Mommy Goal: Beat This HEATWAVE!
Whew! I don’t know about you guys but these past few weeks I’ve been battling a crazy heatwave. Heat so deadly it’s threatened to take out my beautiful bougainvilleas and even my vegetable garden. So I refuse to allow it to take out my littles during its wrath. We’ve spent a lot of time indoors. As such, I’ve had to get pretty creative with ways to keep bug busy. The goal has been to limit screen time but still keep his brain active. Oh how easy it would be to just plop him in front of the television and let him watch cartoons until his heart’s content. But, I know I’d be doing him an injustice so I’ve come up with some great alternatives. Heatwave, you aren’t stopping the fun over here.
“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” – Mary Lou Cook
This heatwave is forcing us to tap into our creative side and I am enjoying every minute of it. Arts and crafts has become a daily staple in our household and I couldn’t be more excited to share some great tips with you guys.
First up, Watercolor. . .
I found these water color sets on amazon and absolutely love them. For one, I don’t have to keep track of the paint or use a lot of paper printing coloring sheets online. Everything is all in one place which makes clean up great as well. Bug typically asks for a cup of water and the magic begins.
When I was a kid I enjoyed opening up my individual water color set and painting during free time in class. I didn’t mind the muggy water or the fact that my colors were now pretty much bleeding into each other from not drying the brush in between. All I knew, I was creating an original masterpiece. I’m passing that on to my kids, and I’ve accumulated some great pieces thus far (although, if this heatwave doesn’t calm down I’ll be overwhelmed with art) that I’ve hung on my walls. We’ve pretty much finished painting one of the books. I love that as we color we can still work on learning because he names the animals, gives the sounds they make and even tells me the colors he’s using. You can turn almost anything into a learning opportunity.
With an upcoming end of summer family vacation coming, finding out that they also have some on the go watercolor books was perfect. You just use a watercolor “marker” and voila! As of today it’s been added to my shopping cart for purchase.
Chalk Board/Dry Erase Board
Around Christmas time, I got a great deal on a dual chalk board/dry erase board that gets tons of use. We purchased it from Ikea for like 14 bucks, and bug loves to draw me “beautiful pictures” as he calls it. I was so terrified about the dry erase markers. I just knew one day I would come into his room and there would be a beautiful picture on my beautiful clean wall, but we’ve been successful thus far. Its pretty tall so it stays in his room. This I love, because it is allowing him to become more familiar with his room and hopefully sleep in there eventually (still Cosleeping). He also has a smaller Mickey Mouse Clubhouse dry erase board that he carries with him throughout the house when he wants to.
I love the dry erase boards because they are so easy to clean up. Less mess for mama means less stress for mama. I’m all for making it EASY!
Yes, we do tie-dye indoors. Mainly in the garage, but its cooler than being outside in the heatwave. This is probably one of Bug’s favorite indoor activities because he is the master of his creative juices. We typically use older t-shirts that have succumbed to stains as our canvas and I let him loose. We’ve tried different tie-dye techniques and we have plenty to show for it. Bug loves being able to pick a color and dip and pour each section of the shirt. I’ve realized his impatience sets in as we wait for them to dry. However, we set it outside to dry and the heatwave acts as an instant dryer.
Now when I ask him to go grab a shirt so we can go somewhere, these are his go to. And if mama is not wearing hers he won’t stand for it. I typically get “no mommy, you have to put on your colored shirt” as I try to sneak out the house wearing something else. So, yes we end up being the tie-dye twins on our target and home depot runs. *Look out for us in a store near you. You’ll spot us easy *
I purchased this set when I decided to implement tie-dye into our play time (click of a button and its delivered to my door, convenience remember?) but you could always use vinegar and food coloring. Does the trick just the same and its cost effective. Either way, I’m sure your little one will get a kick out of this too. Just be sure to either wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty or cover up with an apron.
Art is limitless! The possibilities are endless. . .
But trust there are other things to do aside from art that will still keep the little one busy indoors. I had the chance to connect with some awesome mamas that shared what they’ve done during the heatwave as well.
Legos / Building Blocks
Bug uses a set of colored building blocks that I once used as a kid (my grandma saves all the kids toys) and absolutely loves it. No lie, this can keep him busy for hours. He’ll reconfigure the blocks to make “dinosaurs” “cars” “giants” and whatever else his imagination can create. I love watching his mind work as he creates and then watching him figure out how to pick it up and bring it to me without breaking it to show it off. I’ve even requested he build me a big house with a “pool” (future architect maybe?) and he gets so excited telling me what he built for mommy. These blocks can be configured in so many ways. Luckily they’re bigger than legos so stepping on them is less likely. I’m sure we all love being stabbed in the foot by kids toys anyway! Simple mommy pleasures.
Legos are just as great to accomplish the same goals and there are so many different packs you can buy these days. You can build any and everything these days. From dollhouses to race tracks, legos pretty much seals the deal.
As long as play-doh has been around, I will say that I have not used it whatsoever with my little. I have this odd fear that it will be smushed into my carpet and my walls and in their hair. But, a lot of the mamas told me that they use this frequently with their kids. So, I realized my fears were unrealistic and if confined to the right room in the house this can be a great tool. I mean, I personally loved play-doh growing up but I also knew how to properly use it and what not to do (like eat it). But for the younger ones like my tot I did find a pretty cool recipe for DIY play-doh. I remember one of my clients at a mental health facility liked to eat things, so we made her edible play-doh too. That saved us, because we didn’t panic when she shoved it in her mouth. Same applies to the littles.
This activity goes hand in hand with the SLIME craze. My little sister is obsessed with making it and she loves doing it with Bug. Back in my day, we called it silly putty, but for the sake of keeping up with the times we’ll stick with slime. There are great homemade recipes all over pinterest. But, to save you some lurking I found a recipe for you. With some glue, laundry detergent and food coloring you’ll have homemade GOOP! Sparkle it up or grunge it down, it’ll be a hit with your little ones.
“Play is the highest form of research” – Albert Einstein
With the help of mommies worldwide via pinterest, youtube and instagram along with convenient shopping pals like amazon, we’ve managed to make time indoors a breeze during this heatwave.
(I included some of the mamas who helped contribute to this list as well, be sure to check them out: realmomblogs.com, chaoswithcookies.com, thismomlife.co, thisisourlifeblog.com)
- Race cars / Monster trucks (make the house your arena)
- Scavenger Hunts
- Personal Ball Pit (Amazon for the win)
- Blanket tents/forts
- Board games / Memory games
- Cooking / Baking
The great thing about all of these suggestions is that as great as they are for the heatwave, they can be equally amazing on a rainy day!
What are some of the awesome things you guys are doing to keep the kids busy during the heatwave this summer?
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