Ways You Can Contribute to Scientific Research

Want to do something with your spare time that can help others? Get involved in a “citizen science project”. You don’t need a degree in science (or anything else) in order to participate. Consider contributing to any of the following projects. It has been said that volunteering is good for you. People who volunteer their time and energy to help others experience some benefits themselves. Volunteering is a great way to boost self confidence, to fight depression, and to stay physically healthy. It is also a great way to make new friends. The following science projects need people to help … Continue reading

Wet and Wild Summer Fun

Splurging on a summer pass to the community pool may not be an affordable option for some families.  Fortunately, there are a number of ways to keep cool when the mercury soars without breaking the bank. The following simple projects prove that splashtastic fun can be had by kids of all ages with a simple garden hose and a few inexpensive household items: Water Balloon Piñata Materials: Package of water balloons String Garden hose Small plastic funnel Plastic baseball bat Directions: Fill up the water balloons using the funnel and hose.  Keep in mind that the more water you add … Continue reading

Simple Summer Crafts

Simple crafts are the perfect remedy for cabin fever.  This summer, the following easy and affordable projects have been lifesavers when it’s been too hot or too wet for my 8-year-old to run amok outside.  An added bonus:  these kid-friendly activities require very little adult assistance.  This makes them ideal to include at a variety of summer events such as family reunions, church picnics or birthday parties. Homemade Suncatcher Materials: Colored tissue paper cut into small pieces of varying shapes and sizes Safety scissors Clear contact paper Two large paper plates Yellow craft paint Paint brush Yellow poster board Craft glue Hole … Continue reading

More Treasury Fun

When was the last time you got a whole lotta fancy on a frugalista’s budget? Right now you can gift your favorite young reader with a double dose of Fancy Nancy treasuries without breaking the bank. Best-selling author Jane O’Connor teams up with ultra-talented illustrator Robin Preiss Glasser to once again take youngsters on a resplendent ride to Fancyville. At the helm of the grandiose getaway is the one and only Fancy Nancy.  The girl with the vibrant vocabulary and whimsical wardrobe is back in Fancy Nancy Storybook Treasury.  The sturdy hardcover book features six stupendous stories filled with teachable … Continue reading

Beach Fun at Home

There’s nothing like a beach vacation to celebrate summer. Enjoying the sun, sand and surf is a rite of passage for many families, but like all good things, seasonal trips to the shore don’t last forever. If you struggle with vacation withdrawal, consider the following fun projects designed to battle the summer blues.  You will be amazed at how cheap and easy it is to turn all that extra sand you dragged home from the beach into amazing vacation souvenirs: Beach Candles Materials: Solid colored pillar candle Rubber cement Sand Shells Newspaper Directions: Dump some sand on newspaper that has … Continue reading

Turn Trash Into Treasure

You don’t have to be a dumpster diver to find cheap treasures; rather, with a little planning you can turn waste into wonderful works of art. The next time you’re about to toss an empty paper towel roll into the garbage; stop, and place it in your craft bin instead.  There are dozens of ways you can recycle the cardboard rolls, including the following projects that are so simple even your youngest children can get in on the fun. Napkin Rings Materials: Empty paper towel rolls Scissors Newspaper Paint Directions: Cut the empty paper towel roll into five equal pieces … Continue reading

Fun Ways to Survive the Heat Wave

Sizzling temperatures, streaming sweat and screaming kids. Fun times. A mid-summer heat wave is blanketing the nation this week.  According to meteorologists, more than 50 million people will be affected by dangerously high temperatures which could last all the way through Saturday. Hitting the beach or heading to a local pool is a great way to beat the heat, but for some kids the splishing and splashing may get old after a few days.  With excessive heat warnings posted in dozens of cities, some parents may opt to remain indoors with their children.  If you choose to stay cool in the … Continue reading

High-Flying Fun

If you are looking for an easy and affordable way to keep your kids busy this summer, grab a kite and head outdoors.  Kite-flying is a breeze when you’ve got the entire family working together to bring your colorful flying machine to life.  Getting a kite to take flight also lends itself to a slew of educational opportunities.  Kids can get hands-on lessons in math, science, history and geography all while having fun.  What’s more, there’s something to be said about the sense of pride a child feels when she gets a kite to dance across the summer sky. Fortunately, … Continue reading

An Affordable Treasury of Fun

There’s no easier way for kids to explore new and exciting worlds than cuddling up with a favorite book.  Adventures await on each page and there’s no telling where your child’s imagination can take her once she peels back the front cover. And that’s just with one book.  Imagine the fun kids can have when they are gifted with a treasury of stories. If you are looking for an affordable way to keep your kids entertained this summer, consider investing in a box set of books.  My daughter adores her Little Critter Bedtime Stories set.  The colorful collection is a … Continue reading

When Mother Nature Rains on Your Summer Fun

Hundreds of towns and cities throughout the south are cancelling or postponing their Fourth of July festivities due to massive storms slamming into the region.  Torrential rains have turned the area into a soggy mess forcing parents to scramble to salvage their family’s mid-summer plans. If Mother Nature rains on your parade, cook-out, party or other outdoor activity this season, consider keeping your kids entertained inside with these summer-themed projects: Campfire Prints:  Have kids use crayons, markers or colored pencils to draw a large circle on a piece of paper.  Next, have them glue gemstones on the circle to mimic … Continue reading