Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Simple Summer Caesar Salad

Simple Summer Caesar Salad: romaine lettuce, red peppers, cucumber, green onions, Parmesan cheese, and Caesar salad dressing.  Perfect, easy, delicious.  - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com


When we first brought Baby L home, we had so many wonderful people bringing us some pretty amazing meals.  It was a huge lifesaver as we adjusted to 3 little ones...and I got a ton of new recipes to add to our rotation too! 

Well, one of my friends brought this delicious salad as a part of her meal.  It was so simple, yet so perfect.  It's goes so well with every meal.  And it's even great just as a meal itself.

We love it so much that we've been making this Caesar salad nearly every week since she brought it over!  Obviously, it's our new go-to side dish:


Simple Summer Caesar Salad: romaine lettuce, red peppers, cucumber, green onions, Parmesan cheese, and Caesar salad dressing.  Perfect, easy, delicious.  - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com


Simple Summer Caesar Salad

Ingredients:
3 heads of romaine lettuce
1 medium sized cucumber
1 red pepper
1 bunch (6-8) green onions
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Caesar salad dressing
Croutons or crushed Triscuits (optional)

Directions:
Clean and dry all vegetables, and then dice or chop.  Serve with remaining ingredients.

Notes:
When I'm not serving it at a large get-together, I like to keep all of the ingredients separate in the fridge.  (Because there is nothing worse than a soggy salad!)  Then, I just make our salad individually at each meal.

Serves:  This recipe serves our family (2 adults and 2 toddlers) 1 or 2 salads every day for about one week.


Simple Summer Caesar Salad: romaine lettuce, red peppers, cucumber, green onions, Parmesan cheese, and Caesar salad dressing.  Perfect, easy, delicious.  - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com


I especially love this salad with hot pasta dishes and "summer" dinners, like BBQ pulled pork sandwiches and steak cooked out on the grill.  Yum!


Simple Summer Caesar Salad: romaine lettuce, red peppers, cucumber, green onions, Parmesan cheese, and Caesar salad dressing.  Perfect, easy, delicious.  - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com


I'm not claiming this is the most innovative salad ever.  It is simple for sure.  But it is a pretty darn good combination that I had never made before.  So as easy and amazing as it is, I just had to share this perfect summer Caesar salad with you!

What's your favorite go-to side dish?

Simple Summer Caesar Salad: romaine lettuce, red peppers, cucumber, green onions, Parmesan cheese, and Caesar salad dressing.  Perfect, easy, delicious.  - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com

               

I'm linking up with these awesome parties!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Sidewalk Chalk Fun: 45+ Games and Activities

Sidewalk Chalk Fun: 40+ Games and Activities for Kids for the Summer, plus DIY Chalk Paint Recipe - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com


Playing with sidewalk chalk is one of my kids favorite summertime activities.


And I’m always looking for fun ways to teach my kids their numbers, colors, the ABCs, following directions, hand-eye coordination, etc. 


So why not combine the two?  


That's exactly what we do now!  Every time we go outside to play with sidewalk chalk, we turn it into a learning game or activity.  So I compiled a list of our favorites, plus more that we'd like to try, so...


Here are 45+ fun games and activities 
you can do with sidewalk chalk!  


Sidewalk Chalk Fun: 40+ Games and Activities for Kids for the Summer, plus DIY Chalk Paint Recipe - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com

Numbers
Games to learn numbers, counting, and math  

Number Game:  Write out the numbers with corresponding dots underneath.  Then, have your child count, stomping on each number as they go.  Or tell them a number to run to.  Or have them count out the dots with their feet.  It’s so simple, and the kids love it!

Telling Time:  Teach your child to tell time with sidewalk chalk and other objects.

Gross Motor Addition Game:  Have your child add up the total on the dice, and then have them hop to the number.

Snail Hopscotch:  A circular twist on a classic game.


Alphabet
Activities to teach ABCs, spelling, and reading

Alphabet Game:  Write out the alphabet.  Have your child say their ABCs, stomping on each letter as they go.  Or have them spell out a word or their name by standing on each letter in the correct order.  Or tell them a letter to run to.  You can do a lot with this game!

Alphabet Hop:  An alphabet board game, but instead of making a paper board like she did, draw it out with chalk!

Word Find:  Create a word find puzzle with sight words, your kids' names, words that fit a theme, like animals, trees, and so on, etc.  Then, let them find as many words as possible...or tell them what words to find.

Sidewalk Chalk Fun: 40+ Games and Activities for Kids for the Summer, plus DIY Chalk Paint Recipe - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com

Colors and Shapes
Games to learn colors and shapes

Colored Shapes Game:  Draw different shapes in various colors around the driveway.  Then, give your kids directions on what to do:  “Run to the green circle!  Skip to the pink heart!  Jump on the orange rectangle!"  My kids could do this forever!

Chalk Rainbow:  You can use paving stones or just draw out circles to fill in on your driveway or patio.

