Hi. My name is Tracy. I’m a Pinterest addict.
There, I said it. Admitting you have a problem is half the battle, right? Maybe I should look on Pinterest for ways to fight addiction. Oh. Wait.
So I spend several hours a day nursing sweet Bubba with a laptop balancing on my knees. He is very easily distracted, so I usually have to sequester myself away from anything noisy (i.e. Chica). After weeks of poking around on Pinterest during this time, I decided to finally get my own account yesterday. (Gees….was that only yesterday?) There were way too many ideas floating around in my head for fun things to do this summer with my little kiddos. If only there was a way to keep track of all those ingenious blog post ideas. Ha. I finally get it.
Temperatures in the ‘Burg are expected to reach triple digits in the next week, so I’ve got my pins all ready for engaging indoor experiments and cool-yourself-off outside water play. My list of things to pick up from the store to pull off all of these ideas was getting longer and longer, so I decided to make yet another “project” out of the shopping itself. I made Chica her own shopping list that we would take to the Dollar Tree, complete with words, pictures, and a place to check off the items we found. I told myself that this idea would be a great way to practice using picture clues to sound out new words. Truth is that shopping with Chica is usually torture for me. The last time we ventured out together, I turned around to see her feeling up a mannequin. No joke. This shopping list was really my attempt to reign her in a bit so that I wouldn’t jump ship before we found what we needed.
I told Chica ahead of time that we were on a mission to find the items pictured, and we sounded the words out together. I also explained that after perusing the whole store, we would walk back through and each pick two additional items that might be fun to add to our Summer Fun Tub. Okay, so I ended up with three, but luckily she didn’t figure it out.
We ended up spending $19 on the following:
- Two spray bottles and four sponge balls for outdoor water fun
- Magnetic Numbers for cookie sheet practice
- Tweezers for fine motor skills
- A dustpan and handheld broom for cleaning up the messes we will make
- Butterfly shaped flyswatters for an outdoor painting project
- Sea creatures for freezing in ice blocks
- Measuring spoons and cups for experimenting with capacity
- A calculator for practicing reading digital numbers
- My three freebies were a 500 piece puzzle for myself, masking tape for creating Hot Wheel-sized roadways on the floor, and mini popsicle molds
- Below are Chica’s extra two choices. I have no comment. Jay’s comment was, “What did you expect when telling a four year old she can pick what she wants at the store?
Jay just returned from Wally World with Round 2 for the tub. He spent about $16 on these items:
- Plaster of Paris for a craft I’ve always wanted to try
- Funnels and a sprinkler for more water play
- Marbles for making homemade butter and a pool noodle race track
- Glycerin and straws for making bubbles
- Markers to replace the ones we’re always losing
Tomorrow I’m hoping to finish my collection with tempra paint, pool noodles, squeeze bottles, and a few more odds and ends. I have also added a few things from around the house that I already had….food coloring, ice trays, sidewalk chalk, cupcake liners, pipe cleaners, etc. My goal is to create a go-to box that will last us all summer for under $75.
Our first two pin-inspired projects today were successes. We have a family of sea creatures captured in ice blocks in the freezer waiting to be set free by a squirt bottle tomorrow. We also experimented with food coloring and pouring while discussing phase change in four year old language.
One final thought….I could fill my tub with tools, my boards with pins, and my calendar with events, but nothing is as inspiring as everyday objects in the hands of a curious and creative child. Tonight Bubba sat on the edge of a blanket and explored the grass for nearly 20 minutes. While he played, Chica gathered all the sticks in the yard and built two pretend campfires on which she roasted hot dogs and marshmallows. No advance planning, materials, or prompting from Mommy needed. Take that, Pinterest!