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Posted by on Aug 1, 2013 | 0 comments

A Wonderful Week at Camp Del Ray

A Wonderful Week at Camp Del Ray

Earlier this summer, Leslie and I participated in a week-long summer camp co-op with three other local families, appropriately named Camp Del Ray. We’re quite happy with how it worked — we’ve already shared a few of the activities we did (bubbles, woodworking and popcorn taste test) — but we wanted to talk a little more about how this came to be. Somewhere, I don’t know where exactly, we heard about the idea of summer camp co-ops and we were instantly intrigued. Separately, I talked to Leslie and my friend Mary about how we could make this happen in Del Ray. It might be a good way to save some money on typical camps, but also it could be a lot of fun. Here’s how it went down. Getting Started We knew we wanted five families so each household would be responsible for only one day of camp during the week. We wanted a mix of kids — different ages, boys and girls — where everyone knew at least one...

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Posted by on Jul 25, 2013 | 1 comment

DIY Kids: Fun with Washi Tape

DIY Kids: Fun with Washi Tape

What’s washi tape? It’s a fun approach to masking tape. Actually, the tape is a bit like a cross between masking and scotch tape, with a feel like soft fabric. Washi tape comes in every color under the sun and in a gazillion patterns. It’s a popular scrapbooking accessory, but can be used in home decor too. You can buy it at paper and craft stores like Paper Source, at the Del Ray Variety store, and by the name of “decorative tape” at Michael’s. I went straight to the source and bought three rolls from an Etsy vendor in Japan, where washi tape originates. I brainstormed with my oldest daughter Ana (age 9) about some washi tape projects. Here are the different ways we decided to use our first batch of washi tape around the house. First, Ana and her friend took down a vintage mirror in her room and added stripes to accentuate the main red color. The fun new stripes give her mirror some new pizzaz. What’s...

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Posted by on Jul 15, 2013 | 3 comments

DIY Kids: The Popcorn Taste Test

DIY Kids: The Popcorn Taste Test

On my day hosting Camp Del Ray (our 5-day, 5-family summer camp co-op), in addition to the DIY bubble wand activity, I conducted a popcorn taste test as a combined activity and afternoon snack. I thought up four different toppings both savory and sweet, and one I figured would for sure challenge their palates. In secret, I got the toppings ready:  evaporated milk and dried dill (top) – the more challenging of flavors, sprinkles (right), Heath bar (bottom), Mac ‘n Cheese powdered cheese (left). I made a big pot of plain popcorn on the stove and while it was almost done, melted butter in the microwave. The butter helped the ingredients stick to the popcorn, like the sprinkles. I then put a little of each kind on a plate with a piece of paper next to it, to use for voting.  This is number one, the “dill dip” topping. The kids each took a turn trying each one, one after another, and marking a tally for “Yes” or “No”...

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Posted by on Jul 10, 2013 | 0 comments

20 Summer Projects for Kids

20 Summer Projects for Kids

With kids out of school and camps and vacations spread out during the summer, there are bound to be times when your kids complain, I’m bored. So here’s a list of 20 of our favorite kid projects — perfect for weekends, rainy days, or any day. Most can be modified to fit any age or skill or done as a small group. Click each photo for more info. If you have a project to share, let us know! We’d love to add to our list. Sun prints Geoboard math toy Beaded bubble wands and homemade bubble mix Duct tape Painted shells and sticks Flower petal paints Pom poms Paper dolls (and other travel-friendly activities) Woodworking Homemade finger paint Outdoor checker board Beach crafts Tin can lanterns Cardboard cutouts and paper cities Neighborhood walk journal Make your own postcards Paint-by-number wall Melted crayon art Decoupage Edible...

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Posted by on Jul 8, 2013 | 0 comments

Beach Crafts: Painting Shells, Driftwood and Postcards

Beach Crafts: Painting Shells, Driftwood and Postcards

We always try to have a few crafts planned when we go out of town. On our recent beach trip, we decorated shells and driftwood and painted handmade postcards to send to friends at home. For the painted shells and driftwood, all we needed was some paint and brushes. My mom is an artist so she always has these around, but you can use any acrylic or craft paint available at a variety or art store. We found shells on the beach that were big enough to give the kids enough surface area to work. We put a few drops of paint on paper plates and then got to work. Calvin made a turtle. Jack went the patriotic route. My mom went beachy. And I painted stripes on a piece of driftwood. Not sure what I will do with it but for now it just rests on a window ledge. After the paint dried, we applied a layer of Mod Podge to give the shells and wood a glossy sheen. My...

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