We’ve been out of school for a week. ONE WEEK. Already my kids have had moments when they pull the ‘I’m Bored’ card. Luckily there were so many great ideas in my original 75+ Summer Activities post for me to look to – but why stop there? Y’all loved that list so much, I decided to share 75+ MORE Summer Activities! Plenty of fun kid activities, crafts, family games and even delish summer snacks you can all enjoy.
Want to start getting in shape and feel like you have accomplished something? I’ve ran half marathons and 5k’s and while they’re rewarding I still feel like I didn’t accomplish anything too great until I did my first Triathlon and this is Why You Should do a Triathlon, plus some helpful tips.
Running has never been real fun for me but after running my first half marathon I was so excited for my next. Sadly after hearing how many people ran the half marathon I didn’t feel like it was all too impressive or rewarding. I thought maybe I needed to do a full marathon, but sadly my knees are not capable right now to do that. After searching and doing a couple more half marathons I decided I was going to do my first Triathlon and I was scared about all of it.
Now there’s different styles of Triathlons, there’s a sprint which is what I did which is only a 500 meter swim, 12.5 mile bike, and a 5K. So still quite a bit distance but not as much as a full or Olympic Triathlon which is double everything. You can also do a relay with friends or family if that’s more your style. I did the Sprint Triathlon and after completing it in 5th place in my age group I couldn’t wait to do my next one or an Olympic triathlon and this is Why You Should do a Triathlon too.
No I did not train like crazy for this event but I was in decent shape because I have been doing half marathons and such, still not super fast or anything but had a good exercising program. The hardest part was swimming, the event was going to be in a pool swimming laps so I found a pool that did lap swimming and went a few times. Check out your event and see if it is going to be in a lake, ocean, or a pool. Mine we swam in the pool which also offered lap swimming most mornings. Luckily I was able to go to a few times and found out that I am definitely not a swimmer, I sank pretty easily. I just tried making it to each end without stopping and did a total of 10 laps each time, which was the number of laps I would have to do in the Triathlon. If you can’t make it to a pool just focus some of your training on high cardio, elliptical is great because it is low impact but still gets your heart pumping. Also get some goggles, nothing fancy just something you can find at Walmart.
Biking, ok train for this! I didn’t bike hardly at all before the event because biking is so simple right? Wrong! My butt hurt so badly afterwards that I could barely get off my bike to start running, I felt like I was waddling the whole time and looked like a penguin. So practice biking just to save yourself from an extremely sore behind. I used an actual road bike, the ones you see with thinner tires, they coast better but several people went with just cheap bikes they already had. Make sure your bike also has a good water bottle holder because this is where you will want the most water.
Running! I ran quite a bit before the race and I would run a 5K about 3-4 times a week so I thought I was really prepared. No I was not really fast at running but I could run it pretty easily. This is where training from biking 12+ miles right into running needs to happen. It was extremely awkward getting off my bike and starting to run. Like I said my bottom hurt and my legs were so confused at what motion they should be doing, so practice these two together so it’s not completely new to you the day of the event.
Clothing is very important for a triathlon. I ordered a tri suit from swimoutlet.com that was perfect, sadly though it did cost a little bit but came in great. If you don’t want to order a tri suit you can also just wear a swimming suit, something that works well swimming, and slipping on shorts and a t-shirt during transition of events.
Some tips to make your event successful. Most triathlons have orientations of how to proceed through the event the night before, if it is your first time go! There was a lot of useful information and great encouragement. Practice going through transitions, from swim to bike to run so you don’t get all confused the day of the event. Also make sure you don’t spend too long drying off after swimming because the clock continues on so real quick dry your feet, throw on your shoes and go. At your bike have a t-shirt or something with your bib on it so you can just throw that on and not have to worry about trying to pin it on while hurrying through the transition.
