12 Ideas for Fun Summer Days at Home


collage for summer ideas

Fun Summer Days at Home

When my kids were young, I liked to try to do some fun things that weren’t a part of our normal school year- to make summer days more fun. These are simple, inexpensive or free ideas that really just let kids be kids. There’s no need to get fancy or expensive. Kids’ imaginations are the best toy, when encouraged to be used, and simple fun is usually the most fun!

So- before summer bids farewell for another year, here are some simple, yet fun ideas you can enjoy with your kids.

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Hand Print Art


Easy Hand Print Art Ideas that Kids Love!

I LOVE summer! I love having more time to do fun things with the kids- used to be my own home-schooled kids, now it’s my homeschooled grandkids!

Here’s a super fun project I just did with my son Nate’s kids this week. I bought a pack of fabric paints and some tee-shirts at Michael’s craft store. To assure that the paint wouldn’t bleed through to the back side of the shirts, I inserted a big book into each tee shirt.



*Colored T-shirts

*Fabric Paint


*Book/magazine/cardboard to go in between the shirts

Hand Print Art Is A Perfect Activity

Hand print art with Grandma

The kids chose which colors they wanted to use and how to decorate their own shirt. With Ella and Lynn, I painted their hands with white fabric paint. You pretty much have to cover their hand with a thick coat. Then carefully, hold their hand and place it on the shirt. Wash that hand up and repeat with the other hand.

Hand print art with kids Hand print art

Then I let each child write their name with color of their choice and add decorations like flowers, hearts, whatever they chose to make. Using Fabric Paint pens for their name is a very special way to make the shirts unique to each child.

Hand print art

When my kids were little sometimes I  added the meaning of their name as well.DIY Kids Tshirts

The finished projects looked so cute and the kids were really proud of what they had accomplished.

(BTW, a great idea for Father’s Day is to get a tee shirt for Dad, paint each child’s hand or foot and make a print on Dad’s shirt. Using a tube of fabric paint, write the child’s name and date below their print. Rick wore his shirt for years! It’s a fun personalized gift! )

This project was simple and a ton of fun!

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Peanut Butter Christmas Kiss Cookies


Peanut Butter Christmas Kiss Cookies have been a long-time Christmas cookie tradition in our home for many, many years. Everyone looks forward to these special sweet treats! This version of the recipe includes colored sprinkles and peppermint kisses!

This is a great cookie recipe for kids to make with you, too, because they can easily help with many of the steps…such as rolling the dough into balls, coating the balls with sugar or sprinkles, unwrapping the chocolate kisses, and also adding the kisses to the cookies.

So, gather your little ones in the kitchen and make some Christmas memories!

Here’s the recipe.

  • Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Christmas sprinkles
  • Peppermint Hershey’s kisses (any kind work, if you don’t care for peppermint)

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Bean Pie and Corn Pizza


One Sunday night we came home late from church. Marilyn and I were tired as we always were late on Sunday evenings.

Four-year old Rickey wanted to know what was for supper. That, of course inspired three-year-old Timmy.  “Yeah, what’s for supper?”,  he echoed his brother.

Little Rickey, Timmy, and baby Nathan

I tried to convince him they weren’t really hungry and that we’d all better just forget supper and go to bed. But it didn’t work. They were not to be denied.

I did a little scouting. “I don’t see much boys, ” I said discouragingly, my head deep in the interior of the refrigerator. “Don’t you think maybe this time we should just….”

“I’m hungry,” moaned little Rickey. “Me too,” chimed in Tim.

This would never do. There was nothing in here that would be quick to cook. Just odds and ends of leftovers. This called for some creativity.

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Our Story Part 3- “Through the Years”


As I said in Part 2 of this series, homeschooling really took off and began to grow. We had a meeting in our basement helping others get started, but all over the country the same thing was happening. It wasn’t long before groups formed and homeschooling conventions, though really small at first started to spring up.

We had a lot of people asking us questions. We began to get some speaking engagements. People wanted to know why we focused on character building in training our kids and how we did it. “What about socialization?” was a big concern for many. We tried to answer questions, but soon forgot what we had told to who. Hence, our first book was The Socialization Trap.  We wrote it because of the growing concern in the country.

State homeschooling groups continued to emerge, and we started getting more requests for speaking. It wasn’t easy to travel with so many little ones still at home and more on the way, but we really felt God was calling us to encourage other parents. Hence, The Learning Parent was born- our ministry of parent encouragement.

We told others how we taught our kids, and as the years went by people asked if we could make materials available so they could glean from our experience and teach character to their kids as well. So we began producing character curriculum. Now, The Learning Parent, has produced a whole line of character curriculum and we call ourselves Character Concepts and provide curriculum from preschool through high school.

Anyway, I thought it might be kind of fun to give you a visual picture of how things developed through the years through a timeline.

I’m sure I’ll leave out some important details, but I hope you enjoy taking a peak at the Boyer family – then and now.

So here we go…..

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The Night Our Dog Saw A Man In Our Yard


*We are starting a new ongoing series of posts…Family Memories…where we will share with you some of our favorite memories and stories from our family through the years. Having 14 children, you can be sure we have collected books and books- worth of stories worth sharing! I sure do love my family. And I hope you’ll enjoy reminiscing with us throughout these posts……

This first story is about a night where the call to protect my family knocked at my door. It definitely sent shivers down my spine!…..

The Night Our Dog Saw a Man In Our Yard.

It was late on a cold and snowy winter night that I was awakened by my dog’s insistent barking.  The family had had a full and busy day; snowstorms aren’t frequent in our part of Virginia and one that dumps enough snow to play in is always welcome….for the children, that is.

On this particular day, the boys had enjoyed the white stuff to the fullest. There had been rides on the toboggan, courtesy of Daisy Belle, my faithful Bloodhound who didn’t mind being harnessed to the sled as long as she had me run beside her for company.   We’d enjoyed snowball fights, built a snowman and eaten snow ice cream.  Bedtime had come and we had all been ready.

But now my sleep was interrupted by Daisy with her barking.  And  it wasn’t normal barking.  Daisy had different tones of voice for  a variety of occasions, and I could usually tell  right  away  whether she  was challenging another dog, a human intruder, or trying to get  the  attention of someone in the house to order room service.  This bark, delivered in the funny, baying tones of the Bloodhound sounded like her people bark but something was different.  I lay listening for a minute trying  to wake up enough to figure it out. What was she doing out of her kennel behind the storage shed?  And what was that strange sound of doubt in her bark? She sounded uncertain somehow, not quite confident as she usually was when she accosted a stranger.

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