Tag Archives: summer fun

Bubble Painting

Bubble Painting | Mama Papa BubbaYesterday Miss G and I finally got around to something that’s been on my mental activity list forever now… Bubble painting!  Now if you cruise Pinterest, you’ll see that bubble painting is all over the internet and everyone seems to do it a little bit differently.  Variations include all different sorts of bubble solutions, wands, and methods, so we just made up our own.  

IMG 0602Since we’re staying with Brad’s parents until our big move and Grandma Charlotte seems to be stockpiling bubble solution for an upcoming bubble solution drought (Hi Charlotte! ☺), we used store-bought bubbles to make our bubble paint.  We simply divided a small bottle between 4 mason jars, then added some food colouring.  We went for liquid food colouring this time around and added between 8 and 10 drops to each jar in hopes of some fairly vibrant colours.  Then we chopped the bendy part off of 4 straws, and popped one into each jar to use as bubble blowers.

IMG 0603To set the station up, I taped a large piece of paper onto a chunk of cardboard and set it out on the back deck.  Of course you could set this up on a table or easel, but I liked the fact that Gracen could get up above her canvas and blow the bubbles directly down towards the paper.  Same goes for our straw bubble blowers…  You could easily use traditional bubble wands, but I felt that the straws helped guide the bubbles in the right direction.  As for the outside part, since food colouring does stain and the Okanagan has been absolutely gorgeous, it was just the best option.

IMG 0606Gracen began blowing bubbles and we anxiously awaited for them to hit the paper.  As soon as they landed, the paper below the bubble immediately flooded with colour.  Some bubbles popped right away, and some stuck around for a while.

IMG 0676We worked on our painting for a little while yesterday, then tucked it away to come back to today.  As you can see, Miss G thought it was just as neat on day two.

IMG 0671It also seemed like our bubble paints had evaporated a bit in the Okanagan sun, leaving our colours even more vibrant than before.

IMG 0848Here’s a look at some of our finished artwork… Pretty, right?

IMG 0841And how cool is this bubble up close?!  You can just see the ‘POP’ right in the print.

I love activities like this one… It’s simple, requires materials we always have in the house, and is really fun. Bubble painting is definitely being added to our list of summer favourites. 

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Frozen SCENTED Sidewalk Chalk Popsicles

Vibrant Scented Frozen Sidewalk Chalk Pops | Mama Papa BubbaWhen I saw this post from Reading Confetti, I immediately fell in love.  We’ve made our own sidewalk chalk paint for a long while now and I’d seen many frozen versions, but never had I seen them made in popsicle moulds before!  After sharing the idea on our Facebook page and pinning it on several Pinterest boards, I made a mental note to pick up some more cornstarch the next time I was out so we could get the project under way.

IMG 0263Well luckily for me, not only did I remember to pick up cornstarch during our next grocery shop, but I also ran into these Duncan Hines Frosting Creations packets for the first time ever.  Immediately, I knew our frozen chalk pops would be scented.  A few days later, Miss G and I gathered up our materials and got to work.

Using our tried and true sidewalk chalk paint method, we mixed 2 cups of warm water with 1 cup of cornstarch in our blender for a minute or so. Then we collected our popsicle moulds, our Frosting Creation packets, some gel food colouring (liquid will work too, but the colours won’t be nearly as intense), and several popsicle sticks.

IMG 0265Next up, I used the popsicle sticks to scoop a small amount of gel food colouring into each popsicle mould, and Miss G selected a Frostings Creation packet to coordinate with each colour before we added a small amount (maybe 1/8th of the packet) to each slot. (If you’re making this at home and can’t find the frosting flavour packets, you could always use unsweetened Kool-Aid or Jell-O powder instead.)

IMG 0267With our food colouring and powdered scent ready, we filled each popsicle mould about 2/3rds full of our cornstarch/water combo and Gracen stirred them well.

IMG 0268Then we topped them up with a little bit more cornstarch/water and Grae gently stirred them a little more.

IMG 0270At that point, all that was left to do was put our plastic handles in and freeze the chalk pops overnight.

IMG 0315The next day, they looked like this.  The colours were vibrant, the texture was smooth and creamy, and they smelled absolutely delicious.

Vibrant Scented Frozen Sidewalk Chalk Pop Scents | Mama Papa BubbaThe blue one smelled like cotton candy, the green one was mint chocolate, the red was strawberry shortcake, and the orange was orange creme…  YUM.  The only potentially bad news is that because they do look so real and smell so wonderfully, some munchkins may be tempted to try eating them (yuck!)  That being said, because they’re made strictly of kitchen ingredients, they are technically safe to consume. So though they may taste chalky and gross, they certainly wouldn’t harm a curious little monkey who snuck a lick.

