Summer Activity Bucket List + Recipe!

Hey guys! Now that all of my family is safely back in Ohio and I’ve done a deep clean of the house to prep for warmer weather, I’ve decided to make a Summer Activity Bucket List.

Now, this list is a little less lofty and morbid as a traditional bucket list, but is going to give me a constant reminder of all of the fun things I want to do to take advantage of perfect weather.

– Kayaking in the ocean – CHECK! 5/3 – pictures to come!
– Kayaking in the bay
– Paddleboarding in the bay – Going tomorrow morning! EEEK!
– Paddleboarding in the ocean
– Hike Potato Chip Rock
– Rent a bicycle and tour a boardwalk
– Ride the Aerial Tram
– Go Sailing – CHECK 4/12 – photos here
– Run a 5K
– Golf 9 holes (walking)
– Whale Watching or Harbor Cruise
– Visit a beach outside of San Diego county
– Walk/Run all of Seaport Village
– Tour Petco Park
– Run stairs at a local attaraction

I’ll add more items as I think of them, but I think that’s a pretty good start.

With all of these physically active tasks on my plate, I’ll need to nutrient-load my system to keep my energy up and my body in tip-top shape. Juicing is a fast, easy way for me to do just that. Here’s a great recipe for my current favorite juice when I get a big sweet tooth.

Watermelon Punch
Yields about 40 ounces

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Ingredients
– 1 mini watermelon, chunked and rind removed
– 1 lb. strawberries, hulled
– 1 lb. black grapes, stemmed
– 2 oranges, peeled
Optional: 2 carrots ( I was out 😦 )

Directions
1. Run all ingredients through your juicer.
2. Strain juice to remove any pulp
3. Pop in a large mason jar or wine glass and drink up!

3T: Final Summer Fun!

Well I hate to say it folks, but the summer is coming to an end soon. For those of us lucky enough to live in 75 degree weather all year round it may not mean much, but having lived in Ohio for most of my life, I can appreciate the fact that we need to savor these last few weeks before the new school year begins and temperatures begin to drop.

I know, having taught for 4 years, that many kids hit this “panic mode” before a new school year. (or maybe it’s just the 7th-12th grade crowd I taught) It feels like there are only a couple weeks left of freedom, but so many things that you didn’t get to do this summer.

I’ve compiled a list of fun activities that, as parents or caregivers, you can do with your kids to help them feel more at ease with summer ending and a new school year beginning!

Please feel free to share your own “back to school” traditions with us so everyone with little ones (or older kids) can benefit!

Grade School (K-4) – Review Games

Many kiddos in grade school get anxious for the new school year for a lot of reasons, but mostly they are afraid they are not going to know everything they need to know to be “smart” in class. Feed on the fact that these little ones are still so knowledge-hungry! Before you know it you’ll have a teenager with a case of Senior-itis on your hands!

Try staging fun review games for them to ease their minds. Try integrating some summer fun in with their reviews to help them feel confident that they didn’t, in fact, forget everything they’ve learned in their previous year!

If you’re a DIY-er, try making a dunk tank where the kids get to try to soak you if they get questions right. Not your speed? Try having them earn a small piece of candy/stickers or extra TV/play time if they answer correctly. The ideas are endless! Take your kids favorite summer time activity and make it into a game! They are sure to love it!

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Intermediate School (Grades 5&6) – Adventure Activities!

My best memory from 6th grade was our zoo/scavenger hunt fieldtrip. That’s right! We were given a list of tasks to complete/exhibits to find and a disposable camera. With the watchful eye of a chaperone, a group of 6 of us ran around the zoo finding all of the answers to our list and taking pictures as evidence.

Try taking your pre-teen and a few of his/her close friends to the zoo, an art/health/history museum, planetarium, or aquarium and give them a list of tasks to complete. If you’re not the creative type to make your own, many of these places have pre-made scavenger hunts on their websites!

