Yummy Summer Treats to Make With Kids

Before you open a box of popsicles or round up the kids for a trip to get ice cream, consider surprising them with a summer treat they can help create. Kids love to help in the kitchen, and everyone loves a summery treat to share on a hot afternoon or at the end of a long summer day. These delicious desserts make the most of summer’s fresh fruit– berries, watermelon, and cherries – and ingredients you likely already have in your pantry or can easily pick up on your way home. They are so simple to make, we can hardly call some of them recipes.

julia-Kid eating giant heart made of bread


The World’s Easiest Pudding
Choose a healthy packaged pudding cup (or make your own) and scoop it into a waffle bowl. Top with berries. Voila! (via A Dose of Pretty)

via A Dose of Pretty

Watermelon Frosty
Add 2 1/4 cups frozen watermelon cubes
 (freeze the night before), 1/2+ cup water, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 1 large lemon, squeezed (lime juice also works very well! use 2 limes), and 1 fresh banana to a blender. Blend. Add more water as needed, but as  little liquid as possible to keep your frosty thick and frosty. Garnish with frozen watermelon/rind slices. For a grown-up version, turn this super smoothie into a margarita by adding tequila! (via Lunchbox Bunch)

via Lunchbox Bunch

Super Easy Strawberry Shortcake
Shortcakes, strawberries and whipped cream, oh my! Dip tops and sides of biscuits in margarine (or butter), dip into sugar
. Place onto un-greased cookie sheet and bake for 13 to 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes
. Combine strawberries and sugar in a mixing bowl, set aside. 
Beat whipping cream, sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form
. Split biscuits, layer on cream and strawberries
. (via Tammilee Tips)

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Pretzel Nutella Ice Cream Sandwich Bites
You can whip up these mini sweet and salty sandwiches with little more than a bag of pretzels, ice cream and a jar of nutella. Place a sheet of wax paper on a small freezer-safe plate or pan. Place half of the pretzels on the wax paper. Smear some Nutella on each of the pretzels. Working quickly, top with about a teaspoon of ice cream and place a plain pretzel on top. Freeze for about an hour, or until they’re solid. Working quickly, smear a little Nutella on one end of each sandwich and dip in crushed hazelnuts. You may want to return these to the freezer for a while to re-harden them. Or you can eat them right away. (via Tasty Kitchen)

via Tasty Kitchen

Cherry Pie Bars
A little more work, this recipe is a good one to tackle with older kids. These bars would be  sweet to pack for a picnic or bring to a BBQ. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In a separate bowl, whip together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs one at a time, then blend in vanilla and almond extracts. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until combined. Reserve and set aside 1 1/2 cups batter then spread remaining evenly into prepared baking dish. Top with cherry pie filling spreading into an even layer. Dollop small spoonfuls of the remaining batter evenly over top. Bake in preheated oven about 30 – 37 minutes. (via Cooking Classy)

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These treats are the perfect way to make a play date extra fun or to leave with the sitter for special surprise to enjoy with the kids while you’re away. 

6 No Fuss Activities to Share with Your Sitter

There’s no need to resort to leaving the babysitter new toys or typically forbidden treats to feed your kids to ensure they are happy while you’re away. Instead, why not give your sitter a few no fuss, low mess activities she can do together with your kids. These fun activities are entertaining and take very little effort for you to pull together.


6 No Fuss Activities to Share with Your Sitter

1. Paint with Water
Painting with water works anywhere – on a chalkboard, sidewalk, or even on the floor. It’s fun, requires nothing more than a paintbrush and cup of water and can be cleaned up with a bath towel in no time at all.

via Artful Parent
via Artful Parent

2. Build Your Own Cupcake
This cupcake craft is guaranteed to provide hours of fun for your preschooler and her sitter. Simply leave them the printable cupcakes and interchangeable cakes, toppings and papers and let them cut out the pieces and mix and match to build their own cupcakes. The project might inspire a tea party or maybe another cupcake project, such as decorating store-bought cupcakes or baking a homemade batch.

