The month of July tends to bring afternoon thunderstorms very frequently… as in almost every day. Our children love to play in the rain or stand on the porch and catch rain water, but with all the lightning and thunder we’ve been having lately they’ve been cooped inside way too much. So, we’ve used these rainy days to do some fun projects like the ones below. If it’s not raining in your neck of the woods you can also call these your “Hot Summer Day” projects.
Last week we tie-dyed shirts and socks. It was a family activity with the children choosing the style and colors they wanted. Then they watched closely while my husband and I did all of the twisting and rubber band work. The finished products turned out great and we can’t wait to do some more.
Recently the children and I built a volcano from a kit our son received for Christmas. They enjoyed helping me build the mold, pour in the plaster and then they waited patiently for it to be dry enough to paint. I led them in the painting giving them as many tips as I could. (I’m a bit of a perfectionist about some things and not so much about others, but I really wanted this volcano to look good). The volcano was a long project but it was worth it to see their faces when we erupted it today. Who would have thought that a little baking soda and vinegar could make two children so excited?
One of or favorite games to play is what the children call M&M bingo. You can play it however you want, but we typically do a math or phonics bingo. For the math bingo I use math problems that relate to what we’ve been studying making sure there is a nice blend of both challenging and less challenging problems. For phonics bingo I include letters and combinations that I know they are struggling with and a few that I’m confident they know.
Since the children are at different learning levels each child’s bingo paper is catered to what they know and are currently working on. I generally make my paper either the same as our oldest child’s, or I’ll make mine a combination of the two children’s papers using both some K5 level work and some 2nd grade level work. This may not make sense, but hopefully the picture helps.
Have you ever had a book reading marathon? Well in our house it goes like this. Each person chooses two books they are capable of reading with only occasional help. We all snuggle on the bed together and usually the youngest starts first (her books are shorter) and then our son reads his book then I read some of my book (usually I read a chapter out of one of the Magic Tree House books). When I’m finished our youngest goes again with her second book and then our son and so on. It’s nothing fancy, but focusing on each other and taking turns helps to keep reading fun.
Today we tried our hands at invisible ink. I found numerous ways to do this online, so I decided we could try three different ways since we already had these items in the house. For the first secret message we used lemon juice. The second secret message was written in vinegar and the last was written in milk. We waited a few hours and then checked the three messages. It was clear right away that you could still see the message written in lemon juice even without applying any heat. The vinegar message was somewhat visible, but it wasn’t clear. The milk message was the most invisible, but if you held the paper up to the light at an angle you could see a shiny-like film where the milk had dried. We then applied heat using a flame gently in front of the paper and the messages were clearly legible after that. (I hope to add pictures of this soon.)
The next rainy day project I have up my sleeve is baking soda powered submarines. I remember playing with these in the sink as a child. I was excited to find these at our local Dollar Tree. If you or your children are feeling the rainy day (or the hot summer day) blues keep your eyes open and keep your imagination “off leash”.