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Middle School (Grades 7&8) – Back-to-School Shopping

Be prepared. This group is wholly concentrated on their burgeoning images. They strive to fit in with the other kids at school and their clothing is the first thing that speaks for them. Sorry to say it, but if you have a kid in this age group, taking them back-to-school shopping will be the most beneficial! Try going on a tax-free weekend or hit the back-to-school sales with coupons in hand to save a little money. Think of it as quality time with the kid who won’t want to be seen with you when their friends are around come mid-August 🙂

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High School (Grades 9-12) – The Drive In

I know it’s scary to let your kiddos go someplace alone, especially right after they may have earned their drivers license, but all of my students at this age love two things: driving around with friends and the movies. Why not surprise them with the car keys and a $20 and send them off to a drive-in movie for the evening with a friend you like? Maybe just set a curfew so they don’t have too much fun galavanting around the city 🙂

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Happy celebrations of the last days of summer!

3T: Zoo Bingo

So…I don’t know if you all are just really nice people, but yesterday was Tuesday…as in Tank Top Tuesday.

I definitely wrote an Around the House/Organizing (Wednesday) post…

Thanks for taking it easy on me and not making me feel like a dummy for getting my days mixed up! This whole west coast, sunshine 24-7, playing outside all day thing has really gotten to my brain 😉

So anyways, today will be an honorary Tank Top Tuesday since yesterday I got it wrong! Today’s topic: the zoo.

A.K.A. my favorite summertime activity location.

Think about it guys! A HUGE playground (figuratively speaking) full of live animals, people, and fun! I LOVE the zoo! Here are a few things to do with the kiddos, or if you’re like me, do with adult friends, the next time you’re at your local zoo.

1. Have a Scavenger Hunt

Thanks to San Diego State University for creating and posting this awesome San Diego Zoo Scavenger Hunt!

For a general zoo scavenger hunt, check out Life as Supermom’s Zoo Scavenger Hunt Post! It’s Amazeballs too!

2. Play Zoo Bingo – ZINGO! (Kid Version and Adult Versions Below)

P.S. No one said I was mature….

Kid Version – Zingo Kids

Adult Version – Zingo Adults

3. Get some exercise!

I don’t know about you, but walking the zoo takes a lot of effort around here! There’s hills, curves, and mile long walks through some exhibits! Take advantage folks! It’s probably the most fun physical activity you’ll get that week!

Leave me a comment on your favorite zoo activity and maybe ill add it to my list with a big thank you message linked to you!

3T: Fun Free Summer Ideas with Printables

Happy Tank Top Tuesday! See what I did there? Got the day right today! High five for me! Hahaha

This weeks edition of tank top Tuesday is all about having fun this summer for as little money as possible. I’ve made this awesome fun, free summer list, a graphic quiz to help you decide, and a Printable to help you plan it all out. In this post, you’ll find:

The List

the list

Fun, Free Summer Quiz

Untitled drawing

And the Activity Planner Sheet  (printable here)

activity planner sheet

Use what you need and share with friends! Let me know how you did on the quiz and what activities you are going to do first. The first Five comments will receive a special summer printable: The Checklist that will give you a checklist of all of the things you’ll need to complete each activity!

3T: Traveling with the Kiddos

Happy Tank Top Tuesday! Tomorrow’s moving day, the car’s all packed, my Mother-in-Law is on her way here, and Atlas is happily wearing himself out at doggie daycare! Moving is a big job, and major props goes out to any of you with little ones that have to make big treks like I am about to embark upon!

In the spirit of travel, I’m going to post some of my favorite ideas on how to keep the little lovelies busy on long car rides without using a portable DVD player (I’m a teacher, remember?! It’s all about learning opportunities!!)

1. Give them a Food Travel Kit – thanks to JT&Dolly at DISboards

aA kit full of healthy (and “fun”) foods will keep them from whining when they’re really just wanting a snack! I think I’d replace the sprinkles and other super small goods, though, with some bigger snacks just to avoid have a “funfetti” back seat in my car for a year…

2. While you’re at it, throw in a Game Kit – JT&Dolly ROCK!

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All of these games can easily be played by an individual or a group, keeping the kiddos busy and cooperative the whole ride!

3. Art kits are always fun too!

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An empty DVD case, scratch pad, and some colored pencils and you’ve got yourself a $1 DIY project! Give them an idea of what to draw (colors, numbers, animals, whatever they’re learning about in school) or tell them to draw something they see outside! Older kids can practice writing or cursive, too! The learning opportunities are endless!

