Andrea’s Summer Camp At Home: Week 7 – Olympics (Part 2)

Please welcome Andrea for week two of the Olympics theme, but week 7 of Summer Camp at Home!

Colours: Black, red, yellow, green, blue
Shapes: Cirlcle, rectangle
Field trip: swimming/ spraypark
Playdough: red and white (Or whichever colour represents your country!)

Monday: Swim Goggles

Tuesday: Olympic Ring Printing 

Rainbow cake with the olympic colours

Wednesday: Ice Hockey (I know its a winter olympic sport!) , make little sticks

Thursday: Olympic medal chart , great math activity! We’ll follow the countries where our family lives

Friday: Opening ceremony, make and decorate a podium, raisin bread with strawaberries and cream cheese for snack (make canadian flag)

Big Shout out to Sun Hats And Welly Boots this week for her fantastic Olympics Themed ideas!
Hello campers!

Our second week of Olympic fun was a busy one. I am afraid that, once again I didn’t get to half the things I wanted to do with my boys! We did continue to eat our way around the world, and had a lovely stirfry for China, a beef roast with veggies and gravy for the UK and Omelettes for France.
I was also really fortunate to pick up a giant illustrated world map for $8 at our local wholesalers. It promptly replaced our little map and is now the feature of our “Olympic wall”

On Monday I surprised the boys with lovely raspberry flavoured, red glittery playdough. They loved it! My oldest immediately made a Canadian flag, he was so proud! I offered it with a variety of red and white objects.

On Tuesday we did the Olympic ring printing, I showed the boys a picture of the Olympic rings and they set about printing with loo rolls. It was interesting to see how the little one printed lots of rings practically on top of each other, as he wanted them to be interlocking. His older brother however, made sure that he used the colours in the right sequence. It’s amazing to see the world through their eyes!

Wednesday was a rainy, stormy day, so we made our medal chart and decorated it with shiny stars. We have already started tracking medals and decided to add china as the last country on our list. The athletes are doing great aren’t they?

My boys had an away day on Thursday, they visited their grandparents so that I could get a little bit of work done for my other job 🙂

Friday was a fantastically fun day! We started the day of with an Olympic breakfast, I made toast with strawberry cream cheese, and used strawberries to make a maple leaf pattern on top. And then I added sparklers. The boys we amazed! They ate every bit, and then asked for more!

We went for a long walk and then had a nice long nap, I wanted the boysto watch the opening ceremony with me, so we made sure everyone was well rested. We played a little bit of ice hockey, and then had an early bath. It was a combination of shot put and synchronized swimming as I added about 30 water balloons to their bath. It was great fun and we were all soaking wet!

We had our own little opening ceremony parade. I dressed the boys in a Canadian flag each, and they wore their crowns and torches. Quote of the day: little one: “are we superheroes?” big brother: “no, we’re Canadian!”

 I hope you have as much fun as we did, and good luck to all the wonderful men and women who are competing!
I hope you all have a wonderful week of playing and spending time together as a family!  If you want to share pictures from your activities, please add them to the Flickr Album!

If you participate and would like to share your projects on our weekly project wall, you can upload your photos to our Flickr album. They stay your photos, but will appear in our album. You can remove them at any time. We’d love  to see how the projects inspire you, even if you just use it as a starting point!

If you’re a blogger and you want to participate, you can use this button to show you’re participating in Andrea’s Summer Camp At Home

Andreas Summer Camp At Home

How To Make The Most Of A Very Wet Summer

I’ve often said that I’m not very ‘crafty’ and don’t really enjoy too much ‘messy’ play, but any parent to a toddler knows that that just comes with the territory – either that, or your child’s not having much fun. It’s been a learning experience for me, and I must admit, it’s growing on me. Now that Aviya is getting a little older and is able to do real crafts, it’s almost fun.

I started a series recently called Andrea’s Summer Camp At Home. It came about when an old friend of mine, who now lives in Canada with her two boys, aged 5 and 2 decided that to survive the 12 weeks of summer holiday she would need a plan. Others quickly jumped on board and soon Andrea’s Summer Camp At Home was born.


Welcome to the July 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Family Creations

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared crafts, recipes, and philosophies of creativity. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.



There’s a theme for each week, which has been awesome, and an activity for each day, and the best part of it has been the flexibility. We’re really enjoying it.