Nature Color Hunt:  Have your child match the color to something from nature.

Sidewalk Simon:  An action color memory game.

Shape Drawings:  Have your kid pick a shape and then create a person or image only with that shape.


Learning
Games that combine learning numbers, ABCs, shapes, colors, math, reading, science, following directions, hand-eye coordination, gross and fine motor skills, etc.

Connect the Dots:  Draw dots in the outline of a letter, number, shape, image, or whatever you want.  Then, starting with the first dot and the number 1, label each dot in order.  Or you could do even numbers, odd numbers, multiples of 5 or 10 - any number pattern you want to teach your child.  You could even use the alphabet and put a letter by each dot.  Last, have your child connect the dots in the correct order to see what it will become!

Hopscotch:  This game can be done the classic way with numbers, or you can change it up by using letters, shapes, etc.

Lily Pad Hop:  Draw out lily pads with the chalk and put a letter, shape, sight word, number, etc. in the center of every lily pad.  Then, let your little frog hop and learn!

Chalk Bean Bag Toss:  Have your child toss the bean bag at a number, letter, shape, etc.  They can score points depending on how close they are to their mark!

Chalk Constellations:  Help your child to use rocks and chalk to draw out the constellations of the stars.

Chalk Solar System:  Draw out the planets in order.  Play hopscotch!

Chalk Treasure Hunt:  Can you find 3 green leaves?  2 yellow flowers?

Chalk Splash:  Give your child a letter, number, shape, etc. - then they have to squirt the correct one with water.  This can be done with water balloons too! 


Sidewalk Chalk Fun: 40+ Games and Activities for Kids for the Summer, plus DIY Chalk Paint Recipe - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com

Art and Pretend Play
Activities to build creativity and imagination

DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint:  This sidewalk chalk paint recipe is so easy and made out of edible ingredients...just in case!  You can use it for any of the activities on this list or just to draw.  Definitely add it to your Summer Bucket List this year!  We loved it - it was so fun!

Art Teacher:  Obviously, you can just draw with sidewalk chalk too!  You can give your child directions on what to draw, like an orange oval or a yellow star.  You can use art to teach anything - colors, following directions, shapes, etc.

Draw a Scene:  Draw a simple scene, like the ocean, a garden, the sky, a forest, a farm - and then you and your child can add animals, plants, people, and objects to the scene.  It's fun to see what your child dreams up!

Art Story-Telling:  To go along with Draw a Scene above: after you're done (or even while you're drawing it), make a story to go along with it.  I love hearing my kids tell stories!

Tracing:  Give your child something to trace - a leaf, a rock, a garden hose, their hand, your body!

Sidewalk Chalk Fun: 40+ Games and Activities for Kids for the Summer, plus DIY Chalk Paint Recipe - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com
J was intent on making her sun exactly like mine!

Copycat:  You draw a picture of something, and then have your child copy it. 

Body Outline:  Trace your child's body, and then let them decorate it.

Treasure Map:  Hide a "treasure" somewhere in your yard.  Then, draw a map - X marks the spot of the treasure!


On a Box:  Like this, but an outside boredom buster: let your child go to town with sidewalk chalk on a box!

3D Chalk Art:  Draw a scene, and then add your child to it!

Chalk Dress Up Dolls:  Trace your child and add real clothes and shoes to their body.

Splat Painting:  A fun and messy water balloon game!

Handprints and More:  Chalk + wet hands = lots of fun!

Chalk Puddles:  A game to play in the rain!

Chalk Ice Cool sensory artwork for a hot day!


Sidewalk Chalk Fun: 40+ Games and Activities for Kids for the Summer, plus DIY Chalk Paint Recipe - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com

Roads
Activities that use roads to learn and play

Roads:  Our kids love to drive.  Their crazy coupe that is.  And there is a lot you can do when you draw out a road.  (If you have a big enough area, I recommend drawing a type of figure 8 with the intersection a perfect cross.  I did not do this the first time, and we definitely needed it to be drawn that way.  I think a figure 8 would work the best.)   

Here are our favorite ways to play with a sidewalk chalk road:


Sidewalk Chalk Fun: 40+ Games and Activities for Kids for the Summer, plus DIY Chalk Paint Recipe - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com
What big sister doesn't love telling her little brother what to do?  Ha!


Red Light, Green Light:  What kid hasn't played this game?!  One person is the traffic light and the other is the driver.  The traffic light tells the driver when to stop and go.  So simple and so fun!  (We made a little Stop/Go sign with construction paper and a popsicle stick - our kids love something to hold onto while they play this game!)


Sidewalk Chalk Fun: 40+ Games and Activities for Kids for the Summer, plus DIY Chalk Paint Recipe - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com


Destination Pretend Play:  Draw out various destinations along your road - it doesn't have to be perfect.  We like using these places: Home, Gas Station, Store, Zoo, Farm, and Park.  Then, give directions on where to go.  When you arrive at your destination, stop and do some pretend play!  Fill up the "car" with gas, pick up veggies at the store (what color are they?), make animal sounds at the farm or zoo, etc.  The possibilities are endless!


