Summer Joys for the Kiddos – Part Two

Continuing in the vein of cost efficiency, we are going to briefly expound on some of the least bank-breaking activities 😉

Some of the BEST cost-effective (COVID-friendly) Summer Activities include:

⦁ Tie Dying Clothing
⦁ Swimming
⦁ Painting
⦁ Make S’Mores
⦁ Movie Marathon
⦁ Build A Den
⦁ Feed the Ducks
⦁ Paint Rocks
⦁ Baking
⦁ Make Homemade Popsicles
⦁ Have a BBQ.

Tie Dying Clothing
Like anything, there are numerous ways to tie dye clothes, but we are advocates for what’s easiest and more convenient

Preparation:
Clear a surface in your home – a kitchen counter is ideal, or if you have a garden area, a clean outdoor table a great alternative.
If you are working inside, cover the floor space with bin bags or plastic sheeting to ensure that the dye doesn’t stain hard to clean carpet stone flooring.

You will need:
⦁ Your items that you are dying, e.g., a plain white t-shirt, shorts, tracksuits etc
⦁ White vinegar and Food colouring in your desired colours, or a tie-dye kit
⦁ Rubber bands
⦁ Gloves
⦁ A cooling rack
⦁ Large bowl
⦁ Kitchen roll or extra rags to clean up messes

There are many methods of how to tie dye to create the patterns you desire, so we’re listed below two of the most child-friendly options.

Crinkle Method – simplest method and perfect for a more randomised look. This is perfect if you only want to use one colour or similar colours like pink and red:
⦁ Completely crumple the item of clothing as disorderly as you can into a tight ball. NEVER folded or neat
⦁ Wrap rubber bands around it to keep the clothes in that shape

Polka Dot Method – another fun technique for the kids:
⦁ Bunch up small parts of the clothing into a floral shape
⦁ Secure the bunch with rubber bands to keep it in place
⦁ Ensure they are spread out and form as many as possible

Time to Dye!

⦁ Set up your designated work area
⦁ For the dye to spread further on the item, soak your clothing item in a large bowl of lukewarm water for about 20 minutes or with a soda ash solution (if using a tie-dye kit). Feel free to skip this step and start tie dying the clothing whilst dry if you want the colours to be more isolated
⦁ Follow the instructions of your tie-dye kit or create your own dye (best used on non-plant-based fabrics like polyester)
Create Your Own Dye:
⦁ Put approximately 16 drops of food colouring and half a cup of water in a squeeze bottle
⦁ Shake it up to mix your dye
⦁ Mix a separate bottle for each colour

For more vibrant colours, you will only require a splash of water. For more pastel or faded colours, use a higher water to dye ratio.

⦁ Using the method you’ve chosen, dye your clothing item
⦁ To keep the dyed item damp, wrap it in a carrier bag. Place the bag in warm conditions like an airing cupboard or outside in the Sun, for approximately five hours. The time is dependent on how faded or vibrant you desire the colours to be
⦁ Put on your rubber gloves and remove the item from the bag, remove the rubber bands, and rinse the item with cold water
⦁ To remove any excess dye, wash the item on a cold setting in the washing machine on its own to avoid dye-transference
⦁ Hang it out to dry or dry it in a tumble-dryer on the coldest setting.

And you’re allllllll set! Ready to wear. This process is something the kids can really get their hands into and take ownership of creating their own fashion trend.
Adapted from Life Experience and https://theeverygirl.com/tie-dye-at-home/

Baking: Healthy Banana Bread Recipe

Ingredients
⦁ 1 cup whole wheat flour
⦁ 1 cup white whole wheat flour
⦁ 1 tsp baking powder
⦁ 1 tsp baking soda
⦁ ¼ tsp salt
⦁ 3-4 bananas mashed
⦁ ¼ cup maple syrup or honey, can use 1/3 cup for a slightly sweeter loaf
⦁ 6 tbsp butter
⦁ ½ cup yogurt, plain
⦁ 2 large egg, room temperature
⦁ 1 tsp vanilla extract
⦁ ½ cup walnuts chopped or desiccated coconut (optional).

