Summer STEAM fun!

This summer we have been TRYING to have lots of fun while still staying ready for school next year. It has been a balancing act, mostly for Mommy. Let’s face it, summer is one of our only times to slow down in the entire year. So while Mommy wants to keep these kids sharp, focused, and ready for next year Mommy also wants to sleep in and lay by the pool or swim and do handstands too! But I have tried. And trying is the best.

This month we wanted to share with you a little STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mechanics) activity that we tried. I found this awesome tutorial at Little Bins for Little Hands. This great activity teaches it all. It is a fun artistic endeavor that allows kids to learn by doing. It also is a fun activity that lets kids explore through play. Which is a win-win in my book. This simple Kaleidoscope lets kids learn how to build, design, and complete a task. It is fun, artistic, and creative.

We loved working on these together. The kids each had a very different kaleidoscope than their siblings. Even though we made them all together everyone made their own unique design. Then we took them outside to see them work in bright light, shaded light, and back in the house with no light. It was a lot of fun and very simple to accomplish. Now I feel as if I have helped them to hone their STEAM skills and I didn’t sacrifice my fun time for summer.

be sure to head on over to Little Bins for Little Hands for the full tutorial, and be sure to check out their other great fun activities that teach through play!

 

Rash Guards: The Long and Short of it

Sun safety is always important, but during the summer months when the sun is a little harsher — and we spend more time outside — we need to protect ourselves and our kids even more. One of the best ways to protect our kids is to cover large areas of skin with protective clothing. How do we do that comfortably and properly while still being able to enjoy our summer water activities? Rash guards.

Rash guards are amazing long or short sleeved shirts that cover the skin and can protect from UVA and UVB rays during long hours out in the sun. Unlike sunblock it doesn’t need to be reapplied and can protect all day long. It is comfortable to wear in the sun since it breathes, and it is comfortable to wear in the water.

The Boy’s Store carries several different types of rash guards to help protect your boys during their favorite water activities.

Boy’s Long Sleeve Rashguard by Wes and Willy: This long sleeve white rash guard can be worn swimming, surfing, in the sprinklers, at the water park, you name it. The longer sleeves provide better allover protection to the entire upper body.

Boy’s Parrot Rash Guard by Wes and Willy: This parrot themed rash guard provides protection to the upper arms and torso. It is lightweight and can be worn for all of your outdoor activities!

Boys’ Riis Swim Trunks by Appaman: This Appaman logo themed rash guard is short sleeved and lightweight. It is perfect for summer water sports and provides protection to the upper arms and torso.

Yo Ho Ho Rash Guard by Flap Happy: This 3/4 sleeve option provides more protection to the upper and mid part of the arms while providing full protection to the neck and torso.

No matter which option you choose be sure to continue to sunblock any part of skin still visible to the suns rays for ultimate protection.

DIY Chess Set: Legos to the Rescue!!

My kids have just decided to start learning the game of chess. I blame Harry Potter — but no matter the motivation they want to play. I don’t really want to run out and by some large expensive chess set that my almost 7 year old will surely break, so instead I have chosen to go the DIY route. Cue the Legos. Not only is this the perfect project for my 7 year old to do alone, it also ensures that when it breaks (and we all know my 7 year old will break it) said 7 year old can also rebuild it — score one for Mom Y’all!

My kids have become very obsessed with Legos recently. I know that most kids do become obsessed, but I feel as if it is all we do or think about anymore. So why not combine their recent love of Chess with their perpetual love of Legos.

There is an excellent tutorial at Teach Beside Me. There you can see detailed images and instructions on how to create the perfect chess board out of Legos. This tutorial is ingenious. They even have an awesome link to learn how to play chess. SCORE! It has become my one-stop shop in Lego Chess information. I hope that your kiddos find it as inspiring as mine have!