Here are some of our activities from week 1: Ice Cream.

Our home made ice cream truck, painting with water beads in the bath, decorating ‘ice cream’ cupcakes, (Bottom left:) making ice cream balloon shakers, cut and paste water bead ice cream cones and glitter pen ice cream, coloured popsicles. 

And here are a few activities from week 2: Wild Animals  (We actually did very few of the week two activities, and added a few of our own out of our craft box!)

Home made playdough, painting toilet rolls with glitter glue, decorated and drying, (bottom left:) painted frog, looking at the frog through the now dried binoculars, give a child two cups – one with animal shapes, one with bells – and sit back and watch what they get up to. Amazing. 

We’re now in week 3: Ocean theme and so far we’ve had two fishy-dinners this week. I work the first half of the week, so crafty fun has to happen towards the end of the week, but we’re looking forward to it. You can see what we’ll be doing though and feel free to join in! If you want more information on ASCAH, read the first post about it. You can join in at any point, too!



Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by afternoon July 10 with all the carnival links.)

  • Garden Soup — Bailey finds a way to help momma Katy (from Muse of a Daffodil) in the garden.
  • This One Time, I Tried To Make a Car — Ashley at Domestic Chaos tries once again to make something crafty from stuff around the house.
  • Pin-tastic creative ideas — Lucy at Dreaming Aloud shares how Pinterest is inspiring creativity in her family this summer.
  • Baby Hiccups In The Womb — Alinka at Baby Web shares one of the ways she bonds with her unborn baby.
  • Turtle Mosaics — Lyndsay at ourfeminist{play}school and her little family spend a quiet hour making a turtle mosaic inspired by the work of Melanie Mikecz.
  • Edible Art Plus 8 Art Supply Recipes — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares some natural, chemical-free art supply alternatives, which are gauranteed to be tons of fun for children or all ages. They taste great too!
  • A surprise art lesson — Tat at Mum in search has been taking art lessons from her 5-year-old son.
  • Memory Creation — Laura from Pug in the Kitchen talks about how her family aims to create as many memories as they can as a family.
  • A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words — Melissa at Momma Beer tries to replace cars with crafts.
  • My Creative Family: Sometimes Messy, Always Fun — Emily at S.A.H.M i AM embraces the messes that sometimes accompany creative play but admits you don’t always have to get dirty to have fun.
  • Fun Family Learning: Constellation Cave Tutorial — Abbie at Farmer’s Daughter gives step-by-step instructions for building a fun new twist on a cardboard box playhouse.
  • Cooking… Kind Of — ANonyMous at Radical Ramblings makes pizza with her daughter, hoping to inspire a love of cooking and encourage a bigger interest in food. As well as making mess and having lots of fun, of course!
  • Crockpot Refried BeansThat Mama Gretchen‘s family loves to experiment with new recipes, and today she’s sharing a kitchen success!
  • Creating Memories — Andrea at Tales of Goodness reflects on how the best creations can emerge from just letting kids be kids.
  • Making Beautiful Things … And Sometimes Just Average-Looking Ones — Tamara at Tea for Three looks for ways to add more craft and creativity into every day family life.
  • Making Fruit Leather Together — When Amy Willa at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work took some time to involve her children in the process of finally trying a fruit leather recipe stored on her Pinterest food board, she got more than just a scrumptious homemade snack as a result!
  • Making Glasses from Children’s Art — Mandy at Living Peacefuly with Children used her children’s artwork to make some very special glasses for her husband for Father’s Day.
  • Preparing Family Meals Together — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares how she started the tradition of creating meals together with her children, which makes family gatherings more fun.
  • It’s a trap! — Lauren at Hobo Mama shares the innovative snares her son and husband have set for her.
  • How To Make The Most Of A Very Wet Summer — Luschka at Diary of a First Child shows us the first few weeks of the Summer Camp At Home project for keeping boredom at bay.
  • Creating with… well, what do we have? — If necessity is the mother of invention, Momma Jorje thinks perhaps boredom is (or at least can be) the mother of creativity. In a pinch, she got creative with a household item to entertain herself and her toddler.
  • Creating Joy! Felt Counting Fish and other Fun — Terri at Child of the Nature Isle started creating Felt Counting Fish and then fell down the rabbit hole of fun with a number of other games.
  • I Am Going! (A Code Name: Mama Homemade Theater Production of Mo Willems’ Elephant & Piggie book) — This might be the finest example of child and baby acting ever recorded. Enjoy this Mo Willems treasure via video from Dionna at Code Name: Mama.
  • DIY Summer Sleep Sack for Baby Tutorial — Shannon at GrowingSlower made an organic summer sleep sack for baby, and you can too with her easy tutorial.
  • Chalk It Up! — Amy at Anktangle recounts how an impulse buy has turned into a fun collaborative activity that she hopes will continue to foster creativity in the whole family.
  • The Family Garden — Excited that her son has been a big help in the garden this year, Ana at Pandamoly shares how her garden grows and offers up some secrets on how a toddler can be a great assistant in the garden.
  • Getting my craft on — Jona at Life, Intertwined takes a trip down memory lane — and finds it in stitches.
  • Easy DIY Sandpit for Toddler Play — Christine at African Babies Don’t Cry shares her easy DIY toddler sandpit tutorial.
  • Building Without Nails — Laura at Laura’s Blog builds a swinging bar using just sticks and twine.
  • Family Talent Show — Erika at Cinco de Mommy holds an after-dinner family talent show.
  • Ar matey! Fun and Learning with Pirate Play. Positive Parenting Connection is sharing lots of really fun Pirate-themed learning activities for the whole family.


