15 Ways To Play With Glow Sticks

15 fun and unique ways to play with glow sticks year round!  So many great ideas!

When I think about the things that remind me of summer, I can’t help but have glow sticks come to my mind.  What is it about glow sticks that make them so much fun?  Maybe it’s that they glow in the dark.  Or it could be that just wearing them makes you smile.  Whatever the case, I really don’t think you are ever too old to enjoy them with your family and friends, so today I’m sharing a round up of my favorite glow stick activities!

This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.  Thank you for your support!

As you scroll through, you’ll find that many of these activities can be done both indoors and outdoors which makes it easy to enjoy glow in the dark glow stick fun year round!  A word of caution: If you have little ones who like to put things in their mouth, please be careful.  The packaging says that adult supervision is recommended and that glow sticks are for ages 3+.

*To visit the original source, click on the link below the picture.

15 fun and unique ways to play with glow sticks year round!  So many great ideas!
Gold in the Dark Lawn Bowling  |  Growing A Jeweled Rose

15 fun and unique ways to play with glow sticks year round!  So many great ideas!
 Glow in the Dark Wiffle Ball  |  A Few Shortcuts

15 fun and unique ways to play with glow sticks year round!  So many great ideas!
Ring Toss  |  Sugar Bee Crafts

15 fun and unique ways to play with glow sticks year round!  So many great ideas!
 Tic-Tac-Toe  |  Make and Takes

15 fun and unique ways to play with glow sticks year round!  So many great ideas!
 Glow Jars/Fairy Jars  |  The Gold Jellybean

15 fun and unique ways to play with glow sticks year round!  So many great ideas!

15 fun and unique ways to play with glow sticks year round!  So many great ideas!
 Word Art  |  Smile and Wave

15 fun and unique ways to play with glow sticks year round!  So many great ideas!
 Glow in the Dark Drinks  |  Mommy Savers

Corn Hole  Tape glow sticks around the hole and at the sides, top and bottom so you can keep playing at night!

Red Light, Green Light  Remember this game as a kid?  Just grab a red and green glow stick and let the kids play this childhood favorite after it gets dark by having your child hold up the glow stick to indicate stop and go.

Dance Party  We’ve done this with our kids in the wintertime in our basement, but how fun would this be at your next BBQ or watching fireworks!

Glow Sticks in the Pool  Keep the fun going at your pool party by throwing some glow sticks in!  This would be fun to do in a kiddie pool as well on those hot summer nights (just keep a close eye out!).

15 fun and unique ways to play with glow sticks year round!  So many great ideas!
original source: unknown

Freeze Tag  Another favorite kid game!  Have your kids wear glow sticks around their necks, wrists and ankles so they can see each other and let the fun begin.

Capture the Flag One team wears one color and the other team wears another so you know who’s who.

Bath time  Another fun activity you can do year round with your kiddos.  They’ll love playing with their glow sticks in the bath tub!  (We’ve also done glow in the dark bath paint using a black light and it’s so much fun!  You can find the post here.)

What other activities have you done with glow sticks?

7 Tips for Hiking with Kids

Hiking with kids doesn't have to be a hard thing if you follow these 7 simple tips!

This last week we went hiking as part of our Memorial Day activities.  We live close to the mountains and there are a lot of canyons and hiking trails to choose from, so we are always finding fun new places to explore.  My kids especially love hiking and it is one of mine and my husband’s favorite activities as well so we do a lot of it.  With this being the case, I’ve learned a few tips along the way that have helped make hiking a more enjoyable experience for everyone.

This post is sponsored by Nuby.  All opinions are 100% my own.  This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on one and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.  Thank you for your support!

It’s Not A Race
As we were walking along the trail with our kids this last week, they inevitably got side-tracked by different things: climbing on rocks, a flower, a stick.  My initial reaction was along the lines of: “C’mon, let’s go!” but then I realized that the point of the hike wasn’t about making it to our destination as much as it was about spending time together doing something we enjoy.  So if you go into your hike expecting that it will take longer, you can cut down on frustration at the so-called interruptions that are going to happen.

Hiking with kids doesn't have to be a hard thing if you follow these 7 simple tips!

