my butt! 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


This summer, I will be spending the days with my nieces and I thought it would be a great opportunity to blog about the activities that we do. I have a lot of great ideas planned (thanks to my insomnia and searching through Pinterest). They both enjoy crafts and science projects - my eldest niece is just learning to sew. We also have a camping trip planned that I will be posting about that as well.

Next week is the last day of school for the kiddies here. My eldest niece is 10 and my youngest niece just turned 9. So far in looking at the calendar Next Saturday (June 14th) is Flag Day. So I started to search the internet looking up what we could do. I'm thinking that we'll make our own wind socks. Also, Father's Day is June 15th, so I found a really cute framing project and card idea. I can't wait to post pics and descriptions on our activities.

What my summer blog challenge will consist of is posting five days a week, Monday through Friday (when I usually have my nieces) and blog about our daily projects and summer routines. On the days that I don't have my nieces I'll post about other projects over the summer I'm working on, such as gardening, or day trips we may take. I think this is an exciting way to share my summer - it'll be like a virtual scrap book!