Why You Should do a Triathlon? Because it wasn’t as exhausting as a half marathon and you’ll feel like you accomplished something bigger, like three events not just one running event. Most triathlons only have a few hundred people but half marathons and marathons sometimes have over a thousand participants. Why not be one of the few than one of the many? Triathlons will also hold your attention span better because you don’t do just one event you move between different activities which made it go a lot faster than I thought. And if you are anything like me running isn’t so nice on your knees, (not that that stops me) but if long distance running hurts triathlons, especially sprint triathlons, are shorter distances of running but still can achieve that gratification of finishing something people think of as extremely strenuous
Completing a triathlon made me feel like I accomplished a goal, not one I knew I had but something that after completing it realized that that is what I would have regretted if I had not participated. A quote I read that got me inspired to do a triathlon says “Why be bad at one sport, when you can be bad at three?” kind of a weird inspirational quote to get you started but it worked for me and I hope you can accomplish your goals, if it isn’t doing physical activities even just get out there and work everyday to accomplish it. Just remember, I would rather say ‘I did it than I gave up’.
Summer Science Oobleck! Is it a solid or a liquid? Oobleck is the most unique and entertaining substance you will ever play with. It’s a solid and a liquid and provides entertainment for hours! With just a few simple ingredients your kids will have a blast playing with this funny mess of Summer Science OOBLECK!
This week we will be doing Summer Science Oobleck! No there is not a huge lesson with this but talk with your kids about solids and liquids. Ask them before you make it what they think it will be like. Summer Science Oobleck is about asking questions and making predictions on outcomes while also making a fun mess. Ask them questions like what else goes from a solid to a liquid or liquid to solid?
If you have a little bit older kids you can try explaining Oobleck to them. Oobleck is considered a non-Newtonian fluid, which means it is a liquid whose viscosity changes depending on the amount of pressure. Viscosity is a word that measures the friction in a liquid and defines how fast or slow a liquid flows. Most liquids like water and honey have a consistent viscosity because they will flow the same no matter what pressure is applied. Oobleck is different because if you squeeze it it will form a solid but if left alone it will run off your fingers like a liquid. Because it changes from a liquid to a solid and back it is considered a non-Newtonian fluid.
What you will need:
- 1 cup water
- 1 ½ – 2 cups corn starch
- Food coloring (optional)
- Pour water into a bowl.
- Put a few drops of food coloring in if you want.
- Dump in about 1 cup corn starch and mix, it is easiest to mix with your hands.
- Slowly add more corn starch in until your oobleck is stiff when you try to roll it in your hands. I used slightly under 2 cups.
- Play! Try making a ball out of it, splash it around, smack it, drip it, have your kids play around with oobleck trying to figure out why it is a solid sometimes and a liquid others.
Water covers more than half of the earth! We swim and play in water and we even dance in the rain. Water is a liquid and this week we will learn about water and different liquids that we encounter all the time. Summer Science Water and Liquids we will explore how a boat floats, command a sea diver, and even make a refreshing drink!
Water is needed for us to survive and also to help us grow plants. Water is a liquid which is a substance that flows easily. There are other liquids such as oil that we use in cooking. Liquids can also become solids, like ice, when we freeze water we are changing it from a liquid to a solid. Heating the water up causes it to evaporate or turn into a gas which is called ‘water vapor,’ which disappears into the air. This water vapor will cool and when it does it turns back into water, a liquid. Everyone needs water, even animals and plants need water to live. Water help us keep our bodies working. Water is very strong and can change the shape of land. Waves from the sea hit the shore and will wear the rocks away. Rain washes dirt into rivers which carry the dirt from place to place. A Snowman is made with solid water which we call snow. Snow is made up of frozen water crystals.
Sink and Float
Ever see a ship and wonder why it doesn’t sink? Weight does not matter whether an object will sink or float it matters how much water it “displaces” or pushes aside. Boats have safety levels on the sides of them which helps show a safe load level for that boat.
