An Unconventional Use for Dryer Sheets: Repel Bugs!

Repost & Update

Bugs just love me. :/ I don’t know why but all during spring/summer the mosquitos attack me like crazy. I have tried almost every product out there but nothing seems to work in fending them off. Seriously, I have tried all kinds of bugs sprays, wipes, and traps but nothing seems to work. Most recently, I gave Avon’s “Skin so soft” a try because I heard that it works to repel bugs. The product did a great job on my dry skin but not so well as a bug repellent.

DryerSheets

However, recently, when I was hanging out with my family at the local pool club and waiting for the fireworks to start, my sister started handing out dryer sheets.

Crazy, right, but they actually worked! She told me to rub myself down with the sheet and then put the sheet down my shirt (in my bra). I looked at her like she was absolutely nuts but I dd it, and I have to say it worked beautifully!

Now, in full disclosure, I had put on the “Skin so Soft” earlier in the day, and had sprayed bug repellent on a little while before they dryer sheets; therefore, I don’t know if it was the combination of the three things, or not, but they left me alone! (Of course, there is the possibility that there were no bugs out, but not likely!) For once, I didn’t spend the whole time I was out scratching like aĀ  maniac. I also don’t know how effective the dryer sheet will be on their own, but I will be giving them another try!

If you are “bug prone” like me, this might be worth a try. And if you do, let me know how they work for you. What are your methods at keeping the bugs at bay during the summer months? I’d love to hear them so leave your suggestions in the comments!

UPDATE: I have used this method again and can say for sure that it works well. For me, it works best in combination with the “Skin so Soft” and bug spray. It works well on its own but best with the other products.

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10 Fun and Frugal Outdoor Activities for Children

*Finally, we are getting some warmer weather and no rain (at least here in NJ!) In honor of the nice weather I am republishing this popular post in case you want or need some ideas for outside activities.*

Fun and Frugal Outdoor Activities

(Image is in Public Domain)

Spring is underway and summer will be here before you know it. Everyone is heading outdoors and soon school (homeschool and traditional) will be coming to a close. With school’s end, the question becomes, “What do we do?” Here are some of Andrew’s favorite outdoor activities that keep him occupied and happy for long stretches. The best part? All these props can be bought for a buck at the dollar store or less in some clearance racks!

1. Sidewalk chalk. Andrew doesn’t like to draw or color – on paper. Give him a piece of chalk and he can draw and color and create games and have all sorts of fun on our driveway. šŸ™‚

2. Hula hoop. Remember these as a child or am I dating myself! Andrew struggles keeping the hoop up which makes him determined to work on it until he gets it mastered!

3. Bubbles. Need I say more? Who doesn’t love a good bucket of bubbles on a warm clear day? Additionally, bubbles aren’t only cheap, but also so easy and fun to make!

4. Hose. You can either hook up one of those Slip ‘N Slide things or sprinkler for some wet fun on a hot day. Or do double duty and have your child (children) help you wash your car or whatever you need cleaning. LOL!

5. Balloons. Water balloons are fun, of course. But so are regular balloons. Andrew has quite an imagination and he finds all sorts of uses for them..

6. Old-fashioned Tag. Most kids love tag. It’s not only fun but good exercise, too. If you can, try to get in a game for yourself and get in some exercise for yourself too. šŸ˜‰

7. Ball. Baseball, basketball, tennis ball or any kind of ball in the hand of a kid is a good thing!

8. Marbles. I played marbles as a kid in NYC. We’d play in the park or dead-end streets. It’s a lot of fun and I’m working on teaching my son and his friends. To learn how to play, go here or here.

9. Obstacle course. This is another super-fun activity for kids that will get them some exercise. It’s so easy to set up a course where they race to jump, climb crawl around, over and under things.

10. Camping. I’m not talking about out in the back-woods, “real” camping (although that’s a great idea too). I’m talking about a tent in the backyard kind of camping. šŸ™‚ A picnic, cards, reading or anything in the tent seems to make it all the more special.

What are your favorite outdoor frugal activities for kids? Do share!

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Here is a printable version of this list, no opt-in reequired:Ā 10 Fun and Frugal Outdoor Activities for Children

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Sunday Snippets: A Catholic Carnival (08/17/2014)

Sunday SnippetsMissed a couple weeks of Sunday Snippets, but I haven’t been blogging much, either. šŸ™‚ Besides my weekly goals, I’ve done the following book reviews:

Jonah and the Great Big Fish

The Paleo Manifesto

Answering Your Kid’s Toughest Questions

I also posted about the Feast of the Assumption of Mary

Question of the Week:

What did you do for your summer vacation?

This year was our first vacation since we got married! My in-laws celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and to celebrate we went to Ocean City, Maryland. It was a lot of fun spending time on the beach, and just hanging out together as a family. Unfortunately, i wasn’t feeling well during vacation so I missed out on a few of the water activities. But, I did get to visit with my dear friend who now lives in Delaware. It was a wonderful time, and just what I needed before gearing up for another two semesters of school. šŸ™‚

Homeschooling During the Summer: What Does it Look Like?

