DIY Fort Kit in a Bag

 

DIY Fort Kit in a Bag by www.sproutingtadpoles.com

My boys love building forts! They will go outside and spend hours putting forts together. They have to find just the right spot, spend hours putting it together only to then take it down, move to another spot in the yard and start all over. whew! Once they are finally established they act like secret spy agents and try to get to each other’s forts. It is really a lot of fun watching their imaginations take off! Even though ALL of my sheets and heavy containers seem to disappear, and no one knows where they went.  Hmmm….  Okay. Who am I to discourage creative thinking and logistics?

Our DIY Fort Kit

In an effort to save my household products, I decided to make them their very own Fort Kits in a special, personalized bag. Each one of them have their own bag with their initials on it complete with all the things a kid needs to build his very own, personal fort and even watch out for intruders. I found some old bed sheets that we don’t use anymore and also picked up 1 or 2 from Goodwill. I then went to the Dollar Tree and purchased flash lights, bungee cords to strap down the sheets, some spy kits they had at the time (you can’t complete a secret mission without cool gadgets) and magnifying glasses. I also added in some binoculars and walkie-talkies I found at the toy store. For these items, I did spend a little more money just so they would (hopefully) last longer. My boys are pretty rough on things and I wanted them to have items that actually worked! Toys R Us was having a sale on their science stuff around Christmas so I was able to get some night-time goggles and some pretty cool binoculars that have flash lights on them, for a great price. And of course, the final touch was adding a foam sword or plastic gun.

Once I had all of my stuff purchased, I went looking for some sturdy material that would hold all of this and could take a beating. I found some thick fleece scraps that were in my sewing scrap box and luckily, I had just enough to make 4 bags! I had two colors so I rotated the colors between the bag and the initials. I went to my mom and she helped me put these together (she did most of the work, while I watched!)

Here are some step-by-step photos:

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After we finished the bags, I gathered the materials for each one and stuffed them. I gave them to the boys for Christmas and they loved them! Mission accomplished :). I no longer have household items go missing, yeah for me! I hope you have enjoyed this post and if you choose to make your own fort kit, send me some pictures and I will post them up here! Thanks for reading!

For more summer time activities, I have a post here – 32 Ideas for Summer Activities and Water Play

A great place to buy a fort kit is Fort Magic. (not an affiliate link) They have some really cool stuff!

Name

 

www.sproutingtadpoles.comI’m Janeen, a Christian homeschooling mom to 5 blessings from God. I am passionate about history and I love to plan and organize! We have been homeschooling for 6 years and started a new journey this year using Heart of Dakota. You can read more about our busy lives at Sprouting Tadpoles where I write about homeschooling, Heart of Dakota, history, toddlers and much more. You can also connect with me on FacebookPinterest and Twitter.

32 Ideas for Summer Activities and Water Play

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Summer is officially here for us in Georgia! The days are long and HOT! If you live in the south then you know that the summers here can be brutal because of the humidity. So what’s the best way to play outside without sizzling like a fried egg?? With WATER!! (don’t forget the sunscreen and mosquito spray). Since we don’t have a pool, I searched Pinterest for some ideas to play in water and stay cool on those really hot days.

Summer Water Activities

BUBBLES!! What kid doesn’t love bubbles? Come Together Kids has a really good idea for a bubble refill station that will keep them busy for many minutes! She also has an easy & frugal way to make really BIG bubbles and snake bubbles. Here is a way to Make a water bottle bubble blower and glow in the dark bubbles.

Water Play

Instructions & materials list for making PVC pipe sprinklers

Prairie Daze PVC sprinkler

Drive-thru Tricycle Wash

a square sprinkler

another PVC sprinkler car wash

Deluxe Kid Wash

PVC Bike Wash Party

Knee Hockey Water Rink

Water slide + Sprinkler + Tarp = FUN

Pick up the ice cubes using your feet

Long list of water games

Another list of water games

Playing with sponges in water

More great water games list

Water Balloon Yo-Yo’s

Water Balloon Piñata’s

Batting Water Balloons

Toddler Water Play from Two Daloo

Painting with water from Juggling with Kids

Swimming Pool Scrabble by Toddler Approved

DIY Slip-n-Slide by inner child fun

Water play with Sponges by One Charming Party

and the summer would not be complete without the WATER BLOB!!

This mom made a list of summer activities for the kids to choose from.

Super cute and free summer daily journal

Creative and cute summer activities magnet board

Delicious looking Brownie Fruit Kabobs

Check out my Pinterest board for more water play and summer activities.  

