Summer Kick-Off

by Wendy Copley on June 24, 2014

Things have been a little slow around here lately, because I’ve been off-line enjoying the summer with my kids. Summer is my happy time. Yes, I realize that’s true for many people, but I’m more relaxed in the summer, I have more energy and I definitely yell at my kids less. (They might dispute that fact, but I guarantee you I’m a much funner mom from June-August). I love summer so much that I even named one of my kids August!

I keep thinking I’ll write individual posts about all the stuff we’ve been doing, but that hasn’t worked out, so I thought I’d just put everything in one loooong post.

First day of school/Last day of school:

First day of school

Wyatt’s last day of school was a few weeks ago so I took the traditional last day of school photo to see how the boys have grown this year. Up above is the first day photo. And here’s the last day photo:

Last day of school

They are older and wiser, my friends. Older and wiser.

Welcome to Summer Kits:

Welcome to Summer Kits

A few days before school let out, I saw this post about making fun summer bags for your kids on Petit Elefant. I needed to get a few more summer things for the kids anyway, so I put together these kits to welcome them home on the last day of school. Each kit had exactly the same items in it (to minimize bickering and whining about unfairness) and I tried for a mix of pure fun and practical fun. I packed each one in a sand bucket and included a pair of silky shorts, a tank top for the two hot days we’ll get this summer, flip-flops, a water cannon, a box of candy, a box of those things that make a loud popping noise when you throw them on the ground, a pack of glow sticks, a water ball and a craft kit that I got for 88 cents in the clearance section of Target. The kits were a little spendy because of the clothes, but I would have bought those anyway and this delivery method was MUCH more fun than pulling them out of the Target bag. My boys went absolutely cuckoo when they saw them so it was a fun way to start summer vacation.



We lucked into warm weather the Sunday after school let out so we all headed to the beach for the day. I used to shy away from the beach because it seemed like a lot of work to prepare, but a few years ago I started keeping a bag with a blanket, beach toys and sun block in the trunk of our car and now it doesn’t feel so bad.


The kids took their water canons with them and they had a great time shooting their Dad with them while he was trying to nap. Heh.

Rainbow Loom:

Rainbow Loom

I found a knock-off Rainbow Loom at Ross for $5 right before school let out and now we’re all hooked on making the bracelets. Wyatt used almost all the rubber bands that came with the set the first few days we had it, so I got a big pack of assorted bands at the craft store shortly after and we’ve all been going to town with them. You can see some of my handy work up above.


Lemony Rainbow Popsicles at

We’ve been eating tons of popsicles.

So. Many. Popsicles.

I usually buy them at the store, but I’ve also been playing around with recipes for home-made pops. You can get the recipe for the healthy rainbow pops up above at Alpha Mom.


Library Books

We have a standing weekly date at the library every Monday afternoon. We check out a huge pile of books and then spend the rest of the afternoon on the couch plowing through as many as we can. Augie has been really into ancient Egypt lately, so we’ve been getting lots of books on that topic. Wyatt has been reading about Pokemom, pranks and cartooning.

Kinetic Sand:

Kinetic Sand

Oh gosh! I kind of want to write a whole post on kinetic sand! If you haven’t played with it before, it’s kind of hard to explain. It has the consistency of damp sand, but it’s dry and it doesn’t leave any residue on your hands. It sticks to itself, but not much else, so it’s easy to mold and clean up. It also moves in a way that is sort of hypnotizing and I’ve found that if the kids are going a little cuckoo, they calm down really quickly. I bought a two pound pack of it (about the size of a brick) and Augie has played with it multiple times per day since I brought it home. He uses it to make sand castles, mini forts, and landscapes for his toy animals and he also just has fun packing, molding and cutting it.

Tie Dye:

Tie Dye

I also found a neon tie dye kit at Ross (for $3!) so we made some shirts first thing. The shirts came out great (see my tie dye tutorial for more info) and I had some dye left over when we were done so I decided to tie dye a few pairs of the kids’ sweat socks instead of just dumping it down the drain.

World's ugliest socks

This may very well have been the worst aesthetic decision of my life. It seems that sweat socks do not absorb dye the same way plain cotton t-shirts do and the result was three pairs of the world’s ugliest socks. This is what we call them: The World’s Ugliest SocksTM. As in:

“Mom! I need to get my shoes on for camp, but all I can find are The World’s Ugliest SocksTM!”


“No, Mommy! Please don’t make me wear The World’s Ugliest SocksTM!”

How’s your summer been so far?

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