Summertime Fun

Sharon writes:

My children and I like to play outdoors all year long, but the warm weather let’s us incorporate some “messy” fun into our routine. Here are some suggestions for some good old summertime fun:

Use small cups of plain water and some paint brushes and let kids “paint” on fences, driveways, or sidewalks. The water will dry quickly enough so that they will always have a fresh canvas on which to paint.

Fill beach pails with sand box sand and add water. Your kids will spend hours making mud pies. When they are finished, dump out the mud on a patio or driveway. When it dries, sweep it up and put it back in the sandbox.

Fill empty plastic soda bottles with a little water. Arrange them like bowling pins and have an outdoor bowling game.

Use sidewalk chalk to draw roadways on a patio or driveway. Be sure to draw in an area for a “car wash”. Children can take turns washing their tricycles and bikes.

Set up obstacle courses in your back yard. Include a tunnel to climb through, a hoola hoop, a jump rope, bouncy balls, and a ring toss. Kids can take turns rearranging the course or making up new uses for the equipment.

If you’re looking for some new toys to add some fun to your summer, here are my favorite picks. They are my absolute favorites and my kids love them too!

Favorite Toy for Turn-Taking:

Stomp® on the Launch Pad and a blast of air propels the Stomp Rocket® over 100 feet in the air! The kit comes with 4 foam rockets. The Junior is designed for ages 3 and up.

Favorite “Make-Pretend” Toy:

Let children’s imaginations run wild when they play with this tent. With the look of 2 castle towers and a connecting passage there is plenty of space for them to play with friends or alone. Closeable doors and windows help to keep the castle private, but don’t prevent airflow. The castle also provides a place to store toys and stuffed animals.

Favorite Ride-On Toy:

PlasmaCar Ride-On Vehicle
• Kid-powered ride-on toy is set in motion by your child’s energy• This unique vehicle moves with gravity, centrifugal force and friction—no batteries required• Turn the steering wheel from right to left to propel it forward• Made of sturdy plastic with a contoured seat; holds up to 220 lbs. on smooth surfaces, 120 lbs. on rough surfaces• For ages 3 yrs. and up; 16.5Hx31.13Wx14.25D"• 2005 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal
Available at Target.

The Best Bubbles Ever!

Five bubble ports are the secret to making oodles of bubbles with one easy blow. Set includes one easy-grip wand, a non-spill tray and four ounces of Bubble Oodles formula. Through play, children develop the self-esteem, coordination and social skills necessary to grow. Use Bubble Oodles to develop your child's fine motor skills and cause and effect cognitive skills.
Available at Gymboree.


Rachel Nguyen responded on June 9, 2008 at 12:55 PM #

Hey Sharon,

My kids loved stomp rockets, too. Now we do a low tech version where we put wine bottle corks into the neck of an empty two litre bottle and lay it on it's side. The kids jump on the bottle and have contests to see how far they can shoot the cork.