Bring Backpacks
This one has been a lifesaver for us when we go hiking.  I bought each of my kids a small backpack that we pack whenever we go on a hike.  Included in their packs is water and a couple of snacks to eat along the way.  They love having their own backpacks and I think it also helps them feel big and gives them a little bit more autonomy.  Even if your child says they will just carry their water or snacks in their hands or pockets, have them bring the pack because almost without fail they will want you to carry it for them or it will be put down and forgotten.  Here are a few good backpack options I found: HERE, HERE and HERE.

Hiking with kids doesn't have to be a hard thing if you follow these 7 simple tips!

Create Teaching Moments
At one point in our hike, we stopped for a little snack break and the thought occurred to me to talk to my kids about littering.  I asked my daughter what we should do if we are out somewhere and there isn’t a garbage can for us to put the wrappers or plastic bottles in.  She replied that we should put it back in our backpacks and then throw it away later.  Then we talked about why that was important (keep trails clean, showing respect, etc).  It was a really simple lesson and one of those things that makes a bigger impact when we are actually out in nature rather than trying to explain it at some other time.  A few other teaching moments you could incorporate into your hike could be talking about plants and animals in the area, how rivers/streams are made, bring a nature journal and collecting leaves/flowers.

Hiking with kids doesn't have to be a hard thing if you follow these 7 simple tips!

Research the Hike
Anytime we go on a hike, I make sure to find some basic information about it: Does it have bathrooms at the trailhead or along the way?  How long is the hike?  Difficulty level?  Directions or landmarks for finding the trail?  Best time of year for hiking?  Stroller or wagon friendly?  The list goes on and what you want to know will obviously depend on your own family.  I recently found a really helpful website called AllTrails.com, where you can search by state and it will come up with a list of hikes and a helpful description of what you’ll find.

Hiking with kids doesn't have to be a hard thing if you follow these 7 simple tips!

Sunscreen, Wipes, Hand Sanitizer
Even if you put sunscreen on before you start the hike, odds are that you’ll need it again at some point before you get back to your car.  There are plenty of travel size containers of sunscreen that there really isn’t an excuse not to bring some.  Also, nature is dirty and kids seem to gravitate towards dirt so having something to wipe their hands off with is a good idea.  Just grab a travel size package of baby wipes and throw them in your bag.  And lastly, grab a small bottle of hand sanitizer to disinfect everyone’s hands with before eating or after playing in the water (if your hiking to a waterfall or by a stream).

Hiking with kids doesn't have to be a hard thing if you follow these 7 simple tips!

Flip-Flops/Water Shoes/Extra Socks
I don’t know about you, but after a long hike, all I want to do is take my shoes and socks off and let my feet breathe.  A lot of times, we will go out and get some food or stop by a store after our hike and it’s nice to have the extra pair of shoes to change into.  Depending on the hike, we will bring water shoes so we can wade around in the water and cool off, plus they protect our feet from sharp rocks and give us traction.  Along with this, consider bringing an extra pair of socks.  The shoes I use when we go hiking double as water shoes, but I hate wearing them without socks, so I like to bring an extra pair that I can change into before we start back.  Same goes for your kids.  Throw the flip flops or water shoes or socks into their backpack and let them carry it.

Hiking with kids doesn't have to be a hard thing if you follow these 7 simple tips!

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
And last, but not least, bring lots and lots of WATER.  This is one of those things that you absolutely do not want to skimp on.  Who cares if you have to stop along the trail 10 times so your child can relieve themselves?  It’s much better than the alternative.  Whether you’re hiking when it’s cloudy and cooler or hot and sunny, you need to keep yourself and your family hydrated and cool.  Little kids can overheat pretty easily so stopping and reminding everyone to get a good drink is essential.  Throw some ice cubes into everyone’s bottle or cup or even freeze the whole water bottle for a refreshing and cool drink for your entire (or at least most) of your hike.

Hiking with kids doesn't have to be a hard thing if you follow these 7 simple tips!

Hiking with kids doesn't have to be a hard thing if you follow these 7 simple tips!

We brought our kids’ Nuby Thirsty Kids Reflex water canteens with us on our hike and they were perfect.  The plastic is made of durable tritan from Eastman and the push top could be pushed down and covered by a plastic latch so it stayed clean.  The 12-oz size was perfect for our kids and how much they normally drink.  You can find these cups in store at Target and Babies R’ Us.  (Shop the water canteens online HERE.

