Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Happy National Watermelon Day!

It's August 3rd - time to celebrate National Watermelon Day!

Here are a few suggestions for celebrating:

Try carving your watermelon. Craftjr has a great roundup of watermelon carving ideas,
including this cute watermelon smiley face.

image via Craft Gossip

When I was young, my grandma would make these watermelon popsicles - 
easy and delicious on a hot summer day. Learn how to from Family Fun.

One of our favorite recipes this summer has been Watermelon Sorbet.
You can find the recipe here.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Celebrate Picnic Day

It's Picnic Day in Australia today.
 picnic basket available here.

Here are some great ways for you to celebrate:

How about a Popsicle Picnic?

 image and idea via design sponge

I love this meal in a jar from Giver's Log

image and idea via Giver's Log

This Indian Summer Celebration over at Cheeky Kitchen looks like fun,
and could be celebrated anytime during the summer. 

image and idea via Cheeky Kitchen

What are your favorite picnic ideas or places for picnics?

Walk Portland

Today we're going to be taking a field trip with Peter's Walking Tours. Former schoolteacher Peter Chausse has been leading  guided walking tours around Portland since 1995. He leads tours through Central Portland, the Pearl, a Twilight Bridge Tour and more. Today we'll be going on his Family Fountain Tour, which takes you to at least 5 of Portland's Fountains, with time for the kids to stop and play at each one, including our favorite at Jamison Square.

 image via Poshbaby
For more info, visit www.walkportland.com

Happy Ice Cream Sandwich Day

It's hard to believe that August is already upon us. Where has the summer gone?  Today we're celebrating National Ice Cream Sandwich Day.

We made these simply by sandwiching some vanilla ice cream between chocolate chip cookies and coating the edges with sprinkles.

Here are a few more easy recipes:

If it's too hot to bake today, just add some ice cream between Oreo Cookies like this:

 Idea and photo from One Charming Party via Gordon Gossip

Or try this recipe with toasted coconut.

And another version made with Rice Krispie Treats.

Here's a great way to dress up the store bought version.

Over at Amazon.com  you can buy these darling ice cream sandwich molds:

 Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Look Up!

Today marks the 41st Anniversary of man first setting foot on the moon.

And here are some out-of-this-world ways we've come up with to celebrate:

Read: Mission Control, This is Apollo to learn more about the astronauts.

Another good book on the topic includes:  What is the Moon Made Of? And Other Questions Kids Have About Space by Donna H. Bowman. And for toddlers and preschoolers, check out our family's favorite by Dan Yaccarino, Zoom! Zoom! Zoom! I'm off the the Moon.

Bake your own Crater Cake. You can find the recipe here.

Snack Idea: Cut out some Swiss Cheese into circles and put them on round crackers for moon-faced snack.

Stargaze: Head outside tonight and see how many constellations you can find. Click here for a July skymap. 

Space Out: Learn how real scientists study the planets by visiting the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's online Cyber Center here.

Create your own Moon Notebook. On clear nights, draw a picture of the moon and write the date and time next to each picture. As time passes, your kids will see the moon in all of its phases. You can download your own chart here

Moon Trivia: Did you know that the moon is so far away, that if you were driving there in a car, it would take more than 6 months to reach it?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bubbles, Bubbles, Everywhere

One of our very favorite things to do in the summer is blowing bubbles. Following are some of the best bubble ideas we've found for kids of every age.

A few years back we discovered Betz White's "Super Foam-erator". They're quick and easy to make - you just need an empty water bottle, a scrap of terry cloth and some dish soap.

 You can find the complete directions can be found here.

I also came across this post on making Gigantic Bubbles with things like Hula Hoops and coat hangers.

Their secret for such durable bubbles is glycerine, which can be found at most any pharmacy.

For something new this summer, we're going to trying these Dry Ice Giant Bubbles from Geek Dad:

Over at Ohdeedoh, they shared 9 recipes for your own bubble solution. And here's our family favorite:

You can download and print your own copy here.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Stargaze with your Kids

image via pacsci.org

This is the perfect time of year to gather your family and a blanket and head out for some stargazing. Here are some great tips to get you started:

First you need to find a good location. This could easily be your own backyard, but if you live near bright city lights, this might mean waiting for a long weekend in the country or the woods. Once you've seen the stars away from the city, you'll realize that what a difference it makes. 

If your kids are old enough, grab a few constellation charts and try to find them. If stargazing seems like a hobby your family enjoys, you might want to consider investing in a decent telescope so you can actually see some of the planets or the craters on the moon. A good way to check this out is by attending a Star Party - these are events held around the country by local amateur astronomers that allow you to "test drive" their equipment before you buy your own. We had a great time last summer out at the OMSI/Rose City Astronomers Star Party at Rooster Rock. We'll never forget seeing the rings of Saturn up close.

Once you've gone stargazing, you can continue to foster an interest by: