Summer Service Ideas – FREE Printable

While your kids are draping themselves over chairs complaining that there’s nothing to do, gently encourage their little hearts to go and be a blessing to someone.

Here are a few ways we like to serve in the hot months of summer…summer serve ideas at happy home fairy.jpg

Our favorite is to bring cold water bottles to the garbage men – I learned that one from my sweet dad!

Click HERE for your FREE Summer Service Printable

Happy Summer Service-ing! :-)

55 Fun and Easy Ideas for Summer

55 ideas for summer - such a great and easy list of fun ideas for my family this summer!.jpgI’ve started to cut back on all the ’round-ups’ I used to do because Pinterest is overflowing with posts promising, “5,000 Kid Activities!” or “6 Trillion Boredom Busters!”

But I like to think that my specialty is finding the ideas that are REALLY easy – the ones that make you say,

“I can do that!”

I tell people that each of my kids took a little bit of my brain with them when they came out (which, if you know me, doesn’t say much about how much brain I started with ;-)).

The point is, when it’s 1,000 degrees out and your kids have watched enough TV to rot all that good brain they stole from you you lovingly gave them, moms need ideas that don’t require a whole lot of thinking.

They also need ideas that require stuff we can find under our kitchen sinks or in our pantries or sock drawers.

With that said, here is an EPIC list featuring 55 of Happy Home Fairy’s favorite fun and easy ideas to do with your Happy Buddies this summer.

I hope you’ll share it with all the other low-brain-functioning Superhero Moms out there. :-)

marshmallow structures#1 – Build some Marshmallow Structures (via Craft Interrupted).

#2 – Have a Midnight Kickball Game (via Happy Home Fairy).

sunshine cupcakes - these are so cute and easy. Perfect for summer!.jpg#3 – Bake a batch of Sunshine Cupcakes (via Happy Home Fairy).

paint seashells#4 – Paint Seashells (via Pink Sky Photography).

quick-and-easy-kids-binoculars-just-takes-5-minutes#5 – Make binoculars out of toilet paper rolls (via Sweet C’s Designs) .

#6 – Decorate the outside of Dad’s car while he is at work with streamers and balloons and homemade signs.

ketchup painting#7 – Fill an empty ketchup bottle with water and squirt designs on the sidewalk (via I Can Do That! So Can You…)

diaper ditch at happy home fairy#8 – Ding Dong Ditch a box of diapers to a new mom or local pregnancy center (via Happy Home Fairy).

#9 – Visit a pet store and name all the animals.

watermelon bowling#10 – Play Wacky Watermelon Bowling (via Growing a Jeweled Rose).

Sumoboys#11 – Sumo Wrestling (via All For The Boys).

#12 – Skype with someone and tell them funny jokes like, “What does the sun drink out of?”  SUNGLASSES! :-)

fairy jar#13 – Make Fairies in a Jar (via Pinterest).

#14 – Play with Pipe Cleaners (via Spoonful).

wooden spoon puppet#15 – Make Wooden Spoon Puppets (via Creative Learning Fun).

#16 – Give your pet a party (via Family Fun).

shaving cream#17 – Shaving Cream + Plastic Tablecloth (via HeyDay Living).

#18 – Look through old photos together.

wrap duct tape around your child's wrist, send them outside and let them decorate their 'bracelet' with items they find in nature! I LOVE THIS!#19 – Make Nature Bracelets (via Happy Home Fairy).

puffy paint#20 – Make Homemade Puffy Paint (via Skip to My Lou).

robot-prompts-1#21 – Use these FREE Printable Robot Drawing Prompts (via Picklebums).

noodle game#22 – Play this super fun Pool Noodle Game (via Parents).

#23 – Dress up super fancy for dinner and talk in British accents.

plate crowns#24 – Make these super easy Paper Plate Crowns (via Meaningful Mama).

laser beam#25 – Make a Laser Beam Obstacle (via All for the Boys).

#26 – Bring in someone’s trash cans.

#27 – FAMILY DANCE PARTY.

best bubbles#28 – Make this World’s Greatest Bubble Recipe (via Under the Sycamore).

water bin#29 – Make this easy Plastic Bin Water Table (via Mom to 2 Posh Lil’ Divas).

#30 – Have dessert for breakfast one morning.

car s'mores#31 – Make Car S’mores (via Mom Advice).

foil river#32 – Make a Tin Foil River (via I Can Teach My Child).

#33 – Make a music video to your favorite song and share it on Facebook.

cave of stars#34 – Create a Cave of Stars (via Pinterest).

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#35 – Have a Glow Stick Bath (via Happy Home Fairy).

roads#36 – Make some Tape Roads (via Parents).