IMG 0328With our fun new chalk pops in hand, we headed into the backyard to test them out.  The verdict?  They’re really awesome!

IMG 0329When they’re melting and drippy, they go on much like their liquid counterpart does, only via a wand of sorts instead of a paintbrush.  When they’re not melting, they go on much like regular sidewalk chalk does – dry and colourful with a little bit of pressure.  When dry, the colours are super vibrant and to me, they look very much like they’ve been made with regular sidewalk chalk. 

IMG 0344By the time our chalk pops had melted, our cement pad was fully covered in bright swirls, drawings, drips, and letters.  And the great news is that it all washed away really easily without any fuss – much easier than our sidewalk chalk paint normally does for some reason.

I can’t wait to pull this activity out again in Kuwait where the temperatures soar and our courtyard is made completely of cement.

♥ 

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Pool Time

IMG 9889IMG 9893IMG 9896Top knots, ruffled bathing suits, backyard pools, and vacation time… These are the things summer is made of.

♥ 

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Backyard Hammock

IMG 9767IMG 9770IMG 9769IMG 9776After an easy breezy 6 hour road trip up to the Okanagan (seriously, this new colouring obsession is pretty awesome, especially during car trips) we arrived to Brad’s parents place where a new hammock was waiting to be set up.  Gracen helped her Papa put it together and they jumped in immediately afterwards.  These photos I was able to catch are some of my new favourites.

♥ 

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A Local Favourite: Maple Grove Pool

IMG 9694IMG 9685IMG 9690Today we took our little fish to one of our very favourite summer spots in the city… Maple Grove Outdoor Pool.  Gracen seriously loves this place.  The pool’s fairly shallow, so there are lots of areas where she can easily wade around without assistance, there’s a little slide which she zooms down on repeat, and there’s a island in the middle of the deeper end for her to jump off of.  We also love the fact that it’s surrounded by grassy areas and big trees and there’s a playground just outside of the gates.  It’s the perfect spot to escape to when our house is 32 degrees and we need to cool down, asap.  I’m guessing  we’ll be visiting a lot during the month of July.

Maple Grove Pool is open from 10:15 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. daily, with the closing time being an hour earlier after August 21st.  Admission is as follows: munckins 2 and under are free, children 3 to 18 years are $1.50, and adults are $2.50. Concession items are available and the facility operates on a cash only basis.

♥ 

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Strawberry Fields {A Visit to Krause Berry Farms}

Today we did something I’ve been wanting to do with Miss G for a long while…  We went strawberry picking!  After asking local parents for their favourite strawberry farm recommendations, we decided to head out to Langley to visit Krause Berry Farms.  Promises of giant fields filled with berries, a gorgeous market selling fresh produce and baked goods, playground fun for kiddos, wine tasting for adults, and a farm animal petting area sounded too good to pass up.

IMG 9547IMG 9548IMG 9556We arrived early and the farm was already bustling with visitors.  We got our buckets weighed, put down our loonie deposit for a wagon, and headed out to the furthest corner of the strawberry patch.  

IMG 9561IMG 9559IMG 9565The berries were plentiful and our buckets filled quickly, though strawberry picking isn’t easy work.  It was hot (really hot) out and by the time we were about halfway through our hour and a half long picking session, Grae and I gave up on crouching and full-on sat down in the strawberry field (slightly less glamourous, but oh so much more comfy!)

IMG 9568While my little helper was interested in berry picking and very patient about it all, she didn’t so much want to pick the strawberries herself.  She did pick a few here and there, but sitting beside you while you filled her bucket for her was much more her style.  That and sneaking a semi-clean strawberry into her mouth every once and a while…

IMG 9580IMG 9583With two extra-large sand pails full of ripe strawberries, we decided to have them weighed, pay for them, and check out the rest of the farm.

IMG 9584IMG 9585IMG 9587First stop – the playground.  Grae loved the tractor-shaped play apparatus, and even though it was cooking by this time, it did provide some shady spots to play in.

IMG 9593Next up, we visited the market.  Oh my goodness, this may just be my favourite part of the farm.  Not only can you purchase all kinds of local produce both from the farm and from other local farmers, but the bakery is stocked full of delicious breads, shortcakes, cookies, and cakes too.  Plus there’s a fudgery stocked with over 40 different kinds of fudge and all sorts of canned goods and fun kitchen gadgets too!

IMG 9604After a quick stop to see the animals out back (there weren’t that many and the enclosures didn’t really allow for easy petting, but G enjoyed it anyways), we stopped to take a couple of photos along the raspberry bushes.  By this time, we were all hot, sweaty, and tired, and Gracen was feeling straight up silly.  For one reason or another, she decided that the only way she’d have her photo taken was if her tongue was out, and by that time, I really didn’t blame her. Sometimes joining the crazy is just more fun.  ☺

It was a lovely day and I’m already trying to figure out if we’ll have time to make another trip out when Krause’s u-pick blueberries are ready in mid-July… Though next time we’d do things a little differently as by the time we got home, most of our berries were already pretty mushy.  