4. Have some fun with old-fashioned car games! (and these from Babble!)

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My parents would play the License Plate game or the ABC game with us as kids and it normally kept us busy from the time we left until we arrived at our destination.

License Plate Game: watch out the window for license plates from different states. When you see one, yell it out! No duplicates, so keep a close eye out for new states and countries!

ABC Game: Start with the letter A. Find a sign, billboard, or bumper sticker that has a word on it starting with the letter A (i.e. Al’s Pizza). Once you do that, move on to B (Bump Ahead), C (Charlotte, NC), D (Dunkin Donuts), E (Exit), and so on until you make it through the alphabet. It may not seem like it’ll take very long, but you’ll get stuck when you hit Q, X, and Z!

Happy Travels everyone! I’ll keep you all updated tomorrow when we arrive in Katy, Texas, our first stop!

 

Recipe of the Week: Chocolate PB Yogurt Pops

It’s HOT HOT HOT here today! 95 degrees and high humidity makes it a necessity to have cold, frosty treats on hand to help me cool down! With my new eating plan to stay slim this summer, I have come up with a delicious, nutritious way to have an ice-cream like treat without the crazy high calorie count.

These Chocolate PB Yogurt Pops are creamy and delicious! Here’s what you need:

(makes 6-8 pops depending on your container size)

Ingredients:

  • 1, 17.6 oz. container Fage 0% Plain Greek Yogurt (or your favorite non-fat greek yogurt)
  • 1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup natural honey
  • 1/4 cup Carnation Instant Breakfast powder, Chocolate flavor

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Directions

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, stirring until combined.
  2. Spoon mixture evenly amongst your small cups/containers (dixie cups work great for the little ones!)
  3. Place a popsicle or lollipop stick into the center of each cup and place in the freezer.
  4. Freeze for 2-4 hours, then remove yogurt pop from container and enjoy!

Note: If you don’t have any popsicle sticks, feel free to put the mix into a small storage container and eat with a spoon after 1 hour in the freezer like I did! YUM!

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Variations:

  • Use crunchy peanut butter for a little texture!
  • Keep refrigerated for an unfrozen healthy sweet treat during your day!
  • Sub in mini chocolate chips for the instant breakfast powder to make Cookie Dough pops!
  • Place the mixture into shaped popsicle molds for a little added fun!

Summertime Activities for the Little Ones

So as I was thinking today about “what’s on my mind” for today’s post, I couldn’t decide. Too many things are about to happen here in the next few weeks and it seems like more and more keeps adding to the list! So after hanging out with one of my girlfriends today at the mall (mall-walking for me, shoe-shopping for her), I knew what I would write about today: how to keep your little ones busy during the summer! My friend has a 15 month old, but many of her friends have kids of all ages that they are about to go stir-crazy with this summer! I found some awesome ideas for each age group, so check them out and let me know if you complete any of them and what your kiddos thought!

Ages 1-2

a“Soap Mud” is the cleanest way for your little one to get messy! This mix of grated soap and warm water has the texture of mud, but the cleaning properties of a nice, warm bath! Source: The Imagination Tree

Ages 2-4

aThese “Smashing Balls” are just cotton balls soaked in a mixture of  flour and water, but when baked, become hard and can be smashed with a toy hammer for hours of fun! Source: 4 Herreras

Ages 4-6

aReinforce learning colors and lefts-from-rights with a fun game of Yard Twister! Source: Eucharisteo

Ages 6-8

aMake a summer plan and stick to it! Have your little leader help you make a schedule like this one so they will always know what is going on each day of the week! Source: Organizing Made Fun

Ages 8-10

aGet those kids into the kitchen to whip up a snack! These Chocolate Covered Pretzel S’mores are a cinch to make and even easier to eat! Source: Repinyourphoto

Ages 10-12

aI know I already showed you all a tutorial on these solar ovens in my Summer Science post, but these are a great way to have some summer fun with the pre-teen crowd! Source: Lorajean’s Magazine

Teenagers

aThese mugs are from the dollar store, but with a Sharpie and an oven, they can become personalized gifts or a one-of-a-kind ceramic! Source: CT Green Gal