Homemade-Gak-This-is-the-cheapest-and-best-kid-entertainment-ever-Recipe-on-lilluna.com-gak#37 – Make GAK (via Lil’ Luna).

sunbleach-puzzle2#38 – Make a Sun-Bleached ABC Mat (via Kids Activities Blog).

cereal-box-puzzles#39 – Make Cereal Box Puzzles (via Happy Hooligans).

marshmallows#40 – Make Marshmallow People (via Color Me Katie).

pet rocks#41 – Make Pet Rocks (via Cocoa Bean Blog).

walking tacos#42 – Make Walking Tacos (via The Girl Who Ate Everything).

pompom spooning at happyhomefairy#43 – Play Pom Pom Spooning (via Happy Home Fairy).

color-scavenger-hunt#44 – Have a Rainbow Toy Hunt (via Hands On: As We Grow).

cheerios#45 – Play with Cheerios (via Teach Preschool).

#46 – Go out for ice cream in your pajamas (the whole family must participate).

#47 – Run through the sprinklers.

coolsummer#48 – Drop off a box of popsicles at a friend’s house (via eighteen25).

sidewalk chalk photo#49 – Take fun Sidewalk Chalk Photos (via Pinterest).

#50 – Go on a night walk around the neighborhood with flashlights.

rainbow paint#51 – Use Shaving Cream Bath Paint in the tub (via Meet the Dubiens).

mini-biscuit-pizza-recipe#52 – Make Homemade Pizzas (via Queen Bee Coupons).

ice-cream-sandwich-cute#53 – Make an Ice Cream Sandwich Cake (via The Girl Who Ate Everything).

saran wrap window clings#54 – Make Homemade Window Clings with Saran Wrap and Sharpies (via Abernathy Crafts).

#55 – Savor every second.

Happy 55 Awesome Summer Ideas-ing! :-)

*Please ‘Pin’ the image provided at the top of this post. To pin an individual activity, please visit the amazing sites listed.  Thank you!*

10 Things I Want To Do This Summer

10 things i want to do this summer..jpgEvery Summer I try to put together a list of things I want our family to do (you can see our Summer Bucket List from last year HERE).

This year, though, I wanted to make a little Summer Bucket List for myself, if you will.

Because making tin foil rivers and figuring out the best recipe for homemade bubbles is awesome and all, but there are a few things I am interested in personally accomplishing over the next couple of months.

1. Paint the front door YELLOW.

I have been kind of obsessed with yellow doors lately (you can see some of the ones I have been pinning HERE).  If we somehow fall into some extra money this summer, it will be going toward this bright and happy project.

2. Dye my hair like Lorelai Gilmore’s.

Oh my goodness.  Gilmore Girls.  One of my favorite shows of all time.  Why, oh why did they have to stop after only 7 seasons?  I am making the hubs watch the entire series with me this summer (along with So You Think You Can Dance).   Every time we watch it, I drool over Lorelai’s hair color.  It’s like this deep chocolatey brown but with beautiful red highlights.  I’m feeling adventurous.

I am also secretly dreaming about getting my nose pierced this summer.

It’s quite possible I am having a mid-life crisis. :-)

3. Take the kids to the dentist.

I am HORRIBLE at remembering to brush my children’s teeth.  So I have been avoiding the dentist like the plague because I know they are going to punish me with disapproving stares when they see the evidence of neglect in my kids’ mouths.

Not to mention that I don’t like going to the dentist and haven’t quite figured out how to cast this particular person in a positive light for my children.  I used to tremble in the waiting room as a kid.  Not even the treasure chest or 152 flavors of flouride treatments could change my opinion.  And these days I am always getting in trouble for not flossing.  Also my last pregnancy apparently sucked every last bit of health from my gums, so my trips to the dentist now usually end up with me looking like a scene out of the Vampire Diaries and wondering what having dentures will be like one day.

4. Teach my kids to swim.

Another area of neglect is that I have not yet taught my kids how to swim.

And we live in FLORIDA, people.

Not a fan of all the time it takes to put sunscreen on squirming little people so we generally don’t go to pools or the beach that often.

There is an indoor swim academy right by our house, however, and they were offering this AMAZING deal for 4 swimming lessons so I snatched it up.  It’s time we get this figured out so the hubs and I can actually have fun at family swim parties and trips to the beach instead of playing Rock Paper Scissors to see who will do CPR if necessary.

5. Finish my Bible study.

I have fallen in love with Lysa TerKeurst and am eating up everything she has to offer.  I did THIS BOOK earlier in the year and now I am doing THIS ONE called What Happens When Women Say Yes To God.