- modeling clay
- glass container of water
- Drop marbles and a ball of clay into the water and notice how they all sunk, which means it did not displace much water.
- Take the marbles and clay out and shape the clay into a boat shape.
- Place the clay into the water and watch it float, more water was displaced and pushes with more force so it can support the clay boat causing it to float.
- Carefully place some cargo, or marbles, into the boat. The boat lowers but can still float.
Command a Sea Diver
Command your own dive. The concept of this pen diver demonstrates how submarines and other vessels work that dive deep under the sea.
- Modeling clay
- Glass of water
- Plastic pen top
- Plastic bottle (I used an empty 20 oz. pop bottle)
- If there is a hole in the tip of the pen seal it with modeling clay.
- Roll a small piece of clay into a ball and stick on the pen clip.
- Put your diver into the glass of water, add or remove clay so it floats. The tip of the pen should be above the water.
- Fill the bottle to the top with water and place the diver in and put the lid back on. A bubble of air is trapped inside the top of the pen and causes it to float.
- Squeeze the sides of the bottle and watch the diver dives down to the bottom. Water enters the top of the pen and pushes the air out so the pen now sinks.
- Release the bottle and see the diver return to the surface. Water left the top of the pen and the air in the top of the pen causes it to rise back to the top.
Hot water rises to the surface and floats on cold water. So when an Underwater Volcano erupts the hot water will rise to the surface.
- Narrow-necked small bottle
- Hot and cold water
- Red food coloring
- Large glass jar
- Cut two pieces of string and tie around the narrow-necked bottle so you can easily lift it into the large glass.
- Fill the large glass jar with cold water until it’s about ¾ the way full.
- Fill the small bottle with hot water and dye it red.
- Hold the small bottle by the string and gently lowers into the jar of cold water.
- The hot red water rises from the bottle like smoke like a volcano.
Even though there are different liquids not all liquids will mix together. See how oil and water will separate from another and how some liquids like oil won’t dye another color. I had way too much fun with this one and I know that sounds stupid but I tried different colors, mixing it differently, and even multiple colors so a lot of fun with a simple experiment.
- Vegetable oil
- Food coloring
- Glass container
- Pour some water into the glass container. Dye it another color like blue or green.
- Pour oil into the container of water. Have the kids try to mix it together and let them watch it separate again.
- Let the oil and water separate. Drop a couple drops of food coloring into the oil. It will rest at the bottom of the oil.
- Now with a fork push the food coloring down into the water and watch the water change colors.
Water has Holes?
Substances like water are made up of very tiny particles called molecules. When sugar dissolves in water, the sugar molecules get into tiny holes between the water molecules. Because of these little gaps we can add sugar to an already full cup of water.
- Bowl of sugar
- Cup of warm water
- Fill a cup with warm water all the way to the top so it’s almost over flowing.
- Now pour a teaspoon of sugar on top. The sugar will dissolve into the water but not over flow the cup.
- Add in more teaspoons of sugar waiting a little bit between each one and the cup will not over flow. See how many teaspoons you can get in before it overflows.
Now we know oil and water doesn’t mix, what about other liquids? These liquids will mix together but we can layer them. Because these drinks of different amounts of sugar the ones with lighter amounts of sugar in them will sit on top of heavier sugar content ones until stirred. Since 4th of July is coming up we will do red, white, and blue. You can do these drinks with other colors/flavors just check the sugar content, the heaviest sugar content drink will go on bottom.
- White Sobe Pina colada drink
- Red CranApple juice
- Blue Gatorade
- Fill your cup about 1/3 of the way with CranApple juice.
- Fill to the top with ice.
- Slowly pour in the Pina Colada Sobe
- Finish by slowly pouring in the blue Gatorade.
Summer is here! I’m so excited for summer, warm weather, no school (not that I was in school or have any kids), but just the idea of summer and all the different activities you can do is amazing! Now those of you with kids let me help you out with some really fun weekly Summer Science experiments you can easily do with your kids so they continue learning (without feeling like they’re learning) and having a blast with new experiments they can do and have fun with for hours. To start the summer off we will do Summer Science Air and Gas!