   Enjoy your summer with all of these great activities! I know my boys will have fun and I can’t wait to get started making a list! Name

 

www.sproutingtadpoles.comI’m Janeen, a Christian homeschooling mom to 5 blessings from God. I am passionate about history and I love to plan and organize! We have been homeschooling for 6 years and started a new journey this year using Heart of Dakota. You can read more about our busy lives at Sprouting Tadpoles where I write about homeschooling, Heart of Dakota, history, toddlers and much more. You can also connect with me on FacebookPinterest and Twitter.

Tips for Homeschooling All Boys

Why I Love Homeschooling My Boys by Sprouting Tadpoles

We have 5 kids total and 4 of them are boys, ages 13, 11, 5 and 3. My daughter is 17 and this will be her last year of homeschooling. She does her work independently and is pretty much gone all the time, so it’s mostly just me and the boys at home.

Homeschooling my boys means that I must have it together every day. They are very active, curious about how things work and always ready to try something new. If I don’t have a plan of action and things to keep them busy, they will wander off, usually to the video games or outside and then it takes me at least an hour to get them focused again.

I have 2 boys that are extremely active and need to be moving constantly and 2 boys that are quiet and calm. It seems that God hard wired boys to be on the go, moving and thinking, preparing themselves to take on the role of leading their own families someday. As their mother, I feel led to train them to conserve that energy for things that are productive and motivate their natural curiosity.

So, I am going to share with you some tips I have picked up over the years on how to keep a house full of boys interested and focused on things other than video games!.

First and foremost, I teach them to love God – This instills compassion and morals in them that they will hopefully carry into adulthood. We read the Bible together each morning before starting school work, we attend church and are active in our community. My husband also reads the Bible with them at night.

Group Time – We have morning group time every day and I use this time to read the Bible, review our memory work, work on our character studies and just have good, quality fellowship time together.

Group Studies – I try to group many of our subjects and activities together. Doing group studies allows the boys more time together and obviously, makes it easier for me to teach them. We also do some fun, competitive games and I have the older boys read to the little ones occasionally.

Activities – I keep activities and projects ready to grab and go. I have Science Boxes, Activity Boxes, Busy Bags, lots of game boards and file folder games, and of course, we have the Legos, K’nex, blocks, race cars and battle zones, all those things boys love. I use a lot of these activities for down time during the school day.

Projects – To keep my boys entertained during school time, we do a lot of hands on projects. We try to do a history project, science project and some sort of art/nature/music activity each week. I try to make their learning as interactive as possible.  Otherwise, I will lose them several times a day.

The Little Ones – For my little guys, I keep 2 bins of Busy Bags available for them to play with. I also have lots of coloring pages and art supplies for them, along with wooden puzzles, magnetic pieces and printables that I made. I keep these easily accessible so that they can grab something and play quietly while I work with the older kids.

Quiet Time – We have quiet time at 3pm every day. We started this about 3  years ago and it has worked really well for our family. The little guys take naps around 2-3pm so we have our quiet time then. My rules for this are simple. They must stay in their bed the entire hour and they are allowed to read, play quietly, listen to audios or music with headphones or catch up on school work, as long as it is done in their bed. The older boys have come to love this down time. It helps them to unwind after a long day of school work, arguing, baby crying, fighting for my attention…………….etc, etc.

Food – One thing my boys do a lot of is EAT! Especially my 13yo! He eats constantly and it’s not snack foods.  He wants full meals 5 -6 times a day! It amazes me and scares me, because I have 3 more that will go through this stage! So I have found some ways to keep myself from cooking constantly and that is by making meals ahead and freezing them. I make things for breakfast that the boys can grab and go, like breakfast burritos, sausage, egg & cheese English muffinspop tarts, waffles, pancakes and muffins. I also make a lunch bar with tacos, burritos, sandwiches, fried chicken, fruit and veggies. And in addition to this, I keep lots of snacks on hand. Most of my dinners are made ahead and frozen or I make Crockpot meals.

I do love raising my boys. They definitely keep me on my toes! I spend a lot of prayer time asking God to guide me in raising them, to show me the right way to train them up, and to be patient enough to instill compassion and kindness for others. Homeschooling gives me the chance to be a better mother and for me and their father to have a stronger influence in their lives. Don’t get me wrong, there are days when I just really want to give up and crawl in a hole somewhere. But it passes and after praying, I realize that I wouldn’t trade this life for anything!

 

www.sproutingtadpoles.comI’m Janeen, a Christian homeschooling mom to 5 blessings from God. I am passionate about history and I love to plan and organize! We have been homeschooling for 6 years and started a new journey this year using Heart of Dakota. You can read more about our busy lives at Sprouting Tadpoles where I write about homeschooling, Heart of Dakota, history, toddlers and much more. You can also connect with me on FacebookPinterest and Twitter.