Need to say goodbye to summer with a little fun? Have a mini party that celebrates the chaos of childhood! These activities first appeared on my blog last year, but they are still just as fun!
The end of September is a bittersweet time for me. My family spends a ton of time outdoors between April and November, and right about now is when the temperature starts to drop, and water activities become a thing of the past. We live in the South, so our fall season stays pretty warm, which is good for us because we will keep playing outdoors until we can’t anymore! Since the season is changing quickly now, I wanted to give the kids a day to say “goodbye” to summer and fill it with a few activities that really celebrate the season of sun and fun.
DIY Fish Pond: I crafted the rods and fishes myself, but it was super simple – all I did was tie string to some plastic poles, then on the end of the string I hung 3 paper clips each. For the fishes, I cut fish shapes out of foam and then superglued a magnet on each as the eye. I filled a small plastic pool halfway full of water, dropped the fish in, and let the kids try to lift them out with their rods. They loved seeing who got the most!
Dip Dye T-Shirts: This was by far the favorite of the day, and the results were absolutely adorable! For this, I set up a station at the end of the craft table that included all the supplies required, and then let the kids do the painting and dipping, with a little help from my husband. *This craft takes a few hours. It is perfect for a sleepover type party, since you have to wash/dry before they can be worn.
Here is a detailed how-to. It isn’t very difficult, and it is perfect for kids! Here is what you need:
- 4-5 white t-shirts (prewashed)
- 1 packet dark pink fabric dye
- 1 packet lime green fabric dye
- black fabric paint
- small paint brush
- rubber bands
- pinch of salt
- a place to let shirts sit overnight
Set up your work area so that you have everything within arm’s reach. You will be working with dye, so you don’t want to have to walk away and drip it all over the place. To make these dip-dye watermelon shirts, here is what you do:
- Lay each shirt flat and paint black “seeds” throughout the top 3/4 of your shirt. This doesn’t have to be perfect, especially when kids are doing it. Let sit in the sun for at least 15 minutes to dry.
- Bunch or roll up each shirt longways and secure 2 rubber bands a few inches above the bottom hem. This will be your boundary between colors.
- Get some gloves on and mix your fabric dye according to instructions.
- Carefully dip the small end of your shirt roll into the green dye and work it through the fabric with a gloved hand.
- Take it out of the dye, squeeze tightly so there are no drips, and dip the other end into the pink dye.
- Repeat the same thing with the pink side – slowly raise it out of the liquid, then squeeze out excess.
- Repeat each step if needed to fully saturate.
- After that, set your wet shirt on a clean surface for at least 4 hours. Overnight is good, but not necessary.
- Next, thoroughly rinse out your shirt with cold water until it runs clear.
- Wash again with detergent and dry.
After going through all your steps, you will have some absolutely adorable watermelon t-shirts that will bring you a little ray of sunshine all year long!
Art station: I also included a little art station with markers, stickers, stencils, and glue-ons for making silly faces. It wasn’t as big a hit as the t-shirts, but it was something!
When thinking about the food for my party, I wanted to stay in that outdoor/camp/carnival mood, so I set up a s’mores station with different toppings for customization, and also offered my famous rainbow candy coated popcorn. Now, I normally offer healthy options, but hey, you gotta let go sometime! Anyway, you can check out my recipe for the popcorn here. And of course the s’mores are self explanatory.
We are going to miss summer, but as the season changes, we will have a lot of fun going camping, playing in the changing leaves, and roasting marshmallows by the fire!