summer 2013 wrap up

It may still be crazy hot outside and the calendar might still read July, but summer has come and gone for us. Our schools go “year round” essentially, which means we have a shorter summer break but longer breaks during the year. We love it and both my kiddos were excited to head back to school.

We didn’t do hardly anything on our science of summer list. These few weeks off went by like a hurricane and before I knew it I was standing in the library at school during open house! But we did do a few things that were pretty fun and broke up the monotony of the crazy rainy summer we had.

On one particularly dreary and boring day, the kids set up a nerf gun shooting range. Using some boxes, ping pong balls and golf tees they had fun trying to shoot all the balls down.

nerf gun range

I will admit this was a pretty messy activity that was kind of short lived. But they did enjoy it while it lasted.

nerf gun range


One day my son was busy doing something else so the chick and I decided to make a box puppet theater. The only box I had laying around that would work was this Priority Shipping box from the post office. It’s kind of flat so you don’t have a ton of room to move around in it, but honestly it worked out great and doesn’t take up of ton of space either!

box puppet theater

We cut a hole in the top part of the box for the flap to lift up to make the name for the theater. I had a dowel rod laying around that we used for the curtain to hang on. The curtain I just cut out of some scraps with pinking shears and just quickly stitched a seam across the top for it to slide on.

box puppet theater in use

The back has a hole in the bottom for you to stick your puppets up through. We just printed out some coloring pages of specific animals the chick wanted onto cardstock. She colored them and we collected some sticks from outside (Popsicle sticks would work better, but alas couldn’t find any) to make holders for them.

box puppet theater

We used construction paper to decorate the front and make a backdrop inside. All pretty simple, but fun!


The other thing I did this summer that was on my personal list was making bug spray.

DIY bug spray

I combined a couple of recipes I had seen floating around Pinterest and ordered some essential oils and put it all together. Here’s the recipe I put together:

50/50 mix of distilled water and witch hazel
30-40 drops of citronella oil
20ish drops of lemongrass oil
10ish drops of tea tree oil
few drops of glycerin

Overall it works pretty well. You can’t let it sit though and then use it again. I really think you have to mix it up fresh. I love how it smells and I love how cold it feels going on. The husband gave up on it though and went and bought the “real stuff” just because he is like a mosquito magnet.

I also made some citronella “candles” using mason jars, water, floating candles and some citronella and lemongrass oil. They worked pretty good too and man oh man they smell great!

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going green experiment {wool dryer balls}

So I have a few boards on Pinterest that I have decided that I am going to tackle this year. One of them is my “living green” board. While there were a few standard things I adapted to in 2012 (making my own handsoap for example) there are many other things I’ve wanted to tackle. My goal is to take at least one pin from my board (or any other place that I end up seeing something) and try that out once a month.

This month was easy. A while back I pinned this idea for making dryer balls from Jillee (who is hands down the queen of DIY stuff) and while I was making a run to JoAnns one day I grabbed a skein of 100 percent wool yarn. And then it sat in various places in my house staring at me until finally I decided to sit down and do it (back to back episodes of Parenthood on the iPad helped; I must admit).


So, I started winding and I only came up with 3 balls (she got 4). It was hard to tell from her picture how big hers were. (This whole conversation is making me giggle to be honest…I have a 9 year old boy in my house so any conversation with the word “balls” in it makes him erupt. I digress).

I threw my into a pantyhose (finally a use for those things laying in my drawer) and washed them and dried them. And so far, the jury is out.

My clothes still came out with gobs of static. So I am really just not sure. Maybe I need more than 3?

Has anyone else out there tried these with success?

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