Homeschooling During Summer

Do you homeschool year round? I don’t know many families who homeschool through the summer months, but we do. It is a decision my husband and I made back when we first talked about homeschooling (before we were even married). If you are curious about homeschooling throughout the summer, here’s my take on why I homeschool year round and a peek into our daily schedule.

Why homeschool during the summer?

  • I don’t want Andrew to lose the skills he learned during the “normal” school year. I remember when I was a kid and returning to school after the summer months when we spent up to a month re-learning everything that was forgotten during the summer. I don’t want that for Andrew. I want our review time to no more than a week or so.
  • Structure. I want to keep our days somewhat structured, with lots of flexibility, so there’s not too much down time that he gets “bored.” Plus, having a regular schedule and routine helps with Andrew’s behavior. He knows, for the most part, going into each day what is going to happen.
  • Life skills and projects. Homeschooling during the summer allows me to focus on teaching Andrew life skills and getting to the hands-on, “fun” projects we didn’t get to during the “regular” school year.
  • To keep Andrew reading. Andrew’s a little boy who is not a big fan of reading. He loves books and loves for me to read to him; but he doesn’t want to do the work of sounding out the words himself! It can be frustrating at times, but having him do school in the summer as part of his normal routine, he is less likely to fuss when it comes to practicing his reading.
  • We can take longer breaks during other parts of the year. We take the whole month of December off from school. We also take a longer Easter break and more days off throughout the year. Homeschooling throughout the summer allows us to take those longer breaks. (We do take the month of August off as well…)

What a typical summer homeschooling day looks like.

First of all, it is much more flexible than the rest of the year. We incorporate more field trips, hands-on learning and build our schooling into regular daily activities. We only do “formal” schooling Tuesday-Thursday which leaves Mondays and Fridays free. We also take the month of August off. And, Andrew will be going to camp for the first time this year. That said, here is our plan for the summer:

  • Reading and math using online games and worksheets, as well as flashcards. (Andrew loves flashcards.)
  • Spanish using the Pimsleur Method. It is an audio program only, so Andrew can get an ear for the language without having to worry about grammar or reading and writing the language.
  • Science using some really cool YouTube videos I found and small experiments.
  • Character building and life skills (such as small sewing projects and learning to “cook” small meals).

Do you homeschool year round? What does your summer curriculum look like? Do share in the comments!

 

 

WFMW – Mom, I’m bored! Edition

works for me Wednesday

This week on Works For Me Wednesday, we are encouraged to offer tips and ideas for keeping our kids occupied and happy during the summer. I can’t wait to read what others have to say; but, in the meantime, here’s a few of the things I am going to do:

In my situation, IĀ  home-school and also work from home; so, for me, except for the heat, there won’t be a huge difference in what I do – with some exceptions, of course! In my experience, a balance between structured time and free time works best; as does a lot of flexibility!

1. Modified Homeschooling. Andrew is learning to read and loves doing “math.” I don’t want to lose that momentum, so I plan to continue homeschooling at least three days a week. What I will probably do is alternate reading one day and math the next. I’ve also been tapping America: The Story of Us and a few shows on the Discovery Channel for him to watch once in a while.

If you don’t home-school, it might be a good idea to set apart some time each day for the children to read or practice their math skills. If I’m not mistaken, some schools now send kids home with work to do over the summer. If so, schedule time each day for them to work on it so they aren’t trying to do it all right before school starts.

2. Day trips. Obviously, the summer is the time to get outside! You can do something as simple as a day or afternoon at the park or something as extravagant as a trip to an amusement park or zoo. Day trips don’t have to be expensive either. You can often find coupons or deals online and even free ideas, like here.

3. Crafts: I plan to spend time several times a week on crafts/activities. You can find lots of craft ideas online, but I love the book “365 Ways to a Smarter Preschooler.” Andrew has a lot of fun doing the activities in this book and can stay engaged for a long while, once he’s set up. This is were I got the peanut butter play dough recipe from, that Andrew just loves!

4. Quiet Time. I am a big proponent of quiet time. Even if your child doesn’t nap, it’s a good idea to implement a rest period. Heat and humidity can wear on everyone’s nerves, and when the kids get cranky, it can wear down the best of moms!

The best time for naps would be in the early afternoon when the sun is at its most strong. It would be a good idea to do the outdoor activities earlier in the morning or later in the day. Of course, do what works best for you!

5. Don’t forget free time! Part of the fun of summer is the freedom to NOT be scheduled, so don’t forget to plan time just to “be”! Summer is the time to lay in the grass and watch the clouds go by, get an ice cream cone and catch some fireflies. In a word, take time to just enjoy your family, let kids be kids and HAVE FUN!