(For my local Utah friends, the hike in these pictures is Battle Creek Falls in Pleasant Grove.)

What tips and tricks have you found helpful when you go hiking with your family?

And now, I’ve got a fun giveaway that you can enter to win four (4) of these Nuby Thirsty Kids Reflex water canteens for your kids!  See below to find out how to enter!

  • Visit Nuby USA on Facebook (required)
  • Visit Sunshine & Munchkins on Facebook (required)
  • Follow Nuby USA on Instagram (required)
  • Follow Sunshine & Munchkins on Instagram (required)
  • Leave a comment (optional, extra entry)
  • Subscribe to Sunshine & Munchkins newsletter (optional, extra entry) 

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Midway Ice Castles {plus a GIVEAWAY!}

The Ice Castles in Midway, UT are breathtaking and absolutely incredible to see in person!  Read more about how to plan your visit.

I’ll be totally honest: winter is definitely not my favorite time of the year in terms of the weather.  I get super jealous of those of you who live in places where it’s warmer in the winter and always wish I could just hop on a plane and visit for a weekend and soak up some vitamin D.  I didn’t include ‘sunshine’ as part of my blog’s name for nothing! *wink*  That being said, there are some things about winter that I do enjoy because there isn’t any other time of year to experience it (at least not where I live).  One of these things are the Ice Castles in Midway, UT.

I received complimentary tickets to visit the Ice Castles but all opinions are 100% my own.

Ice castles.  Doesn’t that sound like something directly out of Frozen?  Even if you’re not a fan of the movie, I promise that these ice castles are breathtakingly beautiful and almost seem otherworldly.  The castles are formed using icicles that have been grown by a crew and are slowly added to the structure and replaced throughout the event.  By the time the structure is complete, the walls are 10 feet thick and about 20 feet high in some places!

The Ice Castles in Midway, UT are breathtaking and absolutely incredible to see in person!  Read more about how to plan your visit.

The Ice Castles in Midway, UT are breathtaking and absolutely incredible to see in person!  Read more about how to plan your visit.

The guy who created the Ice Castles concept is actually from my home town so most years they have an event here in Utah.  However, they’ve slowly expanded over the years and are currently in Midway, UT; Lincoln, NH; Stillwater, MN; Wisconsin Dells, WI and Edmonton, AB (Canada).  So if you live near any of these places, be sure to visit because this is truly an amazing and fun family experience you will not want to miss!

My family and I visited the Ice Castles last year in Midway and our kids loved it!  We knew we wanted to go again this year so I signed up for their email list so I could get notices about when it would be open.  When it did, we got tickets right away because they tend to sell out quick!  We decided to go this last weekend as a family and invited my brother-in-law, his wife and their two kids to come with us.  My kids love spending time with their cousins!

The Ice Castles in Midway, UT are breathtaking and absolutely incredible to see in person!  Read more about how to plan your visit.

When you first walk into the Ice Castles through a somewhat narrow (but tall) tunnel, it literally makes you stop and just take a look around.  It is nothing like you’ve ever seen before.  The walls are so high and the ice is a beautiful blue color.  If you look up through any of the tunnels, you will see hundreds of icicles above you.  (Don’t worry, they won’t fall!)  We went in the middle of the day.  The sun was shining and it was surprisingly warm, which was great because then our kids could enjoy the time there.  But they are also open until later on at night and if you go then, they have brightly colored lights that are inside the ice walls!

The Ice Castles in Midway, UT are breathtaking and absolutely incredible to see in person!  Read more about how to plan your visit.

The Ice Castles in Midway, UT are breathtaking and absolutely incredible to see in person!  Read more about how to plan your visit.

My kids’ favorite areas were the fountains, kid-sized ice slides and the ice benches.  They also have an ice slide for bigger kids and adults, but be aware that they don’t allow lap riders or doubles.  My brother-in-law’s family went down the slide but our kids were too little.  It looked like so much fun and everyone who rode it had a smile on their face.

The Ice Castles in Midway, UT are breathtaking and absolutely incredible to see in person!  Read more about how to plan your visit.

The Ice Castles in Midway, UT are breathtaking and absolutely incredible to see in person!  Read more about how to plan your visit.

The Ice Castles in Midway, UT are breathtaking and absolutely incredible to see in person!  Read more about how to plan your visit.