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via Creature Comforts

3. Create a Fairy House
If you have an imaginative child who likes to be outside and a creative babysitter, this is a fun afternoon activity. Encourage your child and his sitter to use their imaginations and whatever they can find inside and out to create a mini fairy house in a pot or directly in the garden.

via Flickr Daisies la la land
via Flickr Daisies la la land


4. Tie Dye Easter Eggs
Dying eggs is super easy with this ingenious method – simply leave a dozen eggs (boiled ahead of time if you find the time), vinegar and food coloring. Have your sitter set your child up with a colander and a shallow pan or bowl, place an egg in the colander and splash with a bit of white vinegar. Add a drop or two of food coloring and then another color and have your child swirl the egg around to distribute the colors, essentially “tie dying” the eggs. Let the eggs sit for a few minutes to set and then rinse briefly in cool water. Makes for a cool project and a healthy snack, too!

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via Pink and Green Mama

5. Bake a Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
Simply leave your (very responsible and safety minded) sitter with a boxed cake mix, bag of chocolate chips, cooking oil and three eggs, along with this handy recipe. In very little time and with minimal effort, she and the kids can whip up this really yummy chocolate chip cookie cake.

via Budget Savvy Diva
via Budget Savvy Diva

6. Collaborate on a Masterpiece
Working side by side with a child, as equals, makes a project extra special. Rather than setting your child up with art supplies and a canvas and leaving her to work on her own while you take care of other responsibilities, make her day by grabbing the seat next to her and announcing that you are doing a partner project. Your sitter makes a fine art partner for her, too, and will be glad to spend time collaborately with your child on their own artistic masterpiece. You can use what you have on hand – paper or a canvas and paints of any kind – or make a special trip to the art supply store to pick and choose supplies for this special painting project.

via Playful Learning
via Playful Learning


Your sitter will appreciate your thoughtfulness in planning these fun projects, your little one will have a fantastic time while your away. Do you have a few easy, entertaining projects up your sleeve? We’ve love to hear about them!

5 Rainy Day Activities

You’ve seen a million lists like this one, but it never hurts to have some fresh ideas. When you’re stuck in the house and the natives are restless, give one of these a shot.

5 Rainy Day Activities


1. Tupperware bowling. Line up your BPA-free lunch containers in the kitchen or hallway and give any type of ball a roll. See how many you can knock down. Kids love anything involving destruction and they can even help set up the “pins.” You can make a more challenging formation for older kids and keep track of spares and strikes, just like in a real game. No grimy shoes required.

2. A bath. Who doesn’t love a warm bubble bath on a cold day? With babies or toddlers, don’t be afraid to climb in with them – and let your little one choose a toy or two to submerge. Most plastic toys do just fine in water and some might need a bath anyway. Race tracks are particularly fun in water as are play kitchen utensils, pots and pans. With older kids, you may even get to read a magazine while sitting on the toilet seat.

Baby in bathtub

3. Baking. Anything is fun when kids get to “help.” Don’t make it a dish you need to present at a fancy dinner party. Search your pantry for something easy and kid-friendly. Banana bread, cookies with M&M’s, even lasagna for dinner (as long as little hands are nimble and super clean) are great options. Older children can help read measurements and set the oven timer. Little ones can pour and stir. Baking is a great hands-on activity and is sure to please when the timer dings.

4. This Is Your Life, starring your child(ren). Kids love to look at photos and videos from when they were babies. If you don’t have a baby book, start with any loose photos in a drawer, digital files, ultrasound pics, the invitation to your baby shower, and any videos Dad made — first steps, first words, first bike ride. Oldest children will benefit most (why do we run out of photographic energy with each respective child?!), but even the youngest ones will delight in seeing you pregnant (“I was in your tummy!”) and if you’re lucky, he or she can help you organize and perhaps even create a photo album or online photo book.

5. Magazine arts and crafts. Find some old magazines, catalogs, or newspaper advertisement inserts — maybe even an old book or two — and let them go to town with scissors and glue. Cutting and pasting pictures onto construction paper is fun for everyone. A holiday or birthday list is always enhanced by photos of coveted items, and creating a “book” can be fun, too, complete with cast of characters from the PB Kids catalog and reality television.

Whatever you choose do to on a rainy day, just rest assured the weather will turn soon enough, and know that your kids love the bonding time with Mom or Dad. Enjoy!

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