Method
0. Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C
1. Grease one standard-sized loaf pan or line with parchment paper.
2. Combine both flours, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.
3. Melt butter in a saucepan. Whisk in syrup, yogurt, vanilla, mashed bananas, and a room temperature egg (Make sure the mixture is somewhat cooled before adding the egg)
4. Stir in flour mixture; beat well until blended and stir in nuts if you’re using it
5. Pour into loaf pan. Sprinkle extra walnuts on top, if desired, before baking
6. Bake 55 to 65 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a cooling rack for at least 10 minutes before.

Notes:
⦁ For a naturally sweeter banana bread, use overripe bananas. The riper the better
⦁ You can use either type of flour, the mix of flours just provides more of a balanced flavour
⦁ You can alternatively use a muffin tin instead of a loaf pan
⦁ Store banana bread in the fridge, don’t worry second day banana bread is even better 😍😍😍
Adapted from ⦁ www.superhealthykids.com

Build A Den
Dens are great spaces for children to take ownership of and
There are so many Den Kits available for purchase online, however if you are like us and are more people who enjoy a bit of D.I.Y, here is what we suggest for a homemade den building kit.

Indoor Version
⦁ Your den designated space should be as big as you can afford to use. Clear out enough space in your chosen location – make sure it’s convenient!
Tip: Give the kids a head up for how long their den will be up so they won’t be too upset when it’s time to take it down 😉 Prevention is better than cure right?!
⦁ Arrange the structure of the den: You’ll need a ceiling, walls and an entrance – whether you use sofas, chairs, or bunk beds, just ensure that the items are heavy enough to handle the weight of sheets or blankets
Tip #1: To make the den more adult friendly or accommodating for taller children, attach a broom to the back of your furniture to create higher apexes
Tip #2: If you happen to chairs, ensure they are outwards facing for more room.
⦁ Drape a few sheets, blankets or even tarp over the structure if you happen to have any of that. You will need to secure these in place with clothespins or duct tape in the corners
Tip: Overlap the sheets or blankets for a more secure ceiling
⦁ Expand the den: Add extra chairs if you feel there needs to be more space
Tip: Add a tent to a section of the den for a two-wing room.
⦁ Fill the inside
Tip: Use sleeping bags, air mattresses, studded animals, and their favourite toys to make the space truly their own!
Adapted from Life Experience 😉

Outdoor Version
⦁ Select a suitable area between trees. Check for any loose branches – you don’t want them falling off the tree onto the den.
⦁ Run the rope or strong cord between the two trees.
⦁ Tip: you can use some bungee ties for a quick way to secure to the tree without damaging it.
⦁ Drape a tarp, loose sheets and/or blankets over the cord to create walls, a roof and a door. Arrange the materials accordingly to formulate the shape of your den
⦁ On one side of the tarp, run some guy lines from the tarp to tent pegs. On the other side of the tarp simply peg it into the ground.
⦁ Finally, theme the den. Add blankets or anything else to make the den a cool, fun and relaxing space
⦁ Set your den rules 😉
Adapted from https://www.getoutwiththekids.co.uk/activities/making/building-a-den/

British S’Mores
A little American inspired adventure treat.

Ingredients (6 Servings):
⦁ 12 digestive biscuits
⦁ 24 squares of your favourite milk chocolate
⦁ 12 marshmallows

Method
⦁ Place half the digestive biscuits on a baking tray, stack four squares on each digestive and two marshmallows on top of it
⦁ Grill under a high heat oven until the marshmallow toasts and the chocolate begins to melt
⦁ Make a sandwich with a second digestive and eat it warm. Be careful of the hot marshmallow
⦁ Enjoy!

Notes
⦁ Use half the chocolate if you want a neater eating experience
⦁ If you want some variety, swap out some of the milk chocolate pieces for white chocolate
⦁ Watch them on the grill as they can burn quickly depending on the ingredients you use
⦁ You could also make a giant s’more using a cake tin. Mash the biscuits together.

Adapted from https://tasty.co/

So there you go! Just a few of the more cost friendly ideas that you can do over summer. Comment below about the ones you decide to try and how well it goes, we’d love to hear from you 😉