Dog Days of Summer

activities dogs days of summer indoor activities kids picnic play summer swimzip toddler

I often wondered where the phrase "Dog Days of Summer" came from, and only understood it to be in reference to the hottest days of the summer. After some super sleuthing (aka I consulted Google while the kiddies were napping), I found that the phrase actually dates back to the ancient Greek and Roman times. Not to get all historical on you, but during those times, the dog star known as Sirius, rose just before the sun from July to August. And since July and August are our hottest months of the year, the phrase was born and perpetuated throughout history.
How cool is that?!

So, in honor of the dog days of summer, I am sharing my favorite indoor activities to keep little ones engaged and active during the hottest days of the year. Enjoy!

Finger Painting // The simple and classic activity that I often forget about! My kids love nothing more than stripping down to their diapers and getting mixed up in some (washable) paint. We are learning colors in our house, so I tend to separate the dollops of paint in different bowls to prompt requests of a specific color.
Not interested in the mess that comes along with finger painting? Try this alternative:
Let your child choose up to four paint colors. Place a dollop of each color into a gallon-size Ziploc bag, seal, and duct tape to the table. The kiddies can swirl the paint around in the bag with their fingers, without actually touching the paint! #parentingwin

Photo by Kylie Bean {@ky.bean}

Moon Sand // Don't let the name scare you off! This activity doesn't actually involve sand...or the moon, for that matter. Mix equal parts shaving cream + cornstarch, add food coloring for an added sensory experience, and let your littles take it from there! It's soft and easy to mold, just like sand--but less gritty and smells yummy. My boys love to use their beach toys with the moon sand, and have hours of fun building sand castles indoors! Mom-to-mom tip: I like to put a big blanket on the floor, add the moon sand to a plastic bin, and set the little guys loose! The bin (mostly) contains the moon sand, and we can preserve it with the bin's lid.

Bathtub Fishing // While I'm not a huge fan of fishing for live fish, I can definitely get on board with bathtub fishing. Snag a cheap children's fishing rod from your local sporting goods store, remove the hook (CRUCIAL STEP) and tie a magnet to the end. Then, fill the tub with water (bubbles and food coloring add a fun touch) and add sorted magnetic letters, objects or beads. For the older kiddies, have them fish for specific magnetic letters to spell out their names or age-appropriate words. Want to take bathtub fishing to another level? Try this recipe for glowing bathtub water. (100% safe and edible)

Indoor picnic // I tend to underestimate the power of an indoor picnic. Not only is it an excuse for the kids to sit somewhere besides the kitchen table, it's just straight-up fun for everyone involved. I love to pack the kids' lunches in their lunchboxes, gather our favorite picnic blanket, and set off around the house searching for the perfect picnic spot. We also love reading books and playing games during our indoor picnics.
Happy picnicking! 

Photo by Kylie Bean {@ky.bean} // Round Towel by SwimZip

Edible paint // Add a little pizazz to a mid-day snack or dessert with edible paint! Pick your favorite neutral-colored snacks (sugar cookies, popcorn, marshmallows, crackers) and mix-up evaporated milk + your favorite food coloring. Grab the paintbrushes and let your kids get creative! We may have done this craft a few (too many) times...because the boys now want to paint every food at every meal! This craft came from the amazing mind of Amy Locurto at Living Locurto.


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