Andrea’s Summer Camp At Home : Week 3 – Ocean Theme

Colours: Blue and yellow, purple (explore colour mixing)
Shapes: Circle, oval, star
Sensory: Whipped foam and sea animals (use a squirt of foam, a drop of food colouring and about 1/2 cup water in the food proccessor. I use baby soap)
Field trip: Zoo, aquarium, swimming

Monday: Tuna sanwiches/ tuna melts, rainbow fish water bottles 
Tuesday: Sock sea creatures (Use in the coloured foam)
Wednesday: Pop up shark card (With foam sheets)
Thursday: Jello aquariums
Friday: hand print crabs

Shopping list:
Bread, tuna, mayo, star cookie cutter, cheese slices, tissue paper (different colours) tin foil, old socks, pillow stuffing(Or more old socks), wiggly eyes, foam sheets, blue jello, gummy fish, red paint

As I sit here and think about the week, all I can say is that I’m grateful it’s over!

As usual I had high hopes for this week and my plan was in place, but, I’m sure you know, things hardly ever go according to plan when you have kids.

We started the Ocean theme this week on Sunday afternoon, with a yummy cheese and egg croissant, shaped like a crab. My kids (and daddy!) loved it. I think I may be winning them over, they are much less picky than they used to be.

Monday morning started a little slow in our house, so we read some rainbow fish stories and played playdough. I used the kool-aid recipe , this is a no cook one that works really well. I provided star shaped cookie cutters, pompoms, foam shapes, googly eyes and ribbon for the boys to play with. It was so hot in the morning, that I thought we would do some foam and water play after nap time, as it happens, it started raining the minute we went outside. Thankfully part of our deck is covered, so our fun wasn’t spoiled too much.

On Tuesday we did a lot of activities. We made the sock creatures, and then went outside for some fun. It was a beautiful day! I spread some bubble wrap on the deck, and covered it with shaving foam, it was really slippery (I think it may work better on grass!) the little one wiped out pretty early in the game and decided its not for him, he retreated to the rock pool to play with the sea creatures. His brother could not get enough, he simple loved the feeling of the slippery foam and plastic bubbles as he was running across the sheet!

After a quick shower, the boys decided they needed a hot drink, so I invented sea turtle milk. (boiled milk with a little cinnamon and honey).

For lunch, I made an easy to read Tuna Melts recipe for my little reader, and we were off. The boys loved keeping an eye on the sandwiches as they were grilling.

They reported every single change they saw. I surprised them with “sushi” made from cereal treats and gummy fish.

Wednesday was a fun day! We had a great field trip to our local mall. We are lucky enough to have an aquarium and sea lion show, all under one roof! We had a yummy lunch of calamari and chips, and then went to see the animals. My boys were thrilled, they loved the sharks and penguins and were quite surprised that they were allowed to touch the anemones and stingrays.

My oldest loved the sea lion show, he was laughing out loud at their antics. The little guy is a little more suspicious, he was very unsure of the large slippery creatures. It was a great outing!