Remember my post about The Prayer Chair?  Yeah, well, I haven’t been the best about waking up early these days, so my times with the Lord have been a little less consistent but definitely more creative.  5 minutes alone in the bathroom?  Let’s dig into God’s Word.  At a red light?  Let’s finish up Chapter 6′s study questions.

I’m hoping that the summer will be a bit more relaxed and I will be able to finally figure out exactly how to say yes to God. :-)

6. Respond to people who comment on Happy Home Fairy things.

I’ve been writing this blog since 2010 and I have been AWFUL at responding to all the sweet people (like my top commenters Debbie, April and Brandi, to name a few) who take the time to let me know they liked a post or printable or to just share an encouraging word.  I seriously read EVERY SINGLE ONE and they bless me MORE THAN YOU WILL EVER KNOW, but I have just never been able to figure out a good response groove.  Like if I respond to one, then I feel I have to respond to them all (even though there really aren’t a whole lot to manage).

I’m kind of an all or nothing kind of girl.  Like if I can’t remember to brush my kids’ teeth every day then I might as well not brush them at all.

Lately, though, I have been really desiring to grow this blog and I think one of the things that I could do better is taking the time to connect with my readers.  So, this summer I am going to do my very best to reply to every commenter.  Even the ones on Instagram.  And maybe Facebook. :-)

7. Get 10,000 ‘Likes’ on Facebook.

Speaking of Facebook, I have this little dream of reaching 10,000 likes.  I wish I had more time to pour into social media things.  To be honest, I am AWFUL at writing status updates.  I feel like there are people who just think in status updates and are constantly rolling out these intelligent and inspiring words.

Not me.

It sometimes takes me hours (and several trial runs by the hubs) to come up with something that I think is worthy enough to be shared.  Plus, for the same reason I completely failed as an independent consultant for a home party business, I hate promoting myself.  I always feel like I am bothering people with stuff about… me.

I suppose if I bothered them they could ‘unlike’ me, but then I would just feel bad about that.

Maybe the answer here is that I am just not cut out to have a huge, exploding blog and should revise some of these summer dreams to be more along the lines of ways I can be a better mom.

Because clearly I spend too much time blogging and not enough time preserving my children’s pearly whites.

8. Go see a movie.

Man, when the hubs and I were in college we lived near a dollar theater and we went to the movies almost every weekend.  It was the greatest.

Then we had kids.

Isn’t it funny how going to the movies now seems like such a huge and expensive event?

But seeing a movie with my love is one of my fondest memories.  Especially in the summertime.  I love wearing a flowy dress and walking hand and hand through the parking lot after a good flick.  Possibly holding ice cream cones with our other free hand.

9. Soak up every minute with my kids.

I really want to be intentional about loving every relaxed-paced second I have this summer with my 2 little buddies.  I will be making the transition from part-time to full-time teaching in the fall so these next 2 months are going to be incredibly precious as we savor laid back mornings, running through the sprinklers (since they can’t swim yet), and having after dinner Dubstep dance parties.

10. Holding on to JOY when it gets hot.

Other than our trip to the Bahamas, we’ve been encountering a series of unfortunate events involving our house, our mortgage, water damage, mold, medical bills, insurance, my husband’s chronic back pain, illness, and job stresses.

Just the other day I said to no one in particular, “Are we in the furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego?”

But then I quickly remembered that JESUS was in that furnace, too – right there with them.

And I vowed to walk in the same kind of trust and obedience as those 3 faithful men.

Even when things get hot.

And in summertime in South Florida, it’s kind of inevitable. :-)

So that’s my list.

What’s on yours?

(And if you answer this question by commenting below, I will reply to you – pinky swear.)

- Julie

10 Creative Ways to Have Fun With Foil

fun with foil - so many easy activities using foil!

We are slowly checking things off our Summer Bucket List!

One thing that I am really looking forward to doing is a Tin Foil River (see below) in our front yard!

But it has been pretty gloomy and rainy most of the week, so we haven’t gotten around to it yet.

Having a big roll of aluminum foil on hand has got me to thinking (and googling) – what are some other awesome ways we could use this shiny stuff?

Here is a compilation of several really creative ideas that I found to help beat summer boredom with foil in the coming days.

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This is the Tin Foil River from I Can Teach My Child that we are definitely trying.

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I Am Momma Hear Me Roar had her Happy Buddies make Aluminum Foil Boats that were tested to see how many marbles or pennies they could hold.

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My amazing friend, Bern, from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas, froze some paint and had her preschoolers Paint on Aluminum Foil.

Such a great sensory experience!

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I love this Drawing on Foil with Sharpies activity from Picklebums.

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Same idea, but ikat bag took it a step further and made Aluminum Foil Crowns and Scepters.

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Make and Takes featured these fun Foil Pendants.

