Summer Vacation is beginning! That means your kids are running rampant with excitement as they finish up their last homework assignment and call it quits for the year.
Maybe you've gotten some time off work, and you're super glad to be taking a summer vacation with your child(ren)! That would make you one lucky parent.
Or perhaps you are opting to stay at home most of the summer with the kids, and you have no idea what to do, other than force them to take summer school and keep their brain cells churning. If that is where you are at, then let Magical Playground give you some suggestions for what to do (other than visit us for a magical playtime, of course!)
1. Make healthy popsicles with your kids.
Food is the way into our hearts, so we're starting first with a food activity. It's easy to find a molding, and it's almost just as easy to make! Add some fruits with fruit juice or soda water and freeze for a cheaper and healthier alternative to store-bought sweets! Here are some of our favourite recipes for the summer:
Put the Lime in the Coconut (Who else remembers this song from the 90's?)
Just as the name suggests, you will use lime and coconut as your main ingredients. Slice up limes into thin slices and place them inside the mold, and then sprinkle in some coconut flakes. For the liquid, just squeeze some fresh lime juice and mix it with some coconut water. Taste-test this mixture before freezing (add a bit of sugar if you aren't too fond of sour). Pop it in the freezer, and you're good to go! The kick of lime works really well to bring out the freshness of coconut water, which is awesome in combating the summer heat.
Watermelon is the perfect fruit for the summer, because it has so much water content that it makes sure you are staying well hydrated. Add some watermelon to the blender, and just blend! Pour the juice straight into the mold (the left over watermelon juice is delicious, too!). To boost up the freshness level, add some thinly sliced cucumber bits to watermelon juice! It will add a nice crunch to the popscicle, too! Just pop it into the freezer, and within hours, you will have yourself a delicious, cold summer treat!
2. Take your kids out to the OC Fair
Living in Southern California definitely has its perks. Every year, we have the opportunity to enjoy the OC Fair! It's jam-packed with unhealthy foods, rides, activities, and animals to play with. It's a cheaper alternative to Disneyland, and gives kids a chance to experience things like milking a cow, riding a pony, and even feeding sheep. It is a great place to learn while having fun!
3. Splash around in the sun!
I'm personally an ocean girl, but the beach can sometimes be a hassle to go to with kids. Kids somehow end up shedding sand for weeks to come, regardless of how thoroughly we bathe them, and our house becomes a mess. Plus, the ocean can be a little scary to bring younger kids near, especially since they might pretend to be Moana and wander off the one second you turn your back away from them. One way to stay cool and make a big splash this summer is by going to a pool, or investing in a kiddy pool. There are still a lot of options if you don't personally own a pool at your residence. Public pools and gyms offer 1 day passes for a fairly cheap price, if you want to stay indoors and avoid sunburn altogether. Here in Southern California, most of us are also blessed with a larger backyard, where we can invest in buying a kiddy pool to splash around in. Regardless of which option you end up choosing, it's a great way for your kids to remain active, stay cool, and have fun!
4. Make slime!
I have to admit that I am guilty of playing with slime, even as an adult. I didn't understand the craze that had kids with slime, to the point where they would sell it to each other at a fairly high price. However, after making it myself, I remember how much I loved the Oobleck experiment I did in junior high. It doubles as a stress-blob, and it can be made with things you have lying around the house! Slime can be made into any colour, and it is also non-toxic. Of course, we suggest that you make this with older kids that will not try to put the slime into their mouth. Non-toxic does not mean it is edible!
What you need:
1 bottle of non-toxic school glue
1:1 ratio of water to the non-toxic school glue
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
This is honestly one of the easiest things to make. Pour the glue into a large mixing container (personally, I would not use a bowl used for eating/cooking). Then, add food colouring of choice. Add in the water, slowly, while stirring. Once this is all mixed, add the teaspoon of baking soda, and stir in a bit of contact solution. Add a little bit of contact solution at a time! Once the slime begins sticking to itself, do not add any more contact solution, and you can start kneading it into slime. If the slime consistency is still too sticky, add just a pinch more of contact solution. Be careful, because a little goes a long way! The last step is to just enjoy the creation! :) Play around with colour combinations and experiment with clear, white, and glitter glues! The possibilities are really endless.
5. Grow a mini vegetable garden
There are lots of vegetables that are very easy to grow, and having kids manage something like a garden is a cheap, eco-friendly way of teaching them responsibility. Plus, it doesn't come with the liability of the life of a pet. It's a really easy project to get your kids hyped about. Here are some of our recommendations:
All you have to do is have a few stems of basil. By putting the stems in water and feeding it some sunlight, the basil plant will begin to grow roots, and you can go ahead and transport it into a little pot to grow! Have your kid(s) be in charge of sprinkling water on it once every few days, as the basil plant does not need too much water once its begun to take root!
Like basil, rosemary just needs to regrow its roots with the help of some water and sun. Once roots have grown out, it is easily transported into a pot, and needs regular watering and sunlight. Not only is this plant great for cooking, but it will help keep your kitchen area smelling great!
Regrowing green onions require a similar process to growing basil and rosemary. However, instead of a stem, keep the roots of the green onion, and by putting it into water, the green part should regrow! This one is the easiest to regrow, and the only upkeep needed is to make sure the water hasn't been completely sucked dry!
If you honestly have no faith in your (and/or your kids') green thumb, succulents are the way to go! They require minimal watering, and they love the Southern Californian weather. They are practically no-maintenance, so you don't have to worry.
Now that we've told you some of our favourite summer activities with kids, what are some things you enjoy? We hope that with all the fun you and your family have planned, you will have time to join us for a magical playdate! As a reminder, our 10-visit passes are a great investment, because they last a lifetime, and let your kids play at a much discounted price!