Sunday, July 8, 2018

Busy Toys, Games and Books for Summer

We're pretty eagerly awaiting our middle son getting his cast off this week. A fracture on the top of his foot has taken about six weeks to heal and happened just in time to take a lot of the Summer fun out of his Summer, so we had to look for some indoor things to keep everyone entertained. 

Games are always good, I mean assuming your younger kids don't steal every small board game piece (like mine does), so we decided to stick to card games. Basher Science Chemistry Card Game is affordable, easy to play, and technically educational (you're going to have to explain the reactions). It has gorgeously cute little illustrations and two ways to play-you can battle or you can play a matching game, the latter of which was a hit with my preschooler while my older kids loved the battle games. They also sell little expandable content card packs that come with ADORABLE counter figurines and new cards to add to your deck. I can't believe we didn't stumble onto it sooner, but it's definitely a winner for our household and will be great to put into rotation for the kids to take to school on game days!

For outdoor fun, a leg cast means no water at all. We did find that bubbles were okay (you still have to be really careful to keep them off of the cast) and were a great idea to have for the cooler evenings of the season-especially on the Fourth of July. Our favorite so far has been the Little Kids Fubbles Super Bubble Wand, but the glove bubble toys are cute too (though totally harder to keep any moisture off of a cast because they make a TON of little bubbles). Fubbles makes a giant, easier to steer kind of bubble that was super entertaining. You can't go wrong for the cost because the wand and dip chamber can be reused again easily and saves you the trouble of mixing giant bubble solution at home.

In the way of indoor toys, it's kind of hard to keep almost-tweens entertained without video games. But one way to do it usually involves toys that make food, or slime...but mostly food...Our oldest kids found the Yummy Nummy Mini Kitchen Playset Soda Shoppe Maker on their own at Target and were so excited about it that we couldn't say no. It comes with everything from the powders for soda flavors to teeny cute crazy straws to drink your mixes with and all of our kids, ages 11,9, and 4, had a great time with it. My only complaints are that you have to clean everything first (yes, even the tiny straws, so good luck with that) and that because those powders are hard to close and keep dry, it's hard for this not to be a one-time thing. That said, the set is in itself a cute toy worth the price and while we won't use our set for drinks again, it's now hosting a soda party for some Minecraft and Num Noms figures. 

We also made a ton of slime, so we needed something easy that the kids could feel kind of autonomous with and that was safe, so if that's something you need in your slime-making bag of tricks, go ahead and spring for the Elmer's Glue Magical Liquid Slime Activator. It's not super, super cheap but the trade-off for us was definitely worth it because this stuff worked every time, even when we added tempura paint to the glue that changed the texture a bit. 

As for books, if you haven't grabbed the Dog Man series for your kids then we can't be friends. 

It's adorable, it's a breezy enjoyable read, it's hilarious (of course, because it's Dav Pilkey) and my son adores them. If you're looking for a Summer set for elementary-age kids, this is a great choice. A new book in the series is set to come out in August, too, so that's something to look forward to in the near future!

Four to six weeks to heal a fractured bone is pretty amazing, my son has been such a great sport about the whole thing. It was hard to see him miss out on swimming and trampoline park trips and skating, but we'll get back to it soon enough- and these products made our low-impact early Summer a lot more fun but they are things every family can probably get some use out of. 

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