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Use up your recyclables with these hilarious Aluminum Foil Robots from Filth Wizardry.

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Kids Activities Blog handed a few Happy Buddies a roll of aluminum foil and they sculpted some really cool creations as well as wrapped a bunch of random things in foil and then guessed what each wrapped object was.

What a cool game idea!

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With the steamy temperatures right now, this homemade Solar Oven from Spoonful is the most clever way to cook up a batch of S’mores using foil, an empty pizza box, and the sun.

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Finally, Making Boys Men has an amazing list of foil fun ideas, but this was the one that just screamed BRILLIANT to me -

Wrap foil around your Happy Buddies over and over so that their arms are tucked in.  Then on the count of 3, they explode out.

She appropriately named this The Superhero Escape.

Are you running to the pantry to check for foil?? :-)

Happy Fun with Foil-ing!

Summer Bucket List

such a cute and simple summer bucket list at happyhomefairy.com!I know I am dreadfully behind on getting ‘summer-y’ posts out to y’all.

I just needed the right inspiration to kick me in the pants, shall we say.

When I saw THIS chalkboard Summer Bucket List, I thought, I can do that!

So today during the Happy Baby’s nap, the Happy Buddy and I brainstormed some things we want to do this summer and I jotted it all down on the chalkboard hanging in our entryway.

I kept our list a bit small because I have to keep things realistic here.  Most days we are pretty happy just hanging out in pajamas playing with trains and cars.

But then there are other days (like today) where I was desperate for this list of ideas because if we stayed in our house another minute I think the fact that there is only one square inch of flooring that isn’t covered in some sort of crumb, raisin, or unidentifiable small thing would have sent me over the edge.

And as you can see, we have already been getting busy checking off our boxes – thanks to inclement weather.

Personally, I am unbelievably psyched about the kickball.  A zillion years ago I wrote a post HERE about how my mom and dad would take us out in the middle of the night for family kickball games during the summer.  It. Was. Awesome.  So I spent like 2 hours this morning trying to coordinate schedules with 30 different husband’s-side family members to nail down a date.  And yes, we were victorious.

Family Kickball Game is happening July 21st {KAPOW!}.

adorable (and realistic) summer bucket list at happyhomefairy.com! love it!What are you doing this summer that has you jazzed???

Happy Summer Bucket List-ing! :-)

*You can find other amazing Summer Bucket List Inspirations HERE.*

Summer Bucket List Ideas

Sometimes August rolls around and you look back over the summer and think, “Where in the world did the time go?!” and “What exactly did we do (besides sweat)???”

I’m all for making a list of ideas at the beginning of the summer so that you actually get to DO some fun things as a Happy Home.

Here are a few fabulous websites that have made it easy for you to be intentional about treasuring each and every moment under the summer sun!

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The incredible Crafting Chicks created the above Summer Activity Jars for extra awesome summer fun.

Go HERE to check out the idea as well as the FREE Printable lists of ideas to put in each jar.

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Tatertots and Jello came up with a bunch of neat ideas for her Happy Home’s Summer Bucket List.

You’ll love her suggestions to play flashlight tag or take dinner to a neighbor.

Snag that amazing FREE Printable HERE!

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I love how Delia Creates transformed her Summer Bucket List into a Bingo Game – complete with FREE Printable for you.

If her Happy Home completes six activities in a row, then they can go out for ice cream!

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Similar to the jar idea at the beginning of this post, Over the Big Moon crafted one, too, and makes sure you can create one as well with another great FREE Printable!

I love all of her ‘Pin’-spired ideas and think you’ll be seeing a few of them on Happy Home Fairy in the months to come. :-)

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Instead of a massive list of ideas, Somewhat Simple organized her Happy Home’s summer into this Weekly Schedule.

Totally doable and will help establish a predictable, yet fun routine for your Happy Buddies.

My favorite is THURSDAY!

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And, finally, I’d be remiss not to include Happy Home Fairy’s Summer Bucket ListThe What Can I Do? Can!

This set of FREE Printable cards will have your Happy Home capturing the best moments of summer in a way that will give you a lifetime of memories.

Want to make a more personalized list?  Check out THIS GREAT POST with step-by-step instructions to creating your very own Summer Bucket List.

Want even MORE Summer Bucket List Ideas?  Go HERE immediately.

What’s on our Happy Home’s Summer Bucket List??

Well, the Happy Hubby got some new scuba diving gear for his graduation, so he’s going to be at the bottom of the ocean most of the summer.

The Happy Buddy doesn’t know it yet, but he will be experiencing some serious Potty Training Boot Camp this summer (suggestions welcomed). :-)

And me?  My Summer Bucket List is simply to get the Happy Baby home!

Happy Summer Bucket List-ing! :-)