The Ice Castles in Midway, UT are breathtaking and absolutely incredible to see in person!  Read more about how to plan your visit.

As far as what to wear and bring, I definitely recommend dressing your kids in snow pants, boots and gloves at the very least.  The ground is uneven due to the ice and snow and came up to my ankles in some places.  You won’t want to bring any strollers or wheelchairs because of this.  I saw some families with small children bring sleds to pull their kids around on which I thought was a great idea.  Also make sure to bring a camera because the opportunities for pictures are plentiful.  There are so many little alcoves and tunnels and towers to take pictures of and in front of that you’ll be sorry if you miss it.  I’d be cautious about bringing any super nice cameras though (refer to the comment about uneven ground).

The Ice Castles in Midway, UT are breathtaking and absolutely incredible to see in person!  Read more about how to plan your visit.

The Ice Castles in Midway, UT are breathtaking and absolutely incredible to see in person!  Read more about how to plan your visit.

The Ice Castles in Midway, UT are breathtaking and absolutely incredible to see in person!  Read more about how to plan your visit.

If you’ve wanted to visit the Ice Castles, but haven’t been sure it’s worth the drive, take my word for it that you and your family will love it.  You can check out ticket prices, hours, directions and more on their official website by clicking HERE.

Also, I’m super excited to be able to do a giveaway for 4 tickets to visit the Midway Ice Castles courtesy of the Ice Castles!  These tickets will cover the entire cost of 4 tickets no matter the price, day or time you go.  Please note that this giveaway is for the Ice Castles in Midway, Utah so please enter only if you  are able to use them at this location.

The Ice Castles in Midway, UT are breathtaking and absolutely incredible to see in person!  Read more about how to plan your visit.

To enter:

  • Follow Sunshine & Munchkins on Pinterest (required)
  • Visit Sunshine & Munchkins page on Facebook (required)
  • Follow Sunshine & Munchkins on Instagram (extra entry)
  • Leave a blog comment below (extra entry)

The giveaway will be open from today, January 4, 2017 to Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at 12am MST.  The winner will be announced on Facebook on Wednesday, January 11.  Good luck!

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150+ Halloween Coloring and Activity Pages

150+ Halloween Coloring and Activity Pages

One of my kids’ favorite activities is coloring.  I swear we pull out the bin of crayons, markers and colored pencils at least once a day.  As much fun as they have with our regular coloring books, it’s good to mix it up a little and print out some holiday/seasonal coloring pages.  I’ve collected over 150 Halloween coloring and activity pages for you to choose from.

To access the coloring pages, click on the link below the picture to be taken to the original source.  Happy coloring!

Coloring Pages

150+ Halloween Coloring and Activity Pages
8 Halloween Coloring Pages  |  Holiday Crafts & Creations

150+ Halloween Coloring and Activity Pages
24 Halloween Coloring Pages  |  Honey & Lime 
*These are the coloring pages I used for the Preschool/Toddler Halloween Party.

150+ Halloween Coloring and Activity Pages
Monsters Coloring Page  |  Dabbles & Babbles

150+ Halloween Coloring and Activity Pages

150+ Halloween Coloring and Activity Pages

150+ Halloween Coloring and Activity Pages
Halloween Color By Number  |  Itsy Bitsy Fun

150+ Halloween Coloring and Activity Pages

Activities and Crafts

150+ Halloween Coloring and Activity Pages
Halloween BINGO  |  The Crafting Chicks

150+ Halloween Coloring and Activity Pages
Halloween BINGO  |  Artsy Fartsy Mama

150+ Halloween Coloring and Activity Pages
Halloween Countdown Bucket List  |  The Happier Homemaker

150+ Halloween Coloring and Activity Pages
35 Pumpkin Crafts  |  Hands On As We Grow

150+ Halloween Coloring and Activity Pages
Halloween Charades  |  The Joys of Boys

150+ Halloween Coloring and Activity Pages
*This is the treasure hunt I used for the Preschool/Toddler Halloween Party.

I hope you found some fun coloring pages, activities or crafts for your kids!  I know I did!

3 Fun Ways to Paint with Toddlers and Preschoolers

Painting with your little kids doesn't have to be messy and can be a lot of fun!

