Tag Archives: summer activities

Simple Summer Fun: Seashell Painting

Simple Summer Fun Painted Seashells | Mama Papa BubbaWhile cleaning out our vehicle yesterday, I realized that we still had a big stash of beach shells we’d collected a couple months hiding in our hatch (you know you’re a parent when…)  We’d originally collected them with the intent of painting them, so that’s just what we did.  

IMG 0693First, we gave our shells a good scrubbing in some hot soapy water and laid them in the sun to dry for a few minutes.

IMG 0691Then Miss G chose a few colours of acrylic paint, and we got started.

IMG 0694Since acrylics will stain clothes, Gracen often wears a painting shirt or no shirt at all while using them.  And with the Okanagan weather being as hot as it has been lately, going without was a perfect option.  She quickly chose a shell, a paintbrush, and her colour, and got started.

IMG 0699While I often like setting out an activity, letting Grae discover it on her own, and standing back to see how she engages with the materials, I love sitting down and creating with her too.   I find that many times, some of our very best conversations take place when we’re sitting beside one another, hands busy.  Today we chatted about our upcoming move to Kuwait and some of the changes that will soon take place.  Just as it’s always been, she seems nothing but excited about it all.  We talked about her new bedroom, how she’d like purple things in it, how she’s anxious to have her very own bathroom, and how she’s looking forward to being closer to Uncle Daniel (our very dear friend who will live just 7 floors above us).  We also chatted about how, although we’ll be in the exact same apartment we had last time, the nursery she had as a baby will no longer look the same (she was excited to jump in her baby crib, but everything was sold when we left and we’ll be returning to an empty apartment).

IMG 0707Our conversation carried on shell after shell…  While we talked, Gracen experimented with different colours, colour mixing, paint layering, and painting both the insides and outsides of her shells.

IMG 0704Here are some of our colourful creations in progress.

IMG 0701After seeing my pink shell with aqua polka dots, Miss G wanted to do some polka dots of her own.  She painted her entire shell aqua, waited patiently for it to {mostly} dry, and then dabbed blobs of purple on top.

IMG 0710Like rock painting, collecting seashells and painting them seems like a summer staple to me… Something that just begs to be done year after yet because of its simplicity, beauty, and all of the possibilities. 

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Floating Flowers… Fun for Pools, Baths, & Sensory Bins

Floating Flowers for Water PlayWhen we went to pick up a pool noodle for Gracen’s marble run water slide, she originally fell in love with a flower-shaped noodle.  While I knew it wouldn’t be the best fit for our marble run, at $1.25, I knew we would eventually figure out a way to put it to good use.  

IMG 0351It was my first time seeing this sort of pool noodle, and all I knew was that I wanted to slice it up to create tons of little individual flower shapes.  

IMG 0349So that’s just what I did.  Just like when slicing a pool noodle in half vertically, I found that using a sharp, serrated knife and a sawing motion worked best.  I sliced ours about an inch thick, but you could do them any thickness you like – even varying thicknesses would be fun!

IMG 0353As I chopped, Miss G ran the ready flowers over to her blow up pool and tossed them in!  

IMG 0375It’s such a simple thing, but they looked so pretty and inviting dancing around on the water’s surface.  (I’m already picturing them in bath tubs and sensory bins too!)

IMG 0367I think Miss G agreed, because she immediately jumped in {despite the freezing cold water} and started splashing around like mad!

IMG 0361When the splashing had subsided a little bit, Grandma Charlotte showed Grae how the flowers could be used as building blocks.  

IMG 0458It’s definitely easier in still-ish water, but it’s equally fun when in or out of the pool.  Towers can be built…

IMG 0460Pyramids can be built…

IMG 0466And ‘trains’ can be built too!  Of course, the possibilities are really endless when it comes to building structures – even when they’re floating ones. 

IMG 0358Now the only question is how I’m going to convince Brad that heaps of pool noodle flowers are a Kuwait necessity…  I mean with the heat and the amount of time we spend in and around water there, they are, aren’t they? ☺ 

Building Structures With Floating Flowers | Mama Papa Bubba

♥ 

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Marble Run Water Slide

Marble Run Water Slide | Mama Papa BubbaIMG 9866When I found this huge jar of marbles sitting in the closet of Brad’s childhood bedroom, I knew they had to be used for something fun.  I immediately thought of these two posts and knew that Miss G would love exploring a marble run.

IMG 9951While Grandma Charlotte’s pool noodles didn’t have holes down the centres and every shop in the village she lives in appeared to be anxiously waiting the same pool noodle shipment, my hometown not far away had pool noodles aplenty!  In fact, one of the local dollar stores had huge bins full for $1.25 a piece!  With a pool noodle in hand, I began building our marble run during G’s nap.  The first step was saw the noodle in half vertically with a serrated knife.  Slow and steady was the key to this one.

IMG 9952It was a bit tricky to cut perfectly down the centre of the noodle the entire time, but it really doesn’t have to be perfect.

Building a Marble Run Water SlideNext up, I inserted several toothpicks along the side of one of the noodle halves, then carefully connected the other half.

IMG 9970IMG 9955With the main structure built and plenty of nap time to spare, I decided to focus on the details.  While I’m sure the usual race track theme would have gone over wonderfully, I decided to switch things up a little and gear the activity to one of Gracen’s recent interests… water slides!  Using some bamboo skewers I shortened a little, I threw together a ‘WATER SLIDE’ sign and a few buntings and stuck them onto the slide structure.  Then I propped the top of the slide up on a couple of vintage apple crates and put a small bin filled with sparkly blue water at the bottom.  Gracen was delighted to wake up from her nap and see it!

IMG 9957IMG 9960The activity really needed no explanation.  She recruited Grandma Charlotte, they each selected a marble, and on ‘ready, set, go!’ they released them.

IMG 9962It was a close one!

IMG 9986I kind of wondered if she’d always want someone playing with her during this activity, but that wasn’t the case.  She just as happily played on her own.

IMG 9968And after doing several races, things got a little creative…  She tried putting multiple marbles in a track before releasing them, raced small marbles against large marbles, and tried sending Nerfuls down too.

IMG 9991Our little pool noodle water slide has already brought a ton of fun and I can’t wait for us experiment with it some more in the coming weeks… I’m thinking ping pong balls would be neat because they’d float in the pool at the bottom and maybe we’ll try racing water itself?

♥ 

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