blog » July 8, 2016 by Donna John

Summer Fun, Activities & DIY Projects With Joani Plenty! by Donna John

Blog Activities Parenting
7 years ago
Summer Fun, Activities & DIY Projects With Joani Plenty!

Joani Plenty, mother, author, advocate of all things positive, joined us recently for our #30SecondMom Twitter chat. Joani shared plenty of ideas on summer activities for kids and families, DIY projects and even some practical advice on how to handle those pesky summer mosquitos. Read on then go get your summer on!

Q: Do you have any tips for free summer activities?

  • The library has always been big, fun and magical place. Let your kids pick out a book for you, too.
  • Have a picnic even if it’s in your own backyard!
  • Volunteer throughout the summer. Allow the kids to choose where.
  • Find a pen pal at a nursing home for the summer. Both the kids and their new friend will enjoy receiving mail!
  • Hit a thrift store! Kids can learn the value of a dollar while grabbing anything from brand new board games to a cool scarf for back-to-school.

Q: What craft/DIY activities do you suggest for summer fun?

  • My kids love to make Memory Jars. At the end of each day, write down their best part of the day and drop it into a decorated jar.
  • My daughter and I plan to design henna tattoos on our friends! Even the novice can do this with a sticker template.
  • Sharpie art coasters! They’re beautiful and one-of-a-kind! 
  • A great DIY project that we love is adding funny quotes to old T-shirts using a bleach pen!

Q: Mosquitos are a big topic this summer. Do you have any tips to keep the pests away naturally and organically?

  • Fabric softener sheets! Rub yourself and the kids down. Even put in your pockets. Generic sheets work best for us.
  • We like to also use a toy bubble machine. It works great. The bugs don’t seem to like the bubbles and wind.
  • Try a fan! If you’re sitting near an outdoor outlet, plug in a fan and enjoy the breeze while fighting mosquitos.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends lemon eucalyptus oil to prevent Zika. Here’s a recipe for organic repellant. Over age 3 only! Mix 1 part lemongrass, eucalyptus, and/or citrus oils to 3 parts water. Spray in small test area first.

Q: Kids can get bored easily during summer break. Any tips?

  • Try a scavenger hunt. This can not only be fun but done anywhere. Be creative. Try themed hunts!
  • I don’t like to always give ideas to my kids on how to beat boredom. Instead, motivate them to come up with creative ways on their own.
  • When my kids say “I’m bored” during the summer, they must do a chore for mom! They learn to entertain themselves quickly.

Q: Kids tend to slow down during the summer. What do you suggest to keep healthy?

  • I hang a sign on the last day of school with the summer “Kitchen Schedule.” When the kitchen is closed, it’s CLOSED!
  • Pillow fights and three-legged races are not only bring the family together (literally) but makes for a good workout!
  • I like to continue to stick to a schedule during the summer. Bonus: When the fall comes, the back-to-school schedule is easy breezy!
  • Kindness is healthy! Visit a farm and pick fruit. Then deliver some of it to local police and fire departments to say “Thank you!”

Q: We all love a good summer read? As a writer, what books are in your tote bag?

Click here to take a peek inside Joani's tote bag!

Q: What are some ways to keep kids safe during the summer months? 

  • Don’t forget an SPF 30 sunscreen even on cloudy days.
  • Protect kids from injury. We make sure our home’s outdoor areas are still safe and restock the first-aid kit.
  • I like to supervise even the best little swimmers while in the pool. 
  • Avoid dehydration by giving kids extra fluids during the summer months.

Be sure to follow  @joaniplentylike her Facebook page, visit her website,, and check out her 30SecondMom homepage! Read more of Joani's 30Second Mom tips below!

Donna John
So much great stuff here, Joani Plenty! Thank you!
Elisa Schmitz
Love all these inspiring ideas by Joani Plenty!

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