School is over and now the trick is figuring out what to do with the kids during the summer. Just like last year, I’ll be taking the kids to our house on Long Island, while Mike commutes back and forth for the weekends. Mazzy starts a sports camp in July with a big emphasis on swimming. Ruth is leaving to have her baby and we’ve hired a new sitter to watch Harlow, who is too young for camp.
Over the past couple of weeks, Mazzy has been home with no real structure. We’ve made playdates and tried to keep her as busy as possible, but it’s hard keeping a child stimulated who is used to being with twenty plus kids and two teachers in a classroom every day for a year. I don’t want her to forget everything she’s learned just because school is over either.
One thing that has been particularly helpful is projects from Seedling. Mazzy and I went on their website to pick a few crafts and activities to fill the summer months. They’ve got everything from Create Your Own Designer Tutu to Design a Dragon to a Mini Fossil Dig, with all the materials and instructions included.
I assumed Mazzy would gravitate to the tutus, fairy wings and tiara kits, but I was wrong. Instead, she picked a slew of projects that helped her explore all different facets of her personality.
Here a few of the projects we’ve tried and some we’d like to try in the future…
FOR THE DOLL LOVER:
Mazzy’s first pick was the Mini Mermaids kit where you use clothespins, yarn and glitter glue to create your very own Ariel wannabes.
Mazzy’s a social creature and always prefers a few small dolls she can use to act out made-up stories as opposed to one big doll she just carries around. The Mini Mermaids come with materials to make two dolls, which is perfect because after the craft project was completed, she had two dolls to play with— by herself or if she’s feeling nice, with her sister.
OTHER PROJECTS FOR DOLL LOVERS:
FOR THE SCIENCE STUDENT:
I remember hating science when I was a kid and looking back, that was probably because I had a horrible science teacher in elementary school. He was mean and gave pop quizzes and everybody (girls and boys included) dreaded Thursday science class. It’s been interesting to see how Mazzy has no negative science associations and talks about it just as enthusiastically as if she was going to art or music class. I hope that feeling never goes away.
When all the Seedling projects arrived in the mail, the one she got the most excited about was Making Designer Soap. There was mixing, there was microwaving, there was freezing. And in the end, she created a bar of soap with a heart and glitter inside, like it was magic. This was the most fun project we did together because Mazzy was continually amazed with the process and felt like she created something real (she washed her hands with it immediately) and very special (then she wrapped it in plastic wrap and said nobody else was allowed to touch it).
OTHER PROJECTS FOR SCIENCE STUDENTS:
FOR THE GREAT ADVENTURER:
You ever do an activity with your kids that was truly enjoyable and super fun for everybody involved and nobody got frustrated and everyone got along and you wished every project/activity/craft/etc. could always go over so well because then parenthood would be THE BEES KNEES all the damn time?
That was the Great Adventure Kit for us this past weekend. First of all, I love that Mazzy chose something which involved exploring the backyard with a compass and a map, instead of sitting at the dining room table with felt and glue.
We had friends who were staying over and I was excited to try the kit out with Mazzy and her friend Charlie. Early in the morning, when they weren’t looking, I hid coins around the yard. Then over breakfast, we told them the house used to be inhabited by pirates who buried treasure outside in all different spots.
I drew the kids identical maps and helped them figure out how to read them.
I can’t stress enough how fun this activity was for the kids. They felt accomplished every time they discovered a coin. Mazzy collected the coins in her pouch, studiously crossed off each location on her map and split the winnings in the end.
Also, they TOTALLY believed it was real. After all the coins were collected I said, “That was fun! We should do it again!” And Charlie countered with, “But how could we do it again???”
Oh. Because we already found all the treasure. RIGHT.
OTHER PROJECTS FOR GREAT ADVENTURERS:
FOR THE budding FASHION DESIGNER:
The Fashion Designer Kit is meant for kids older than Mazzy but she really wanted it so I decided to give it a try. I figured it could be a joint project. Or maybe she’d surprise with Fashion By Mayhem level skills!
Alas, she’s just a regular five-year-old with no patience for sewing patterns and needles. Once I let her concentrate on drawing the dress designs, while I sewed the fabric and followed the patterns, we had a lot more fun.
Mazzy kept adding little details and loved the final result, even though we both have a long way to go before anyone gives us a J.Crew collection.
OTHER PROJECTS FOR BUDDING FASHION DESIGNERS:
FOR THE NATURE LOVER:
One of the best projects we did was Paint Your Own Birdhouse, because Mazzy wasn’t only excited to get started, she was excited to hang it up in our yard. Having access to a yard is new to us and only available in the summer, so it’s great to see Mazzy excited about what we can do in a space with grass and trees.
The project was easy for her to do because it’s basically just painting a ready-made house, but I made it educational by teaching her how to mix the three primary colors in the kit to make more colors. I also had her draw her design in pencil first, which was an exercise in patience.
She wrote “Mazzy’s Birdhouse” on it and impressed me by sounding out the words and spelling it herself.
OTHER PROJECTS FOR NATURE LOVERS:
All in all, I am incredibly impressed by Seedling. The quality of the materials is wonderful, the ideas behind the projects are meaningful and the breadth of options is commendable.
We will definitely be crafting and exploring and pretending for the rest of the summer and I love that I don’t have to come up with creative projects on my own. I may be artistic but crafting is usually not my thing. When everything comes delivered in a box with all the materials necessary, that is a totally different story.
Seedling makes me feel like I’m giving Mazzy skills and experiences that are valuable, instead of just something to do.
GIVEAWAY: $100 Seedling Gift card
2) For a second entry, pin the graphic below and leave a second comment saying you did so.
3) For a third entry, tweet about the giveaway and leave a third comment saying you did so:
I just entered to win a $100 @Seedling gift card from @mommyshorts! http://bit.ly/1FKnY3x #seedlingstory #seedlingsummer
Winner will be announced July 12th.
And the winner is…
Felecia, whose daughter would be torn between the snow globe and the Kaleidoscope. Congrats! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your prize.
Seedling is offering Mommy Shorts readers 40% off when you visit Seedling and choose your own adventure using the code MAZZY40 at checkout. Offer can be redeemed online only, valid 6/29 to 7/12.
This post was sponsored by Seedling, but Mazzy’s excitement was all her own!