As a stay-at-home mom, I’m always trying to come up with fun activities for my kids to do beyond coloring and Play-Doh.  Not that there’s anything wrong with these things, but my kids get bored of them pretty quickly.  And when they get bored, what do they do?  Bug each other.  Which in turn bugs me.  So it makes everyone a lot happier if I have a few new activities to offer, especially during the winter when it’s cold and we’re stuck inside and even when it’s summer and it’s hot outside. *wink*

This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on one and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.  Thank you for your support!

The ideas I’m sharing today all use the same basic medium: paint.  I bought a set with 6 different colors from Walmart for about $6.  The paint is nice and bright and easy to clean up with soap and water.  I also opted for tempera paint which is more opaque.  You could easily use acrylic paints for any of these projects as well.

No Mess Finger Painting

This is a great project for young children.  They can’t make a mess because the finger paint is inside a bag, but they still get the sensory experience from moving the paint around with their fingers and seeing the bright colors.  We did this activity with my son (21 months), my nephew (2.5 years) and my daughter (4 years). (At the time of the original post.)

For this activity, you’ll need:

Painting with your little kids doesn't have to be messy and can be a lot of fun!
  • A resealable bag, such as a Ziploc, in a quart size
  • Construction paper or cardstock
  • Paint
  • Masking tape (optional)

Step 1:  Cut your paper down to size so that it fits in the bag when sealed.
Step 2:  Shake your paint well and then squirt different colors on top of the paper in various spots (the paper should be inside the bag.)

Painting with your little kids doesn't have to be messy and can be a lot of fun!

Step 3: Seal the bag.
Step 4: Tape the bag to the table on at least 2 sides to prevent it from moving around.  (We decided not to do this and it still worked fine.)
Step 5:  Let your child “finger paint” on top of the bag.  They can feel the paint under their fingers as they move it around, but it won’t make a mess since it’s in the bag!

Painting with your little kids doesn't have to be messy and can be a lot of fun!

Painting with your little kids doesn't have to be messy and can be a lot of fun!

Marble Painting

I remember doing this activity as a young child in preschool and loving it!  My kids liked watching the marbles roll around the bin and all over the paper.  I bought the bin and marbles at the dollar store (just two of the awesome craft supplies you can buy at the dollar store) which I can easily reuse the next time we do this activity.  I had to help my son move the marbles around, but my daughter had no problems doing it herself.

For this activity, you’ll need:

Painting with your little kids doesn't have to be messy and can be a lot of fun!
  • A medium plastic bin with sides at least 3 inches high
  • Construction paper or cardstock
  • Paint
  • Marbles 

Step 1: Cut your paper down if needed to fit inside your bin.  Mine had rounded corners to I just used a roll of masking tape to round out the corners of the paper.

Painting with your little kids doesn't have to be messy and can be a lot of fun!

Step 2: Put the paper in the bottom of the bin and squirt different colors all over the paper.

Painting with your little kids doesn't have to be messy and can be a lot of fun!

Step 3: Drop 3-4 marbles in the bin and start shaking the bin around to get the marbles rolling through the paint.
Step 4: Remove the paper to dry and start all over!

Painting with your little kids doesn't have to be messy and can be a lot of fun!

Painting with your little kids doesn't have to be messy and can be a lot of fun!

Painting with your little kids doesn't have to be messy and can be a lot of fun!

Cookie Cutter Painting

This activity is more geared towards preschoolers since it’s not as contained and more likely to make a mess.  Also, the bottom of a cookie cutter can be a little sharp which might be a hazard for smaller children without close supervision.  My daughter did great and just got a little paint on her fingers as she dipped the cookie cutter in the paint.  This is also a great activity to do for holidays (heart for Valentine’s Day, clover for St. Patrick’s Day, etc) or preschool (letters, number, animals, etc).

For this activity, you’ll need:

Painting with your little kids doesn't have to be messy and can be a lot of fun!
  • Cookie Cutters
  • Paint
  • Construction paper or cardstock
  • A shallow container to put the paint in, such as a pie tin or paper plate
  • Tape (optional)

Step 1: Squirt some paint onto your paper plate.  I tried to squirt mine in the basic shape of the cookie cutter I was using (ie. train=oval, heart/star=circle) to make it easier to get the paint on the cookie cutter.
Step 2: Tape your paper to the table to prevent it from moving around.
Step 3: Dip the cookie cutters into the paint and press it onto the paper in different places.
Step 4:  Let dry.