With these Weekly Science Experiments I’ll include a little lesson that corresponds with the activities and multiple experiments that go along with that lesson to keep your kids engaged with learning. Now lets be honest, some of these experiments, I think you will have more fun with than your kids. I don’t have any kids but there’s a couple of these that my husband and I had a really fun date night with doing little science experiments so enjoy yourself, these are to be fun not only for your kids but for you too, they’re cheap, easy, (not always very clean so I recommend doing them outdoors), and your kids will remember these memories for years!
This week, and probably next week because there are so many experiments that you can do, we are going to talk about and play around with Summer Science Air & Gas!
Air is all around you, you can’t see it, but it has many different strengths and it is what keeps us alive. Animals, plants, and even you need air to live, we all breath it to survive. Air is needed to make fire, is used to make machines work, even aircrafts need it when they fly. Air is made up of “gases” or a substance that can change shape and “expand” or grow bigger to fill any shape or space it is in. When you ride your bike the air you pump into your tire takes the shape of the tire so you can ride it around.
Balloons have a gas in them called Helium; Helium is lighter than air which causes balloons to float in the air, because the Helium is in the balloon it will take the balloon up as high as it can go, you can get a balloon and let it go outside and it will float up until you can no longer see it.
Parachutes float through the air by having the air push upward against it so it will slowly and safely lower someone to the ground. Air is made up of two main gases, called nitrogen and oxygen, with small amounts of other gases.
Warning these experiments can be messy so do them outside instead of getting water all over your house.
Crush with air
Air is so strong it can crush a plastic bottle! You cannot feel air, but it presses against every surface, this is called “air pressure”.
You will need:
- Hot and cold water
- 2 liter empty pop bottle
- Stand the bottle upright in a bowl and pour the hot water into it. You don’t need to fill it all the way, I only fill it about 1/3 full.
- Screw the top on the bottle. Lay the bottle in the bowl and pour ice and cold water over it until the bowl is full, then stand the bottle up.
- In a minute the bottle will collapse! As the warm air inside of the bottle cools, it applies less pressure. The pressure of the air outside is stronger and crushes the bottle.
Seal with air
You can keep water from falling out of an upside down glass with just a small card like magic! Air pressure forces the card upward, against the glass, the pressure is strong enough to stop the weight of the water trying to push the card away.
You will need:
- Thin flat card
- Glass (make sure the rim isn’t chipped)
- Fill the glass with water until almost full
- Place the card on the glass and hold it down so the card touches the rim all the way around the glass.
- Still holding onto the card carefully turn the glass upside down.
- Still holding the glass let go of the card. The water stays in the glass! (warning this experiment seems really stupid and little but I found it very interesting and fun)
Form a Gas
Have you ever inflated a balloon without blowing into it or using a pump? You can by combining two ingredients to form a gas called carbon dioxide. This is the gas that forms the bubbles in pop and carbonated drinks.
You will need:
- Baking soda
- Empty bottle (I used an empty 20 oz bottle)
- Pour some vinegar into the narrow-necked bottle until it is about a quarter of the way full.
- Using the funnel, fill the balloon with baking soda, fill it pretty full but not completely, I guess you could say mine was about ¾ the way full.
- Stretch the neck of the balloon over the bottle careful not to spill the baking soda into the drink yet or all over your table.
- Lift the balloon and slightly shake so that the baking soda falls into the bottle. The vinegar begins to fi and bubble forming the gas carbon dioxide which fills the balloon up.
Airliners fly around the world at high speed. They have large jet engines that produce a powerful jet of air to push the airliner through the sky. We can see how air can push objects with balloons. Did you now jet engines power the fastest cars in the world as well as high-speed aircraft. A jet engine sucks in air at the front and heats this air with burning fuel. Then it sends the hot air blasting out from the back of the engines which forces the aircraft or car forward at very high speeds.
