I know I’m not the only one who feels like this summer went by in record time…it feels like we just put away the snow boots and mittens and here we are gearing up for harvest and inevitably, fall. I had grand intentions of creating a summer to remember filled with themes and activities and new adventures but I swear I blinked and the calendar said mid-August and I was left feeling dizzied with just how fast June and July left us. I did manage to check off a few things from our summer bucket list; we had a great time on our camping trip, made it out to the lake a few times, went strawberry picking, made homemade ice cream, set up the kiddie pool in the yard a couple times, had Weiner roasts and made s’mores, set off some fireworks, got to the splashpark in a neighbouring town, and I was able to get in one themed week with my boy…
So if you’re like me and clinging onto the last weeks of summer holidays by your fingernails, here’s some fun and easy ideas to do with your kidlets! Our “Aquatic Themed Fun” started with an easy paper plate craft. All you need is a bit of paint (although I’m sure markers or crayons would work too!), a coffee stir stick or popsicle stick, some craft foam and a glue gun. Create a water and sky scene on your paper plate, make a boat out of craft foam and glue it to the end of your stick. Cut a wavey path in your paper plate for your boat to ride on and voila! Sea Scene Fun!
For the next couple days we took some inspiration from one of our favourite books “Pout Pout Fish” and made a paper mâché fish out of a blown up balloon. We spent the first day making the paper mâché and the second day painting it up to look like a pout pout fish! Of course, we read the book a few times in between as well, you know, for inspiration!
Next up we made these sand dollar cookies. Simple sugar cookie recipe cut into circles and then decorated with cinnamon and sugar and some slivered almonds before baking. Inevitably we also had a bit of an educational afternoon learning a lot about sand dollars since my two year old brought to my attention “what IS it mommy?”. Did you know that the legend of the sand dollar is that the center is a star imprint and the holes around it create an easter lily. When broken open it is said that doves of peace can be found and if turned over you can find the design of a poinsettia, the Christmas flower. We brought our cookies to the lake and shared them with our friends!
While at the lake we spent the next day on a lakeshore hunt, looking for shells and stones and any other aquatic life! We came across an opened mussel type shell, a few crayfish skeletons and a couple very large frogs!
The next day we continued on the frog theme (mostly because I couldn’t find any fish gummies!) and we made little jello cups with leap frogs sitting on lily pads on top! I used gummy frogs and mint leaves and this simple dessert was a really big hit with my little guy! But then again, jello is ALWAYS a hit at our place!
The last day we capped off our Aquatic Themed week of Fun with these easy handprint rainbow fish. All you need is some craft paper, popsicle sticks, sequins, buttons, pom pops, feathers, beads or any other crafty decor items you have laying around. Cut out your handprints, glue them to a popsicle stick and then decorate them as you wish. If you’re lucky you’ll even get an impromptu puppet show out of the deal!
We really had a great time creating fun little activities all under one theme. (Next summer I hope to do more of this…no promises tho!). Not only did it break up the day a bit for us but we learned lots and I got to see more of my little guy’s creativity shine through and that’s truly my favourite thing to be part of lately! What kind of summer bucket list items did you check off? There’s still a few more days of joyous weather ahead and I hope to fill them up right to the brim!