Summer Activities List (Printable)

cpa-school-summer-break-chalk

We’ve started our summer holidays from school now so here’s my annual Summer Activities List, filled with free or low-cost activities for sunny and rainy days:

2015 Summer Activities

Each of the activities are ones that my daughter loves doing, and my son (who has Autism) will also do (not sure if he likes them all but the smiles are awesome!).

Like my Facebook Page and please share any photos of activities your family does throughout the summer. Would love to see great family-time this summer! I’ll also be including videos of us doing these activities too on my Youtube Channel too so be sure to subscribe there.

Advertisements

Something Lovely at #Starbucks…and it wasn’t just the #chai!

If you follow me at all, you know that I prefer Starbucks chai…but I also enjoy the environment/ambiance at Starbucks locations. Regularly, I start up conversations with others about nothing in particular, but it’s still nice. I wanted to share a lovely experience my best friend and I had on the weekend, where we saw someone….

My Daughter’s #SecretSanta Gift

My daughter is part of a club at school called “The Junior V Club”…strangely, she doesn’t know what the “V” stands for, and she keeps forgetting to ask the teacher who runs the group. Basically, the group gets together as a safe place for the girls to talk and express their feelings. At the beginning of the school year, they decided to choose two “raise awareness projects” for the year. My daughter’s suggestions were Autism and anti-bullying. Mama Pride! My son’s Autism-specific class is at this school too, so the school population itself is quite aware of special needs.

My daughter told me on the weekend that the Junior V Club was doing a Secret Santa gift exchange, with the following guidelines: $5 limit and the gift needed to be made by the giver. So, my daughter asked if we could go to the dollar store to get craft supplies to make a gift. She found a coin bank in the shape of a house that she wanted to paint and decorate.

IMG_0358

Of course she wore her Santa hat to paint and decorate…

IMG_0364

She was so proud to take her gift to school yesterday, especially since she didn’t know the fellow club member very well. Apparently the new friend loved it.

IMG_0369

My daughter received two handpainted decorations for the tree. So cute!

Activities-Based #AdventCalendar (#Autism)

Last year, I switched to an activities-based Advent Calendar. In 2012, I realized how silly the chocolate-filled, store-bought Advent calendar was for three reasons:

  1. the chocolate is cheap and tastes awful
  2. my kids are at their dad’s every other weekend so that means I just throw out the chocolate from those days (why can’t Lindor make an advent calendar?!!)
  3. (and more importantly) my son doesn’t eat chocolate so he didn’t participate

This meant that every morning, my daughter would eat a yucky piece of chocolate while my son ignored the whole lead up to Christmas.

When the opportunity to make an Advent Calendar came up last year through a local mom’s group, I jumped at the chance. We all know that I’m not a crafty person so, when the mom leading the workshop put the canvas and all the materials down in front of me and told me to “just start”, I looked at her with a blank expression and asked her “how?”. Thankfully, because I’ve known her for years, I wasn’t offended when she looked at me as if I had three heads. 😉

After getting over my initial fear, and her showing me how to do some things, I jumped in. Three hours later, our new Advent Calendar was created and ready for use!

Advent Calendar

My daughter was hesitant last year, because she thought she would miss the chocolate but, a few days into the Advent Calendar, she was hooked. This year, she kept telling me how excited she was about the Advent Calendar this year. She even squealed with glee on the weekend about it starting today…and then she didn’t even notice it when she got up this morning. She asked me about it so I looked above her head, then she jumped up and squealed again. Tonight’s activity is to make a snowflake craft. I’ll post pictures on social media throughout the month of the activities we’ll be doing.

Also, people have asked for it so, here’s an “Autism-approved” list of activities that my family can manage for the Advent Calendar:

2014 Activities-Based Advent Calendar

Like me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram to follow our Advent Calendar activities this month!

ADDITION MADE ON DECEMBER 2, 2014:

And then I vlogged about our Advent Calendar…

Made an Activities-Based #AdventCalendar

I didn’t have an Advent Calendar growing up. I only learned about them a couple of years ago and thought it was brilliant…get a little chocolate every day in December, just because. Last year, I ate one of the chocolates on a weekend the kids were at their dad’s (don’t tell them!) and couldn’t believe how cheap and gross it was. Ugh. I needed something else.

A couple months ago, we had a speaker at a local mom’s group, and she showed us the Advent Calendar she had made for her family…brilliant! Searched on Pinterest, found some great examples. Time went by and I realized it was suddenly November…and between exams and assignments, I didn’t really know when I would find the time to make one. Then one of the moms groups decided to hold an Advent Calendar/Christmas Card making event. Bingo!

A girlfriend of mine and member of the moms group led the event as she’s a Stampin’ Up consultant. She set up tons of stuff and honestly, I got a bit overwhelmed…too many options. So, she took about half of it away and I started stamping all the numbers. Some worked, some didn’t so I had to repeat those, hence the duplicates.

A1461224_665179213521844_1279944993_n

Then I started working on making the envelopes all “purdy”:

A1476467_665179080188524_1366905441_n

As I continued, I got more comfortable, and my girlfriend started introducing me to more tools I could use to make them even more “purdy”. A couple hours later, I had made all of the envelopes:

A1426184_665179020188530_1637939220_n

We discussed that it was missing “something”. My girlfriend offered to pick up some Christmas fabric and we could use that as a background. Unfortunately, glass had broken all over the fabric the morning we were getting together to finish it off and show to all the ladies in the moms group, so we didn’t get to do that. So we got together a couple of days later to paint the background instead. Took a bit of time to figure out but I decided upon green:

IMG_00003205      IMG_00003206

Included a Christmas tree border around the outside:

IMG_00003208

After it was dried, I glued some snowflakes and all the envelopes on it.

IMG_00003209

Added the tags for inside each of the envelopes…and voila! Now proudly displayed on our living room wall.

IMG_00003222

We love it!

Pre #Christmas Fun!

Some pics from our Pre-Christmas activities:

My daughter‘s handprint mitten ornaments, painted completely by her.

Picture 030

My son‘s handprint mitten ornaments, red is painted by him. I painted the borders.

Picture 037

Cookies decorated at my son’s IBI therapy Christmas carol-singalong. My son decorated the one on the left; my daughter, the one on the right.

Picture 021

My daughter on the City’s merry-go-round in the Holiday Train display they hold every year.

Picture 042

My son HUGGING Santa!!!! He initiated the hug!!

Picture 062

It’s been an amazing pre-Christmas time, and we still have a few more activities planned.