Swimming pool scrabble

mott blog - clv 2015 - swimming scrabbleSchool’s out for summer, but that doesn’t mean learning has to stop. Summer gives us an opportunity to put extra focus on the fun in learning. Here are some great word games you can play in the pool. These work with both large pools and small kiddie pools. So have fun and get wet!

Letter jumble

For this fun activity, you just need some simple kitchen-sized sponges, scissors and a permanent marker. Cut the sponges in half. On each sponge, write a letter (you can write a letter on one side and leave the other blank or write different letters on each side). Choose letters that can be easily assembled to create words (vowels and consonants like B, D, G, H, L, M, N, S, T, R).

Now for the fun. Toss the sponges into the pool. Have your kids swim and collect the sponges. You can start by having each person collect 5 sponges to see if they can create a word from their letters.  Each person can draw more letters as needed to create a word, similar to how you’d play Scrabble.

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Build your own (breakfast) taco!

Breakfast tacosKids love tacos, and kids love hands-on activities.  This recipe combines both for a fun way to tackle the most important meal of the day – breakfast!

Ingredients:

  • Whole wheat tortillas
  • Eggs – one per person
  • Shredded spinach leaves
  • Shredded cheese
  • Guacamole or sliced avocado
  • Salsa or pico de gallo
  • Other toppings, such as pineapple, mushrooms, diced red onion, diced peppers, etc.

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Hiking with kids

Tips for hiking with kidsSummers in the Midwest are a great time to get out and enjoy nature. Hiking with kids is wonderful exercise and a fun family activity. Just be sure to follow some basic safety tips to make sure everyone has a good and safe time.

Planning the hike

Hiking is a fun way to explore new areas. You can start by taking a few minutes to prepare so everyone has a good time. Continue reading

Bubbles that bounce

Bubbles that bounceEveryone loves blowing and playing with bubbles. Wouldn’t it be great if the bubbles didn’t pop the instant you touched them? We have just the recipe! This activity involves a little pre-planning — you make the bubble solution the day before — but it’s worth it.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup distilled drinking water
  • 1 tablespoon dish soap
  • 1 teaspoon of glycerin (available at most craft and drugstores)
  • Straw and/or bubble wand*
  • Clean glove (or sock) — helps keep the bubbles from popping

* You can also make your own bubble wand. Check out the directions below – you just need a wire hanger, needle nose pliers and some beads.

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Groove to the beat: DIY drum activity

DIY drum activities for kidsPlaying music is fun, but you don’t need expensive instruments to make music. Using some simple household items, you can make your own instruments and then start grooving and playing together.

DIY Drum Activity

Supplies:

  • Packing tape (clear)
  • Cylinder-shaped object open at top and bottom (cardboard oatmeal cylinders work well, ice cream buckets, or a section of large PVC pipe)
  • Scissors

Instructions:

Remove both ends of the cylinder you plan to use. Be sure to cover any rough or sharp edges with tape. Take the packing tape and make big strips across one of the open ends (run the tape about two or three inches down the side of your drum). Be sure to keep the tape tight across the top as you work. Make an X with every two pieces of tape you use. Keep placing strips of tape until the entire top of your drum is covered with at least two layers of tape.

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Baked pita chips

Baked pita chipsThese pita chips make a great crunchy snack, and your kids can help make them! Try them with the bean dip we featured last week!

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole wheat pitas
  • 2 teaspooons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut each pita into 8 triangles.  Then open each triangle and separate it into two pieces. You should end up with 32 triangles.

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