Notes to self:  

1) Stacking fresh, ripe strawberries in big, tall buckets leads to severe strawberry smushing – bring big, shallow containers next time instead.  

2)  Locking your berries in a hot vehicle on a 30 degree day doesn’t help the situation – next time, play first, pick last.

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Cork Sail Boats {With Sparkly Sails}

Cork Sailboats With Sparkly Sails | Mama Papa BubbaOh my goodness.  Miss G and I had so much fun with this little project this afternoon.  The best part is that it was completely impromptu. She wanted ‘to craft’ as she always says, and when digging through our craft supply drawer, came across a little bag of corks we scored at our last trip to Urban Source.  I had boat building in mind ever since we picked them out, and when I suggested it to her, she was fully game.  Together, we did a little Pinterest search, and Grae selected the images from these three posts for inspiration.  

IMG 9388With an idea in mind, it was time to gather up some materials.  The corks were a given, the elastics would hold the actual boat together, the toothpicks or dowels would hold up our sails (we went with the mini dowels in the end), and the nail would help us poke our holes.  The last thing we needed was something to make our sails out of…  We thought of patterned scrapbook paper, but knew that would eventually just get wet.  We also thought of the plastic sheets we used to make our window clings, but Grae wasn’t overly excited about the colours we had left.  Then we thought of foam sheets – being waterproof and super lightweight, they’d be perfect.  And even more perfect? Finding sparkly ones!  Gracen was sold.

IMG 9391To get started, Gracen lined up 3 corks and held them together while I secured them with 2 thick elastic bands – one on each side.

IMG 9392Then, using our nail and “our big, big muscles” in the words of Grae, we created a little hole in the very centre of the cork wharf.

IMG 9394Together we pushed our mini wooden dowel down into the hole (a food pick or bamboo skewer could work too).

IMG 9397Using another mini dowel for reference, sketched a quick sail outline on the back of our sparkly foam.

IMG 9398Because our foam was of the adhesive variety, we made our sail double-sided, but this would be unnecessary if we had just regular foam sheets.

IMG 9399After making a couple of teeny little slits in our sail, one at the top and one at the bottom, we slid it onto our dowel post.

Cork Boat FlagThe finishing touch was adding a little flag above our sail.  To do this, Gracen selected a roll of washi tape and folded a piece in half around the top of our dowel.  Then I cut it to form a flag shape.

IMG 9404With our first boat complete, it was time for the big moment – to see whether or not it would float.  It did!

IMG 9406And this little lady was very pleased about that.

IMG 9414We made one more boat, and the play begun immediately.  Bobbing, blowing, and swooshing ensued throughout the afternoon and I’m sure it’ll continue for the next several days.  

And while the boats have been fun in a bowl of water, I have a couple of other ideas to make them even more fun to play with.  Now where to find more corks…

♥ 

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A Delicious First {& a Recipe}

IMG 8998IMG 9007IMG 9020IMG 9019This happened tonight…  Miss G’s first ever ice cream cone.  And oh my goodness, did she ever love it.  Before we knew it, all that was left was sticky fingers and a drippy chin and dress.  

She’s already planned our next two flavours too – pumpkin with cinnamon first, and then strawberry afterwards.  There’s bound to be plenty of ice cream in our future.

 

{Healthier} Creamy Coconut Ice Cream with Candied Coconut Sprinkles

Ice cream:

  • 1/2 cup of whipping cream
  • 2 cans of coconut milk (we used full fat)
  • 6 tablespoons of pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla

Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl, then place in fridge to cool for a couple of hours.  Process in an ice cream machine for 20 minutes and put into the freezer for a few hours to set.

Sprinkles:

  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon of pure maple syrup

Put both ingredients into a jar or bag and shake well.  Spread coconut out on a baking sheet in a thin layer.  Roast at 250 degrees until crunchy and golden brown.

Enjoy!

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♥ 

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Super Simple 5 Minute Backyard Teepee

First off, I have to say that my Baba is hands down one of the most amazing, wonderful women I know.  She’s one of those ladies who can truly do anything…  From sewing to cooking to running a farm, fixing things, painting, gardening, building things, and entertaining – she excels at all.  Oh, and at 70 something years old, having never used a computer or the internet, she bought herself an iPad and taught herself how to use it too.  Amazing, right? (Hi Baba!  Love you!)  ☺

Growing up, my little brother and I would spend a week or two at my Baba’s house each summer.  Our days out at the farm were wonderful.  We spent nearly all of our time outdoors…  We herded cattle, carried huge buckets of grain out each morning, and watched calves being born.  We roamed through massive gardens with freedom to pick and eat as much as we pleased.  We devoured fresh peas off the vine, ate up buckets of raspberries, and wandered around with long stalks of rhubarb with little glass bowls of dipping sugar.  Baba taught us how to use the ride-on mower, make pedaheh from scratch, and draw with artists’ pencils and shading sticks – all of the things childhoods should be made of.  