On Thursday, my husband and I had to take our oldest for an appointment, so the little guy stayed with his aunt and cousin, and oh my goodness, did he ever have a good day! My niece helped him make a texture book with ocean creatures. My sister made him fantastic “Nemo” sandwiches and an ocean scene dessert! It is true that it takes a village to raise a child, and I am so thankful that we are a part of this one! We also watched “Big Miracle” for family movie night, what a beautiful inspiring movie!

Friday we read some more stories, and we made some lovely “Rainbow fish” from empty water bottles! The tissue paper worked much better than regular paper to cover the bottles, the boys also loved to glue the one “special” scale to their fish

I wish you all a wonderful week full of fun!

Shopping List for NEXT Week: mini hot dogs, dough, graham crackers, marshmallows, paint, card stock, tape, canvas or heavy stock card, ingredients for bird feeder

Andrea’s Summer Camp At Home – A Guide To Surviving 12 Weeks Of Summer Holidays

Thirteen years ago, I was a first year student on a university campus. One of the girls in my group was called Andrea. After our year together, we lost touch for a while. She moved to England, I moved to England, she moved to Canada, I stayed in England – we never even saw each other here: we didn’t know we were both living in London! It was really only when I became pregnant with Ameli that we got back in touch properly, beyond the ‘like’ button on Facebook. So, with that history, I am super excited to share this project with Andrea. It’s totally her brain child, and she’s done all the hard work: I’m just hosting her project for the next 12 weeks, and maybe from time to time I’ll regale you with our adaptations on her projects.

Without further ado, here’s Andrea, with Andrea’s Summer Camp At Home

Fear and dread. A.k.a 12 weeks of summer at home.

I recently realized with a shock that my son’s preschool graduation was drawing near, meaning the Summer holiday was imminent. A very long summer holiday. 12 weeks to be exact. Insert panic attack here!

If five years of being a mum have taught me anything, it’s that you need a plan. So I made one. I knew that if I didn’t have a plan for every day, we would end up spending the summer in our PJ’s watching a lot of movies with talking animals. No thank you!

I mentioned my plan in a Facebook status update, and the response from my Mommy friends was overwhelming, everyone wanted a piece of this magic. Luschka and I put our heads together and thought that there might be more people out there who needed a sanity saver, so Luschka graciously offered to let me visit on her blog for a few months.

A little bit more about me:

I am a SAH mom of two boys, ages 5 and 2.5, and I have a wonderful husband. I trained as a preschool teacher and hold a B.PrimEd degree. I have taught little kids in three different countries and I still do so on a volunteer basis. Working with children is truly a great joy, life is so different through their eyes!

What will we do?

Each week, we will post a plan with 3 crafts, a “field trip” activity, sensory play, and two cooking activities. The activities will all be centered around a theme, and you will see pictures with examples of what we did. We will link to other blogs and websites for recipes and more ideas and information. I will also provide a handy shopping list for the week ahead, that way you can make sure you have things on hand!

What do you do this week?

Get ready! Organize your craft supplies, make sure you have paint, markers, ingredients for playdough, glue, and scissors.

Another useful tip, when the new plan for the week is posted, take a few minutes and do your craft preparation for the week ahead. You will be glad you did!

Start saving the following “junk” items.

– clear plastic bottles (one for each child)
– milk cartons (one for each child)
– plastic drinking cups
– several different little boxes of various sizes
– loo rolls (or Kitchen paper rolls)

I am really looking forward to hanging out with all of you this summer! Let’s have some fun!

Just so you know, the holidays for Andrea are 12 weeks long. Yes, t.w.e.l.v.e weeks. Here in the UK they’re only about six weeks, so feel free to take your favourite themes, the ones that you find most adaptable and the ones that appeal to you most. There are no ‘rules’. Take what you want, use what you want, but mostly HAVE FUN WITH YOUR KIDS! The holidays don’t have to be dreaded!

If you participate and would like to share your projects on our weekly project wall, you can upload your photos to our Flickr album. They stay your photos, but will appear in our album. You can remove them at any time. We’d love  to see how the projects inspire you, even if you just use it as a starting point!

If you’re a blogger and you want to participate, you can use this button to show you’re participating in Andrea’s Summer Camp At Home

Andreas Summer Camp At Home
Andreas Summer Camp At Home