Summer Fun

Growing YearsSummer is here and the kids are out of school. What do we do when “they” get bored? Well, there are more excellent ideas than this article can accommodate, so here are two particular suggestions for you to consider. All experiences offer opportunities to learn, and these are no different. These activities are ageless and can be used with multi-aged groups. Just adapt the need for your assistance.

1. Create art from ice. This project is great to teach problem-solving skills, persistence, hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, language, and the concept of solids transforming to liquids. There is no right or wrong way to create the art, thus, no anxiety, which results in building self-esteem. With all this going, how could you resist?

You will need: A Cardboard milk carton, water, rock salt, eye droppers, food coloring, a pan, plastic table cover, and Dad’s old tee-shirts.


– Fill half-gallon cardboard milk cartons with water, freeze overnight into solid blocks of ice. Cover table with plastic garbage bags or table cloth and remove the cartons from the freezer. Encourage children to problem-solve how to remove the ice from the carton, and persistence until the task is done. Children ages 2 or 3 will not have the fine motor skills to actually get the ice out of the carton and will need help

– With ice out of carton, stand it upright in a pan to contain water as it melts. Talk about the chemical reaction that ice has when salt is sprinkled on it. You can demonstrate on an ice cube. Tell your children to sprinkle rock salt on the top of the ice blocks. Tell them to watch what happens.

– Choose different colors to squeeze onto the tops of the ice blocks with eye-droppers. The food coloring will run through the cracks that the salt makes in the ice and create a really beautiful ice sculpture. Younger children will need to be shown how to use the eye-dropper.

– Engage children in discussion about cold, ice, salt and what they are seeing happen with their sculptures. Since you will not be able to save the creations, have them take pictures for their rooms or scrapbooks.

2. Make A Didgeridoo: An Ancient Instrument Used by Australia’s Native Aborigines. This project will teach problem-solving skills, persistence, hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, language, oral motor skills, and cultures.

You will need: Plastic tubing, or a poster tube small or large (these are tubes that you can put posters in to send or protect them), and some paint for decoration.


– Choose the colors that you want to paint with (paint must be non-toxic and safe for children to use). The aboriginals use natural colors, but you can use whatever you want.

– Paint the whole tube with the colors of your choice, then leave it to dry (be sure to apply an initial coat of the base color first). That’s all there is to it and you now have your very own home made Didgeridoo! Do not cover up the ends, as it will not make any sound.

– Blow into the tube and discover the different sounds you can make. Playing the Didgeridoo well is not an easy task but it really is a beautiful instrument and it has a great sound when played well.

– Discuss the Aboriginals culture with your children. Here are some fascinating facts about the didgeridoo. Possibly the world’s oldest musical instrument. Traditionally the didgeridoo is made from wood. The didgeridoo is a wind instrument originally found in Arnhem Land, Northern Australia, made from limbs and tree trunks hollowed out by termites (insects), cut to an average length of 51 inches, and cleaned out with a stick or hot coals. It was used as an accompaniment to chants and songs, and produces a low-pitch, resonant sound with complex rhythmic patterns.

– Read a book, watch a movie, or find a good site online with pictures. What a great way to learn!