Summer is in full swing! By now, you may have exhausted all of your resources to keep your youngsters entertained, and are finding them lounging around the house complaining that there is nothing to do. While every suggestion you provide is begrudgingly answered with a disapproving response, you may find yourself counting down to Labor Day. Don’t rush your summer away too fast though, we have some suggestions that you may not have tried yet.
Make your very own Ice Cream in a Bag– Who doesn’t love ice cream? Each of your kids can easily make their own ice cream, and create their very own flavors! This is a pretty simple thing to do.
What You’ll Need:
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup Kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pint-size Ziploc bag
1 gallon-size Ziploc bag
Any of your favorite ice cream mix-ins
How to Make:
Combine the half and half, sugar, and vanilla extract into a Ziploc bag (pint-size). Make sure that the bag is sealed tightly, otherwise a mess will ensue.
Next, you want to take the gallon-sized Ziploc bag and fill it half way with ice cubes. Then, you will sprinkle the kosher salt all over the ice in the bag. Next, insert the pint-size Ziploc bag that is filled with the above ingredients inside the gallon size bag full of ice and salt. Make sure that you seal the gallon-size Ziploc bag nice and tight! You can always double-bag the gallon-size Ziploc bag if you are worried about a leak.
After everything is mixed and put in the designated bags, have your kids shake the bag diligently for 5-10 minutes, or until the ice cream mixture begins to harden. To determine this, feel the small bag and see how the consistency feels. Once you are stratified with the consistency, remove the small bag from the larger bag of ice.
Here is where your kids can really get creative. Once they open the smaller bag, they can add in any of their desired mix ins as they please. Your kids can even eat the ice cream right out of the bag, or if you prefer, you can scoop it into a bowl.
Create a Bubble Fort– Summer can leave us really hot and sticky, and it can be hard for the little ones to understand the cost it takes to cool the entire house. A nifty trick is to build your kids their very own bubble fort. This trick will help keep them cool, and give them a space where they can do activities such as read and color.
What You’ll Need:
1 Box Fan
Duct tape, clips, or weights (such as heavy books)
1 Top Sheet (Or Light-weight blanket such as a duvet cover)
There are a few ways you can create this fun activity.
Take the top sheet, and fold it in two. Next, you will tape the two sides together, leaving the longest section of the sheet open. Next, clip or tape the longest section, allowing for enough space for your kids to crawl into. (Note: if you are crafty, you can always sew or tape two top sheets together to make an even bigger tent!) Allow them to fill it with blankets and pillows to make it more comfortable. The space where they can crawl into it, face the box fan there, and turn it on. This will make a bubble fort for your kids, and keep them cool.
Take the top sheet and line the edges of it on the floor with your choice of weights on all but one side (leaving enough slack for a bubble to form). The side that is open is where you will face the box fan, creating a bubble effect. Your kids can put blankets and pillows down in the inside to really make it their own.
Make Water Balloon Piñatas– This is a super easy and fun way for your kids to play outside for hours!
What You’ll Need:
An Adult-approved Stick
To do this activity, all you have to do is fill up the water balloons. Next attach a string to each water balloon and hang them at various lengths from a tree branch. Don’t have a tree branch? No worries! All you have to do is get some rope and find a few places you can tie them to, such as fences, post, or get creative and use their swing sets (or monkey bars).
Want to make this an evening event? Parents can break open some non-toxic glow sticks from the dollar store, and add the glowing liquid to the water in the balloons. This will make them glow, making it seem like more fun (even though they will be blind folded).
In addition to creating the above fun activities, there are also a lot of community events that will help you get your kids out of the house and entertained. We have made a list of just a few ideas for you here:
Where: Northwest River Park
Date & Time: July 15th at 6 p.m.
Event Going On: Movie: Dory–2017 Movie & More Summer Movie Series-FREE Family Fun! Gates open at 6 p.m. with dance party, inflatables, face painting and other fun activities prior to the movie. Food vendors on site.
Where: Kaufman Mall, Old Dominion University Campus, Norfolk, VA
Date & Time: July 12th – Smurfs: The Lost Village
July 19th – Kong: Skull Island
July 26th – The Fate of the Furious
Event Going On: Come and join us at ODU for FREE movie showings every Wednesday from June 14th through the end of July! Showings will be on Kaufman Mall with drinks and snacks provided. Showings are free and open to the community and start at Sundown (approximately 8:00 PM) **Rain Location is MGB 102**
Where: MacArthur Center Mall, Norfolk VA
Date & Time:
Wednesday, June 28: “The LEGO Batman Movie” – As a special treat, get a preview of The Virginia Living Museum’s upcoming exhibit “NATURE CONNECTS: Art with LEGO Bricks” running from Friday, July 22 through Sunday, November 26.
Wednesday, July 5: “The Secret Life of Pets” – Bring your dogs and cats and join The Norfolk SPCA who will be on-site collecting donations for a supply drive. Please bring pet food or a pet toy to donate and be sure dogs are on leashes and cats are in carriers. They will also have information about volunteering and becoming a foster pet parent.
Wednesday, July 12: “Elf”
Wednesday, July 19: “Finding Dory”
Wednesday, July 26: “Moana”
Event Going On: Grab your blankets and your beach chairs and join MacArthur Center and Astro Entertainment for Movies at the Mall. The six-week series features family favorites including a Christmas in July showing of “Elf!” Need a snack? Street Eats food truck will be on site serving up popcorn, snow cones and more.
Where: Beach Street U.S.A.
Date & Time: July 17th -25th – All day long
Event Going On: The oceanfront comes alive with special themed entertainment along the sidewalks of Atlantic Avenue from 17th to 25th Streets nightly during the summer months. During Beach Street U.S.A., puppets, bands, jugglers, magicians and others entertain crowds right on the sidewalks. Free live concerts and theatrical productions take place seven nights a week along the oceanfront.
Where: Virginia Beach Amusement Park
Date & Time: ALL SUMMER LONG
Event Going On: Enjoy an afternoon of thrill rides and games, perfect for the whole family. Located in the resort area right on Atlantic Avenue, the Virginia Beach Amusement Park is home to the Skyscraper extreme thrill ride – one of only seven in the world. Admission to the park is free and ride tickets range from 70 cents to $1. Most rides require four to six tickets.
Where: Norfolk Premium Outlets
Date & Time: Opens June 29th at 10 am
Event Going On: Grand opening of the NEW Norfolk Premium Outlets! Come shop around this new development and see all of the new and exciting stores that are coming to our area! Join their VIP Club to learn more about upcoming events and specials that they are having.
*If all else fails, implement an “I’m Bored” jar 🙂 This is a jar that is full of ideas that YOU suggest. The rules are simple, every time you hear your kids complain that they are bored, they must draw from the jar, and complete the task. Complaining will only earn you another draw at the jar! Hopefully they will catch on fast, and learn not to complain that they are bored! 🙂
We hope you have enjoyed this month’s summer edition. Be sure to follow us for more great tips and ideas!
All the Best,
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