That song is just the perfect summer jam isn’t it? Brings me straight back to my flag twirling days in the JMU Marching Royal Dukes! Now that the hottest season is upon us, I figured it was time to break out all the quintessential summertime activities- lemonade, watermelon, and of course the 4th of July. If you’d like more 4th of July activities you can check out my blogs from last year “Freedom and Justice for ALL” and “4th of July Boredom Busters“. Don’t forget to swim on over to my toddler post “Sunshine and Lollipops” for more great ideas like an adorable pineapple noodle craft, a 4th of July tie dye hat, and a popsicle paper tear craft!
-Beach bears snack and story: I made a beach bear snack by mixing some blue food coloring in a vanilla pudding cup (blue Jello works even better cuteness-wise but Walmart was out!), adding a gummy life saver for a floatie with a gummy bear on top of it and a mini paper umbrella as a finishing touch. Then we read one of my favorite beachy books “The Berenstain Bears Go On Vacation”.
-Shark fin letter practice: We did this one last year for shark week and since my little is STILL shark obsessed I busted it out again! If you don’t have the shark fins, you just cut some triangles out of grey craft foam and write the upper and lowercase letters on them. Then mix some blue food coloring into some shaving cream and spread it around on a sheet pan. Stand the triangles up so they look like shark fins and have your little either find certain letters you call out or choose and identify a letter at a time.
-Letter to a soldier: As part of our 4th of July celebrations, we did a little US history and wrote a letter to a soldier. First we discussed what soldiers do and how on July 4th, 1783 they won freedom from England and we became a country. We talked about how we celebrate July 4th because it’s the birthday of The United States of America. Then we discussed how soldiers today still fight to protect our country and keep peace around the world. Next we talked about what types of things you should include when you write to a soldier- encouragement, thanks, respect, kindness and a serious tone. I had my little decorate the front of a card and dictate what he wanted to say to his soldier and draw his picture inside the card. We actually wrote to my brother in law’s brother who’s in the army- if you have a soldier in your family, you can write to them or you can send a letter to any soldier at Support Our Troops.
-Red, white and blue name practice: My little can write his own name really well, but just his first name so I wrote his full name (first, middle, last) with dots on a sheet of paper and tucked it in a page protector. I had him practice tracing and saying each letter with red then blue expo marker. I also had him write our first president’s name for the picture!
-Summer book list:
-Summer citrus taste test and graphing: Ok so I LOVE citrus fruits but I’ve never eaten them back to back to compare flavors and it’s so cool! I always thought mandarins and oranges kind of taste the same… WRONG-O! They’re totally different! And key limes are SO MUCH MORE SOUR than regular limes…which are more sour than lemons! Anyway, my littles really enjoyed tasting all the fruits too (my toddler kept saying “BEST DAY EVER!” hahahaha). After tasting them all, we decided on which one we liked best (we all chose grapefruit which was another surprise!) To make our graph more interesting, I also asked my Facebook friends to tell us their favorite citrus fruit. After a few hours, we collected the data from Facebook using tally marks, and then I had my little color the number for each fruit on the graph. Finally I asked him some questions about the graph like: Which fruit did people like the best? Which fruit did people like the least? Were there any fruits that got the same number of votes? How many people voted for grapefruit?
-Lemonade stand math problems: I wrote some lemonade stand math problems then printed them and had my little solve them using pictures.
-Water balloon number hunt: I wrote the numbers 1-10 with sidewalk chalk on the driveway then called out numbers and had my littles find them. Then we’d say “1, 2, 3 SPLAT!” and they’d throw water balloons at them. You can get self filling/tying ones for about $8 at Walmart called “Bunch O’Balloons”….they’re AMAZING!
-4th of July DIY firework: This was a super fun rocket demonstration I got from Team Cartwright. You can use a toilet paper tube, but we decided to make one with red construction paper so my littles could help me tape it- and so it was more patriotic. So you just hot glue the tube to the top of a plastic Easter egg (don’t forget to fill in the holes in the egg if it has them!) then take the rocket outside and place an Alka-Seltzer tablet in the top half of the egg and some water in the bottom. Quickly snap the halves together and hold the bottom part of the egg so your fingers don’t touch the top part at all. The pressure should build up enough to launch the rocket! If you follow Little Loves and Learning on Facebook, I posted a video there to show you how it works!
-Summer temperature charting: Each day this week we took the temperature in the morning and afternoon and wrote it on a line graph. We discussed the graph and the trends we noticed at the end of the week just like real meteorologists do! If you forget (because it happens, am I right?) you can ask Alexa what the weather is and she’ll give you the high and low temperature for the day!
-USA floor puzzle: I snagged this Melissa and Doug USA floor puzzle for about $11 on Amazon and my little and I put it together to help celebrate America’s birthday (and learn a little map skills while we were at it!)
-Ooly puffy pen ice cream painting: The company Ooly makes really cool puffy pens that you color with then blow dry when the ink dries- some how the heat makes the ink puff and crackle! It’s super cool! We colored ice cream pictures with them then made our pictures come to life with a little heat! If you don’t want to spend the money on the pens (they are a bit pricy- I got a set for way cheaper on a presale site I’m a member of on Facebook called “Firefly Finds”) you can always do puffy paint instead!
-Root beer float: One of the characters in a book we were reading was drinking root beer and my little wanted to try it so I figured it was a perfect addition to our summer week! I added ice cream of course to make it an even yummier root beer float.
- shaving cream
- cake pan
- blue food coloring
- grey craft foam
- sidewalk chalk
- Bunch ‘O Balloons
- US puzzle
- toilet paper tube
- plastic Easter egg
- root beer
- vanilla ice cream
- vanilla pudding or blue Jello cup
- gummy bears
- gummy ring
- small paper umbrella