3 Ways to Have Fun in One Summer Day

Painted Driftwood Sticks

Painted Driftwood Sticks

  1. Attend the Exploration Works/Holter Science of Art Day Camp. Then have french fries and other unmentionable deliciousness.
  2. Head out to Lake Helena Reservoir to collect driftwood sticks of a certain size and smoothness. Take Charlie along for sweetness and chuckles.
  3. Paint your sticks while eating dried seaweed on the porch, all the while enjoying an afternoon thunderstorm.
solar ovens by kids
Teams of kids made solar ovens at Exploration Works

It has been 10 days since Ema and Adia and I spent the day together making art, playing with Charlie and doin other summer kid stuff. I actually missed them. And I think maybe they might have missed playing with me too. When I picked them up at the Exploration Works Science Museum at noon, they both gave Charlie and me big hugs and smiles.

So … we went to a fast food place for lunch (it shall remain unnamed — grin) just to do something totally unexpected and different. The girls liked it. (I remembered why I don’t eat there.)

Lake Helena
After lunch we headed out to the lake to collect sticks for our afternoon art project. Charlie also wanted to get in the water and show us his favorite trail. We could tell there was a thunderstorm brewing over the town.
drill press
Back in town, Tim let us use his shop’s drill press to make holes in our sticks.
painting sticks
Adia stayed absorbed in this activity for a long time — she’s the one who colors outside the lines. 🙂

Thunder and a sweet summer rain kept us company while we painted our sticks. It’s my favorite kind of weather — a warm thunderstorm when you’re nice n’ dry on the porch so you can feel the hairs rising on your skin but you don’t get drenching wet. Welp, that was fun! And definitely something 8 to 10 year olds can handle.

painting stick art
Ema is meticulous … taking her time and considering each brush stroke. Her color choices are fun!
painted stick art
Ema’s finished artful sticks, ready to be threaded and hung tomorrow
Painted Stick Art
Adia’s awesome finished sticks, ready to be threaded and hung as a sculpture tomorrow

Tomorrow it’s time to turn in our Chalk It Up Helena applications. We will have a cooking lesson (Pepperoni Pizza Puffs) and try to finish our stick projects. We’ll show you the finished results next time, okay?

Homestyle Art Fun: Ink Painted Tiles

painted tile

painted tile

Well, today was Jaime’s first day at her new job — and my first full day with Ema and Adia. And whoah! did we ever pack alot of fun stuff into one day! We started out by choosing a couple of projects from our Summer Fun Pinterest board, then running around town for an hour or so gathering supplies.

Our first project was to make ink painted tiles inspired by this link … we had to do a little googling to figure out exactly how to do it and which supplies we needed, plus we added our own spin (Adia named our technique “Straw-mania.”) I will let Adia and Ema write a blog post later this week with details on how they made their tiles.

painted tile triptych
Ema Terry’s Triptych of Painted Tiles
painted tiles
Adia Terry’s Triptych of Painted Tiles


SummerFunMonday01-imp Paint Sample Memory GameWhile we waited for our tiles to dry, we made smoothies (strawberry-peach-banana-amond) and sandwiches and ate lunch while playing “Memory.” We made our own Memory game with paint samples. That was a hit. I think we’ll keep the deck for other days. Then we walked down to Johns’ house to play with Tuffy for a few minutes, water Jaime’s garden a little and, oh yeah — get the marshmallows for the Rice Krispie Treats.

After lunch, we made krispie treats, then snuggled on the sofa and watched “The Lorax” on our Netflix instant-play. Sun tea and krispie treats during the movie… the girls had never made krispie treats. They got to do the whole thing themselves. (Confession: we ate almost half the pan — big grin)

We filled the rest of the afternoon with quiet activities: I taught them to make a campfire in the back yard, and the girls showed me how to make friendship bracelets . I am now wearing the one Ema made for me and she is wearing mine. I have a prediction: we’ll be making lots of friendship bracelets this summer. It’s easy, cheap, and something you can do for an hour while you are waiting for your mom to come home from work. 🙂 Besides I need to make one for Adia!

Tomorrow: make Charlie’s dog food. Get goldfish for the pond. Take Charlie out to play along the irrigation canal … make some silly videos and check out the classic cars at the Montana Dept. of Transportation 100th Birthday Celebration. Another non-boring day. 😉

I am having a glass of wine with my dinner tonight…