Painting with your little kids doesn't have to be messy and can be a lot of fun!

Painting with your little kids doesn't have to be messy and can be a lot of fun!

I hope you enjoyed this post and that it gave you some fun ideas for activities to do with your kids!

What are your favorite indoor activities to keep your kids busy?

How To Tie Dye T-Shirts

What says summer more than tie dye t-shirts?  See how easy it is and create some fun memories with your kids!

In my mind, there are few things that say summer more than “tie dye t-shirts”, especially when it comes to kids.  I love how happy and bright the colors are and that each shirt is as unique as the child who wears it.
Last summer, I was walking through Target and noticed some clearance items at the end of an aisle so I stopped to take a look.  I found some small tie dye kits with 2 colors in each kit for $1.48.  I threw a couple of them in my cart and decided it would be a fun activity to do with the kids the following summer.

What says summer more than tie dye t-shirts?  See how easy it is and create some fun memories with your kids!

Fast forward to 2016.  I was making our family’s summer bucket list and remembered these tie dye kits that I had stored downstairs.  I had picked up a shirt on sale for my daughter from Hobby Lobby during one of my many visits (I love that store!).  For my son, I found a white shirt with a pocket at Target.

What says summer more than tie dye t-shirts?  See how easy it is and create some fun memories with your kids!

The day I had planned to do the project came and the kids were both super excited.  My daughter was excited because it was a craft project of sorts which she loves and my son was excited because his sister was excited.  I sent the kids outside for a few minutes so I could read through the instructions in peace.  The kids kept coming in every couple of minutes asking if it was time to start and climbing on the chair and trying to grab the bottles of dye or take their shirts outside with them.  I swear it took me 20 minutes just to read the steps!

So, I have a confession to make: I’ve never made a tie dye shirt.  I know!  How is it even possible I went my whole life without making one?  I don’t really know.  But today was as good a day to start as any.

Before mixing the colors, I went to my Pinterest page where I had found a pin for creating different tie dye designs.  It took me to Tie Dye Your Summer and it had video tutorials teaching techniques.  I asked my daughter which one she liked and she chose a heart.  I chose a design like this for my son.

After the t-shirts were all bunched up and had the elastics in place, I grabbed a cooling rack, a cookie sheet, plastic wrap and a small plastic bin.  Then I mixed up the colors and took everything outside.

I placed the cooling rack inside the cookie sheet.  (Looking back, I wish I’d put some tin foil or something underneath.)  The cookie sheet is meant to catch any dye that dripped of the shirt and the cooling rack made it so I had a surface that was higher than any dripped dye.

What says summer more than tie dye t-shirts?  See how easy it is and create some fun memories with your kids!

I pulled the plastic gloves on that had come with the kit and started on my son’s shirt first.  He wanted to help of course, so I put the other set of gloves on him and he “helped” me for a couple of minutes before running off to play.  I finished his up, wrapped it in plastic wrap to keep it wet and set it inside the bin.  Then my daughter and I worked on her shirt until she got bored and joined her brother.  So I finished hers too, wrapped it in plastic wrap and placed it with the other shirt.  (Honestly, I was ok with the fact that the kids didn’t insist on helping too much, since the dye would have stained any clothing it came in contact with.)

What says summer more than tie dye t-shirts?  See how easy it is and create some fun memories with your kids!

When using the dye I soaked the shirts pretty well.  I used one hand to squeeze the dye onto the shirt and the other hand to rub it in and move the shirt around and make sure it was getting spread around.  Since the colors were blues and greens, I wasn’t too worried about them overlapping each other or mixing a little.  But if you are using lighter colors next to darker colors and don’t want them to mix, you should leave about 1/2″ of space on either side of the elastic.

What says summer more than tie dye t-shirts?  See how easy it is and create some fun memories with your kids!

I left the shirts wrapped up for about 7 hours before unwrapping them and rinsing them out in cold water.  I washed them out in the bathtub under running water, squeezing the shirts until the water was as clear as I could get it.

What says summer more than tie dye t-shirts?  See how easy it is and create some fun memories with your kids!

Then I cut the elastic bands and unwrapped the shirts.  They turned out SO good!  I was seriously grinning from ear to ear because I was so happy with how they turned out.  My kids were already in bed so I had my husband come into the bathroom and look at them and he was pretty impressed too.

