Summer Fun

The challenge was to take away school and the pool and find something fun to do, preferably without depleting the kids’ college funds. (What? You don’t have a college fund yet either?) Extra points granted for passing the Time Worth Test: the enjoyment of the activity lasts longer the prep.

No matter how hard I try to suppress it through time management and good organization, my hippy inclinations continue to surface. Throw in my crafty nature and you’ve got my favorite summer activity.

Yup. Tie-dye. It was a blast! In fact, since having our tie-dye “party,” we’ve had requests from neighbors and friends to do it again.

Here are the vital statistics.

  • Cost: $15 (dye, rubber bands and shirts)
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Activity Time: 2 days
  • Group Size: We had 2 adults and 4 kids, but you could have more, for sure. It depends on the ages of your kids and how much chaos you like.
  • Age Appeal: 4 and up
  • Side Effects: We had a TON of fun and walked away with 8 cool new shirts (and some leftover dye). The kids love them! The only negative side effect? If you forget to wear gloves, your hands will look like this …


… for weeks. Literally. The dye on the skin fades after about five days, but the lovely adornment around and under my nails lasted at least three weeks. No amount of nail polish would conceal it. I tried. But hey — a small price to pay quality memories.

Here’s day two. After untying, washing and drying all the shirts, we went to the park for a picnic.

Apparently, it’s difficult to smile while eating PB&J. Take my word for it: they LOVED it!

Ellie’s favorite part of the two days? Receiving her first kiss from a boy not in our family.

I love how he even has his hat in his hand! Too cute.

Take it a step further: Use this activity to teach kids about God’s creativity. Just like no two tie-dyed shirts are the same, no two people are the same. Each is unique and beautiful. God created us for His pleasure! We are each made exactly the way God wants us to be. We may not see the big picture, but He knows what He’s doing, and one day we’ll have all our knots untied. On that day we’ll see His plan and praise Him for His wisdom and sovereignty.

“Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.”

– Psalm 139:13-16 (The Message)

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