1. POOL NOODLE SPRINKLER
As summer approaches, every dollar store seems to be flooded with boxes and boxes of pool noodles. (Of course, those boxes are empty by the last few weeks of summer when your kids have lost all your noodles at the pool and are begging for more, but that’s a whole other story.) Here’s a fun way to transform the traditional pool noodle into a sprinkler. Puncture the noodle all over using a skewer or ice pick (or other similar tool). Cover one end of the pool noodle with a small piece of foam or a plastic cap, duct taping it into place. Find a place for your sprinkler. It works fine on the ground or you can try hanging it from a tree or swingset. Put your hose into the uncapped end of the noodle, and then turn it on!
2. ICE EGGS
At the dollar store, stock up on balloons (preferably round shaped) and small toys or small glass stones or marbles. Put the toys and/or marbles inside each balloon. Then fill each balloon with water, tying them shut. Place them into the freezer until they have hardened. Once the ice is frozen, separate the ice from the balloon. The objects are now frozen inside. Your kids will love admiring the objects through the ice and cracking the ice eggs open to get to each “treasure” (spoons work well for cracking and digging).
3. SMASHING COTTON BALLS
For this activity you’ll need cotton balls and food coloring from the dollar store, and flour from your pantry. Mix flour, water, and food coloring of your choice in a bowl until it’s smooth and colored throughout. Dip the cotton balls in the flour mixture. Place each one on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Bake them for 45 minutes at 300 degrees until they harden. Then let them cool. Each cotton ball can be broken apart, pulled apart, stacked, glued together -- anything your kids can imagine!
4. DIY DRY ERASE MAT
This one is pretty simple. Buy a clear or white vinyl shower curtain liner and some dry erase markers from the dollar store. Tape the curtain liner down, and let your kid(s) color and erase over and over again.
5. NINJA TURTLE SUITS
Grab some roasting pans from the dollar store. You’ll also need green spray paint and ribbon (which you might have to purchase separately). Spray paint each pan green, and let it dry. Use the colored ribbon to create a simple tie-on face mask as well as straps for the roasting pan shell. COWABUNGA!
All of these activities are so much fun, but what would make these activities even better? When you take a break from doing them, serve your kids delicious shaved ice or snow cones right at home. The perfect treat to cool down after playing in the hot summer sun!