Sidewalk Chalk Fun: 40+ Games and Activities for Kids for the Summer, plus DIY Chalk Paint Recipe - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com


Sight Words:  Going along with the pretend play, write out the name of each destination right next to it.  Say the word and spell it out when you arrive at your destination!


Sidewalk Chalk Fun: 40+ Games and Activities for Kids for the Summer, plus DIY Chalk Paint Recipe - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com
Which way do you turn to get to the store?

Learning Directions:  This can go along with the pretend play as well.  Tell your child to go left, right, or straight ahead.  Or when they are heading towards a destination, ask them which way they have to turn to get there.

Here are other ways to use sidewalk chalk roads:

Outdoor Roads or Tracks:  Chalk roads for little cars, trucks, and trains.

Car City:  Like our pretend play that I mentioned above, but for little cars.

Chalk Maze:  A little maze for little cars.


Action and Games
Activities that make you think and move

Tic Tac Toe:  Make a Tic Tac Toe board and use bean bags, rocks, or other objects as markers. 

Hopscotch Board Game A fun, twisty-turny, action-packed game that kids will love!

4 Square:  A game every kid has played!

Get Up & Move Dice:  Chalkboard painted "dice" with actions - roll the dice and do what it says!

Obstacle Course:  An action-packed chalk game!


Below I have posted 1 affiliate link so we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase after clicking on this link. Please see the disclosures and policies page for more information. 

Chalk Tips:  

Chalky hands.  No one likes it.  You can get a chalk holder, like these from Melissa and Doug (we found our chalk holders in the Dollar Spot at Target this Spring), or you can do something a lot more simple with something you already have: a wet rag or wash cloth.  We bring out a few wet wash cloths, and whenever our hands start feeling too chalky, we clean them with the wash cloth.  Quick and easy.

Sidewalk Chalk Fun: 40+ Games and Activities for Kids for the Summer, plus DIY Chalk Paint Recipe - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com

We have so many sidewalk chalk games to play and new ones to try out this summer!  My kids are going to love it!  Do you have any more to add to the list? 

Oh, and don't forget to check out the other 10 awesome summer activities linked up below in the Summer Fun Blog Hop!  

I hope you have a great start to your summer!

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Please follow us on Pinterest for more great ideas 
and family fun activities for the Summer!



Now, on to the
Summer Fun Blog Hop!

11 Summer Fun Activities for Kids: Sidewalk Chalk Paint and Games, Water Table Activities, Noah's Ark Themed Day, and Many More! - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com

Summer is approaching, and today some friends and I are sharing some of our favorite summer tips, activities, and bucket lists. Hop around and find some new ideas for your summer of fun!

Water Play from BYBMG


And don't forget to check out the first post in the Sidewalk Chalk Fun Series: DIY Chalk Paint.  Another fun chalk activity your kids will love!

http://www.sweetlittleonesblog.com/2015/05/diy-sidewalk-chalk-paint-recipe.html


I'm linking up with these awesome parties!

Sidewalk Chalk Fun: DIY Chalk Paint

DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint Recipe: So Easy and Fun - Perfect for Kids for the Summer!  - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com


My kids love sidewalk chalk so we tried something new with the chalk this week:  we made Katie's DIY Sidewalk Paint Recipe from last year!  It was so easy and is made out of edible ingredients...just in case!

You have to try chalk paint this summer - your kids will love it!


DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. Cornstarch
4 Tbsp. Water
Food Coloring

Materials:
Foam or Paint Brushes
Muffin Tin

Directions:
1.  Combine cornstarch and water in one muffin tin.  Stir gently until smooth.

2.  Add food coloring to make desired color and stir.  (We used 3 drops per color.  For pink and yellow it was perfect.  Next time, I think I will add 2-3 drops more for green and blue.)

3.  Repeat until you have all the different colors you want.

4.  Use foam or paint brushes to draw with the chalk paint!


DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint Recipe: So Easy and Fun - Perfect for Kids for the Summer!  - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com


Notes:
I wasn't sure if the chalk paint would stain their clothes, so I had J and B wear their swimsuits with play clothes.  So I can't guarantee that it won't stain, but everything they got on them came out in the wash!


DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint Recipe: So Easy and Fun - Perfect for Kids for the Summer!  - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com


We loved it!


DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint Recipe: So Easy and Fun - Perfect for Kids for the Summer!  - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com




We have been having a blast with chalk so far this year, which was one of the things on our Summer Bucket List!  Oh my, it's going to be a fun summer!  What are your favorite things to do in the summer?
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Continue on to the next post in my Sidewalk Chalk Fun Series: 40+ Fun Games and Activities to do with chalk paint and sidewalk chalk!


Sidewalk Chalk Fun: 40+ Games and Activities for Kids for the Summer, plus DIY Chalk Paint Recipe - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com


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