But above all other adventures and activities that took place on that farm, the one that stands out most in my mind – the one that was most anticipated each year – was building a backyard teepee.  Baba would take us out into the forest, small saw in hand, and we’d cut down the trees that would form the structure of our new home.  We’d drag them back, position them and tie them up, then drape them in sheets until our teepee was fully enclosed.  Perhaps the very best part was furnishing it afterwards.  We’d carefully separate the space in half, position our mattresses and end tables (Baba doesn’t mess around), then stock it up with blankets, flashlights, snacks, books, and activities.  I can’t even describe how cool it all seemed as a child.

Super Simple 5 Minute Backyard Teepee | Mama Papa BubbaRecently, I introduced the magic of backyard teepees to Miss G.  Nothing that could rival one of the ones my Baba used to make, but a teepee none the less.  Our first one was a completely impromptu build, but it was so quick and easy that we’ve made them the same way each time since.  Here’s how we put together our super simple backyard teepee in no longer than five minutes…

Super Simple 5 Minute Teepee Materials | Mama Papa BubbaFirst up, the materials…  We use 6 6-foot tall bamboo stakes (purchased at any store that has a decent gardening section), a king-sized sheet, some jute, and 10 – 12 clothespins. 

IMG 8594To start out, I push the stakes into the ground just an inch or two to form a circle with an open front.  (As you can see, G likes to stand in the middle and have me build around her. ☺)

IMG 8604Next, I gather up the top of the stakes in one hand (there really isn’t a right way to do this – I just grab them and how they come together is how they come together) and use the other hand to wrap the jute around.  One thing I try to do while wrapping the jute is to weave it in and out of the stakes  – this gives it some better holding power.  When the jute seems secure, I tie it off in a bow so it’s easy to undo later.

IMG 8605IMG 8607With the structure built, it’s time to enclose it with the sheet.  To do this, I simply drape the sheet around the stakes horizontally with the ends being at the front opening.  To hold it in place temporarily, I bring the two sides of the sheet together at the top and secure it using a clothespin and add another two at the base of the two front stakes. 

TeepeeIMG 8611Next up, it’s time fix the positioning a little, smooth everything out, tuck in the extra fabric, and secure it all. I like to start at the front, making sure that both of the front stakes are fully covered and each side has a flap of extra fabric that can be used to close up the teepee completely if desired.  To do this, I just tug and adjust until it’s the way I want it.  With the sheet positioned properly, I move to the top and add several clothes pins to secure the sheet to the stakes.  I usually use four, but you could put one on each of the 6 stakes if you wanted to.  Then I go to the bottom and add a pin to each of the stakes, tucking under the extra fabric along the way if needed.

And that’s it – the basic teepee is complete.  Super simple, right?

IMG 8617To make ours extra cozy, we always add a blanket in the bottom and a few throw cushions along the sides.

IMG 8623IMG 8628One of Gracen’s favourite parts is selecting an activity to bring into her teepee with her.  Most often, it’s a stack of books to read, but today it was a stack of puzzles instead.

IMG 8634When we’re done playing for the day, we normally take down the sheet and bring everything inside, but leave the bamboo stake structure up, which makes for an even faster set up the next time and the time after that and the time after that…

♥ 

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Pool Party Bath

Pool Party Bath | Mama Papa BubbaThis was an on the fly idea that came about tonight during dinner.  G was wearing her bathing suit (as you do when you’re 2 and a 1/2 and hanging out at home) and asked for a ‘special, special, soooooo special bath’ tonight.  No go-to ideas came to mind, but my little doodle eating dinner in a ruffled polka dot bathing suit gave me one!  … A pool party bath!

IMG 8161I filled the tub up nice and full and added a few drops of aqua gel food colouring to give it a pool feel, then collected a few pool/summer things – beach balls, a watering can, a pail and shovel, some water wings, and a water bottle.  For extra fun, I loaded our little bubble machine up with solution and placed it so that the bubbles would flow down into the tub from up above.   Gracen grabbed her sun glasses and her pool towel, and we were good to go.

IMG 8183Such a simple idea, but Grae just thought it was the best thing ever.  Things did get a little wild when she began trying to pop every single bubble before they hit the water, but it was all good fun.  Part way through, we took out our window crayons and added a ‘party wall’, which was just as much fun to splash off as it was to draw on. ☺

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♥ 

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