You will need:
- Balloon pump
- Drinking straw
- Feed the thread through the straw so it will move easily.
- Stretch the thread from a distance like across a room, from your pourch to your fence, we did from our canopy to our fence which was about 40-50 feet long, making sure the thread is tight.
- Blow up a balloon and while holding the neck place two pieces of tape around the straw to stick to the balloon.
- Let go of the balloon and watch it rush along the thread at high speed!
Now this one is a little harder to explain to kids but the experiment is amazing and kids love it. The reason mentos react with pepsi and other carbonated beverages is because the structure of the Mentos themselves allow carbon dioxide bubbles to form extremely quickly, which when this happens fast enough you will get a Geyser.
You will need:
- 2 litter pepsi, diet coke, coco-cola
- 1 pack of mentos per 2 liter
- ¾ inch pvp pipe about 6 inches long
- Once again this is an outside experiment with some space and make sure you don’t have clothes on you don’t want dirty.
- Place the 2 liter on a stand or table and take the lid off.
- Unwrap the mentos and place them in the pvp pipe.
- Once all the mentos are in the pvp line it up with the opening of the 2 liter and let them fall in.
- You might not get all the mentos in because the reaction is instantaneous but just drop as many as you can in and watch the geyser form.
Ever wonder why pop will squirt all over when shaken? Carbon dioxide that we’ve been talking about is in are favorite soda beverages which gives it its bubbles. When a can of pop sits the extra carbon dioxide will just sit at the top of the can so when you open it it just fizzes a little and escapes. When you take a can and shake it right before you open it the carbon dioxide gets all mixed up so when it pushes out to escape all the pop will come with it.
You will need:
- Cans of soda (I used diet 7up because its clear, wont stain, and no sugar so no sticky mess)
- Cups or something to knock down
Directions: You can just use these as a water fight as well
- on a table set up some cups in a pyramid.
- Grab a can of soda and in the center of the tab there’s a little circle, punch a hole in this with the pen.
- Grab the can and place your finger over the hole and shake it for a few seconds.
- Point and knock down the cups.
Who else is ready for Spring break? Ya, me neither! Luckily, I’ve got a bunch of fun busy activities for kids planned, so I won’t be hearing ‘I’m bored’ constantly. This Craft Stick Catapult is super easy to make – and really quick, too! The kids especially loved how they could customize it to be ‘their own’. Check it out!
I loved this month’s craft lighting theme: busy activities for kids! We could all use some of these in our parenting arsenal, especially with the kids out of school soon. My kids are out a whole week – crazy! I’m excited for the play time we’ll get, but for the moments when I need to get some work done, I can rely on these fantastic ideas.
Supplies – per catapult
- 7 Craft Sticks
- Markers or paint (if wanting to color the sticks)
- 5 Rubber bands
- Hot glue/gun
- Bottom half of plastic Easter egg
- Ammo (pom poms, marshallows, etc.)
- Color the craft sticks with paint or markers, if desired. Allow to dry.
- Stack 5 craft sticks together, then use a rubber band on each end to tightly secure them together.
- Slide one craft stick above the bottom stick in the stack and pull through. Use a rubber band to secure the last craft stick on top of this one, at the end. Make sure it’s a bit loose, so it can stretch as you pull back the catapult.
- To keep it steady and secure, use the last 2 rubber bands to create an X around the middle of the catapult, leaving a little loose so you can adjust it.
- Use a dab of hot glue to secure the Easter egg half as a bowl to the launching end of the catapult. Allow to dry, then aim away!
See, a super easy kid’s craft you can make, then enjoy for hours! Let them draw their own ‘target’ and have them practice their aim – show them how you can adjust the length of the stick and it will affect how high/far the ammo goes. Fun AND learning at the same time!