Friday, June 15, 2012

Pool, playdo and playground

            So the summer started with a great note of happiness and cheer. Salud for that! However my time has been consumed by the search of a new place to live. A place to where we will adapt one more time and we will call "HOME". The search has not been as productive as my husband and I would love to believe and it is because joggling between 70 hours of work at a restaurant and two kids are never a good combination for apartment hunting. For now though, let's enjoy the summer! There is no need of desperation, at least not yet... And last week when I wrote this paragraph I was right. We found a home in the always lovely town of Middleton, WI. A landlord that seems so happy to welcome us in his little piece of paradise so-rounded by pines trees, close to a splash park, the community pool and an amazing trail for walking with the kids. And we recover the capacity to believe in people. I guess after all when "some doors closed, some windows open up."
          Now that summer is settling I am enjoying little projects I had in mind during the winter. I though in the 3 P's: pool, play do and playground. Maybe there are some ideas you already tried but maybe we can enrich each other with fresh projects.

Middleton, WI Splash Park

         I remember how freak out I was the first time Isis went to the pool. First because I cannot swim to save my life, second because she runs and moves so fast that always seems to give me a heart attack and third because it was the first time doing something with her that didn't involve crayons and pencils. Well, I have to confess going to the pool is pretty much the best idea ever for summer. We go every day and stay for hours. Yes!! hours. Splashing, eating snacks, kind of swimming, playing with balls, buckets and rubber duckies. Oh, yeah! it is a great time. Even baby Isaac loves it.

         Isis manage to jump over the edge of the pool and says: "One, two, three, blast off."
Isis at the pool, these will be the last weeks at this place

Relaxing at the pool

         It is the funniest thing ever and everybody at the pool always clap. Anyways. I know bringing your kids to the pool is such a enormous project. Stroller, towels, snacks, maybe a cooler if it 90 degrees, hats, toys, diapers, and other dozen of gadgets I cannot think of. But it pays off in the end, happy kids, relax moms. What I am trying to say is that staying at home is not so stressful and hectic all the time. When it is, of  course, it seems like the end of the word but 75% of the time is FUN, FUN, FUN...  we, I have to remember that more often!

I also discover that any source of water will be delightful and will keep little ones plenty busy. Splash park, pool, beach (even if is at the lake) or even the bathtub full of toys. But of course, you already know that. What you don't know is how to make some great tools for the beach, the pool, the bathtub or which ever will be your source of water or I should say your source of RELAXATION!. And make them from recycle materials. Here some ideas:
  •  Cut some soda bottles of any size on a half or 3/4 keeping the tip of the bottle. They make perfect funnels
  •  Plastic cups of different sizes and shapes tied to plastic spoon with a string work great as a fishing pool (watch for the rope!?)
  • Old kitchen tools can be use to play in the sand. Serving spoons are awesome to dig tunnels and all sort of water channels at the beach.
Marshall Park Beach at Lake Mendota, WI

Middleton Splash Park

           Thinking about handmade projects for summer I dived into Google to find an easy homemade playdo recipe. Well, I found many. The best comes from an online space for kids, parents and teachers. You should check it out if you are not a fan already in Facebook.
The recipe is so simple that I even had time to clean. Yes, clean!?
           Mix a cup of flour, a half a cup of cold water, a pinch of salt, one spoon of oil,  one table spoon of corn starch and you will have the softest, smoothest and cheapest play do on the block. If you have food coloring go ahead and cut the dough in pieces and apply a couple of drops of color in each piece. More drops, more color. advises to color with power color. It may be better because the dough will not get wet. If that happens that your play do gets wet after a couple of days, add a pinch of flour and do no... really DO NOT forget to storage the dough in zip lock bags, plastic containers or else. This recipe will make enough play do for two kids, four hand full balls of colorful play do.
                It is time to play!
Ingredients for homemade play do

Colorful homemade play do

            A big part of the day as a stay at home mom relays on going to the park. Google, note and mark all the playgrounds around the area on the calendar, that way the kids will not get bored of going to the same one over and over again. OK. let's be real, so YOU will not get bored of going to the same playground over and over again. Playgrounds though are not so exciting by themselves. You have to spice it out!

           We love to bring little things which make the time in the playground more active and interesting. It is truth though that free time playing enhance the little ones brain. However, some extra ideas to earn more peaceful time at the park can never be dismiss.

At Marshall Park, Middleton, WI

Little things
       Bring a small ball so the kiddos can trough it down or up the slide. Play treasure hunt or carry the ball up and down and under the tunnels. That will for sure tired up a toddler and help you relax after the park.
       Packed a picnic basket with a few treats. Bring a blanket along with you so they can sit on the grass o have a picnic snack. I love to bring healthy snacks like pieces of apples, peaches or even raisins. IT TAKES LONG TIME TO EAT and it help them with their fine motor skills.
       Finally, my favorite is a plastic tent I bought at Walgreens. We walk through the trail to get to park so it is a team work activity to carry the tent all the way down the playground. Then the tent become a hide out for the kids. They can put their shoes, snacks and bags inside, so every time they want they get in the tent to have a snack or chat with their friends. It also help to make friends because everybody want to get into the tent so they invite other kids to join them.

I hope these ideas will make your summer full of fun and will bring joyful moments to your family. Soon I will have the Recyclables page ready and running with tutorials and pictures of recycle projects.  Also, I will be offering recycle art classes in the Middleton, WI area and hopefully Little Sprouts Store grant opening will be at the end of July. Summer is bringing lots of new ideas to my mind, I just hope I can accomplish all of them.


  1. I love your blog! Its very fun to read and you sure have a talent for writing that is very easy and fun to read! Keep up the good work. Make sure you write often-you will cherish these memories the older your children get. :)


  2. I am way past my days with raising my Children, but never hesitate to read your blog. Your children are very lucky to have you as their loving, Mom!! I am so happy about you and Gorman finding a new home..Good Luck, and keep up the fabulous work, Mila!!!

  3. Thank you for you wonderful comments!!! they keep my spirit up and the blog running. Please leave your first name and contact info so I know who are you and I can enter you in the upcoming give away.


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