Aaah, August – the month where summer excitement turns to ‘I’m BORED!’. CTV asked me to come up with a few summer boredom busters, and the whole family had a blast creating these experiences that not only teach life skills but create heirlooms to pass along through the generations.
In most homes, there are bags of ‘special’ baby clothes tucked away in every nook and cranny of the attic. You can’t bear to part with them for fear of losing the memory of your little on wearing his holiday overalls or looking adorable in the bathrobe from Great Aunt Hazel. We sorted clothes into general colour groups and got out the scissors. Always including fun elements like pockets, logos, and buttons, the garments were cut into squares. Using a sewing machine, I joined squares together until I had a row of 16. Repeating the process, we were left with several strips of 16 and sewed these lengths together until we had a big rectangle. All that is left are the sides and back, which we will separate with fluffy quilt batting. The plan is now to make one with Daddy’s t-shirts for Father’s Day!
Preserving recipes that a family has shared together is tough to do. (Usually, the recipe drawer is about as disorganized as the baby books!) Alys Shantz has taught me an amazing trick. She compiles recipes into a family book that is easily published online with Blurb. She keeps the book in the kitchen and tweaks recipes as she makes them. Alys is a world-class photographer, so her book is quite stunning. To begin your own, you can have your kids pick their favourite recipes. As the family dines, they can actually take the photographs to learn some new skills. The book is great for grandparent gifts, and you can do it in hard or soft cover, or as a pdf. You can also do magazines and children’s books if you’re not into cooking!
The break between June and September often means school supply chaos. Felt markers are dry and broken crayons abound. A fun activity – especially for toddlers – is to create big, new crayons using mini muffin tins. Assemble the broken pieces by colour or whimsy. Bake in the oven for 10-20 minutes at about 250 degrees, and pop out your new crayons!
People always say that lemonade stands are great for helping kids learn to be entrepreneurs, but somehow, when Mommy is buying the ingredients and Daddy is baking the cookies or manning the stand, something doesn’t add up. We like to sell lemonade to support Right To Play, and having a charitable component to an iconic summer activity seems more fun, somehow. Here are a few tips on maximizing your charitable donation!
Lemonade Stand Tips
a) Advertise – a colourful banner, a facebook post or balloons all draw attention. We made our banner our of fabric bits and hid the seams with white duct tape to eliminate the need to sew.
b) Serve baked goods – they sell for more than lemonade!
c) Popcorn in colourful cones is easy to make, and it’s super salty so people may drink more..
d) Have the kids collect bouquets of flowers to sell as well.
e) If you have artists in your midst you can add an art sale component.
f) Hand out a flyer explaining your cause, with a link so they can also donate at home if they wish.
g) A nice bright sign painted on driftwood is always eye-cathing!
h) We placed bright sunflowers on the table in a double vase with lemon slices between the inner and outer vase.
I’ve always been a lover of shadow boxes, and now that they are readily available already assembled at craft supply stores, I’m giddy. We spent a few days cleaning up the local beach at low tide. Between sea glass, boat bits and broken china, the array was stunning. Gluing our treasures to the door of each shadow box was fun and incredibly satisfying!