We’re already deep into pool days and water balloons, but we only officially just got into summer. What does that mean? Summer Solstice marks the fist day of summer. It’s the longest day of the year. These projects will guarantee fun from the start of the Summer Solstice to the end of the season!
Sunshine Play Dough
Kids love playing with play dough, and making it is just as much fun as playing with it, so make some Sunshine Play Dough. There is a secret ingredient you must use, to make the dough last longer, cream of tartar.
What you need:
1 cup hot water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon cream of tartar
yellow food coloring
1 cup flour
Stir together all ingredients, except the flour, until smooth.
Add the flour and knead dough.
Store in an air tight container or plastic bag.
These fun to eat sun shaped snacks will be a huge hit with your kids. The pineapple and strawberry combination tastes delicious and the skewers mimic a popsicle, so it’s easy to eat. If you are looking for a cooler treat, just stick them in the freezer for a couple of hours, voila fresh fruit popsicle.
What you need:
Remove the outer skin of the pineapple and core.
Slice the pineapple to create rings.
Cut the tops off the strawberries.
Place a strawberry in the center of a pineapple ring.
Gently slide a skewer through the fruit.
Clock in an all day project with this home-made instrument which marks the time by the shadow it creates. After making the sundial, place it in a place that will get full sun all day. Let your kids mark the shadows throughout the day, every hour or two. As a parent, it is awesome to see their amazement when they realize they made a clock.
What you need:
Circular wooden base
Pipe floor flange with screws
Secure the floor flange in the center of the base with screws.
Screw the pipe in the connector.
Place in a sunny spot that will get full sun all day.
Mark the shadow your sundial creates with chalk throughout the day.
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Parenting 411: Teaching The Summer Solstice
Do You See What I See?
“Have you ever had a Peeping Tom?” was the question asked by my curious and concerned seven year-old. A question I was prepared to answer, considering our recent conversations.
Okay, now, I’ll answer the question, “Why were Peeping Toms in your recent conversations?”
There are two, the first being Diary of a Wimpy Kid, a series which Azul has independently read through in the course of a couple of weeks, and the simultaneous playing of those movies in my house. Second, we also just watched the 80s’ classic Back to the Future, where Azul was relieved the “old” movie was in color. Both stories include peeping in the storyline. I know, kids’ movies these days!
After a thorough investigation (I Googled it.) into the origin of the term “Peeping Tom” and the following discussion of Lady Godiva, riding horses naked and the loss of sight or death due to seeing someone in the nude, I reassured him, “Toms” were not looking through our windows. That is when the original question surfaced.
“Have you ever had a Peeping Tom?”
With a shrug and lack of worry, I answered, “Not that I know of.”
“Well, there are some pretty desperate men out there, that will go for anything!”
After the laughter subsided, stripped of all my self-esteem, I replied, “I’ll keep my eye out for them.”
See Dick Run
Over the years, I have put a lot of effort into explaining, to the point of exhaustion, the meanings of and reasons behind the existence of almost everything, to my now seven year-old son. Kids are like little sponges, and their curiosity for understanding is so super cool, that I try my best to answer Azul’s questions as completely as possible; and if I don’t have a reply, I take the time for us to look it up together. Any topic can be put forth and jointly we have talked about subjects like death, religion, Star Wars and even what it means to be a dick.
The latter topic came up because I recently ordered the book, How Not To Be A Dick. In addition to all the talking we do, we also read constantly and the book was in a stack of mail on the kitchen counter.
Azul must have reflected on the book title for a few days, because he didn’t immediately ask, “What is this, How Not To Be A Dick book about?”
At this point I have had plenty of experience in expounding, so I jumped right in.
“It’s a book on etiquette, but it’s also a reflection of the comedic value of common sense. There are a few things that come into play to make it funny and the first is the title. There is a classic kids book called Dick and Jane which was used to teach good behavior. Good behavior is also called etiquette. In addition, Dick is the little boy’s name in the story and Dick is a nickname for Richard. So many Richards use the shorter version, Dick. But, dick can also be a bad word because dick is slang for penis, so if you call someone a dick you’re actually calling them a penis. Which is not very nice and you shouldn’t call people names, especially a penis, because that’s just weird. But, that’s why it’s humorous, you can read the title in a couple of ways, as not to be a Dick as in, the little boy Richard in the story book, or not to be a dick as in, a penis.”
I could have kept going if I weren’t loudly interrupted with, “Can you stop talking now?!”
I’m not sure if that was a question or a request, or maybe an emphatic statement, but I do know who needs to read this book next.