I threw them in the wash using hot water for the wash and cold water for the rinse (all according to the instructions that came with the kit).  When I pulled them out of the wash, I was surprised at how much lighter they were than before washing.  Then I put them in the dryer and laid them out for my kids to wear the next day.

The next morning, my kids were so excited to wear their new shirts!  I have to admit, I think they are pretty much the cutest kids in the entire world and wearing their matching tie dye shirts just about did me in.  I love them. 🙂

What says summer more than tie dye t-shirts?  See how easy it is and create some fun memories with your kids!

Of course, I had to take my cute kids out in the yard to model their new shirts.  You can see that the heart design on my daughter’s shirt turned out pretty well and my son’s design was really fun as well.

What says summer more than tie dye t-shirts?  See how easy it is and create some fun memories with your kids!

What says summer more than tie dye t-shirts?  See how easy it is and create some fun memories with your kids!

What says summer more than tie dye t-shirts?  See how easy it is and create some fun memories with your kids!

What says summer more than tie dye t-shirts?  See how easy it is and create some fun memories with your kids!

What says summer more than tie dye t-shirts?  See how easy it is and create some fun memories with your kids!

I found the whole process really simple.  The instructions were clear and the dye did it’s job.  I would definitely do another tie dye project next summer with my kids.

What do you think about tie dye?

American Fork Canyon: Granite Flats Campground

American Fork Canyon: Granite Flats Campground--a review of this beautiful campground in American Fork Canyon, UT.

When I imagine going up the canyon, I think of narrow, winding roads with thick trees and brush all around. I think of cozy little picnic spots nestled in the trees and a river or stream flowing nearby. This is probably due to the fact that I grew up living within a short driving distance of American Fork Canyon in Utah.

Last summer, my little family and I went up American Fork Canyon to spend the evening with my brother-in-law, his wife and two kids, as well as other extended family. They were spending the night at the Granite Flats Campground, just a mile up the road from Tibble Fork Reservoir. We had been invited to come up in the evening and cook tin foil dinners and roast marshmallows.

American Fork Canyon: Granite Flats Campground--a review of this beautiful campground in American Fork Canyon, UT.

Even though I have been to Tibble Fork many times, my family didn’t do a lot of camping growing up so I wasn’t familiar with the campground they were at, but as we drove to their reserved spot, I felt like it was exactly as a good campground should be. The individual campsites were separated from each other by trees and bushes, so you didn’t feel like you were camping on top of someone else. It gave a nice sense of privacy and made you feel like you were really camping outdoors. There was a set of bathrooms for every four or five campsites, easily within walking distance, which is great if you have kids (and even if you don’t).

Since getting married a little over 8 years ago, my husband and I have gone up a lot of different canyons with friends and cooked tin foil dinners. It is one of my favorite camping foods and so easy to prep and transport. Tip: We always cook our tougher veggies, like carrots and potatoes, halfway before putting them with the meat (usually chicken or ground beef/turkey), since the meat always cooks faster than the rest.

American Fork Canyon: Granite Flats Campground--a review of this beautiful campground in American Fork Canyon, UT.

While waiting for dinner to cook, I took the kids exploring on the various paths around the campsite. There were a lot of little trails but most of them just wound back to our campsite or the others nearby. My kids loved looking at the flowers, ants and squirrels that were everywhere. After dinner, we roasted marshmallows and made s’mores. Then we were homeward bound since we didn’t want to get caught behind the campground gate when it closed for the night. On the way down, I took a couple pictures of Tibble Fork and was reminded of how beautiful the area is and how lucky I am to live so close by.

American Fork Canyon: Granite Flats Campground--a review of this beautiful campground in American Fork Canyon, UT.

Some things you’ll want to keep in mind if you decide to go up American Fork Canyon:

  • There may or may not be a fee to get up the canyon, depending on your destination. Since my brother-in-law had paid for a campsite, there was no fee for us to drive up there. If you are going up to a picnic spot or to hike, there will likely be a fee. The fee starts at $6 for 1-3 days and goes up to about $45 for an annual pass. Every once in a while you get lucky and the fee station is closed. 
  • When the sun goes down, it gets chilly because of all the trees and the higher elevation. When I left just before 9pm, the temperature was about 60 degrees. When I got out of the canyon, it was 80 degrees. So make sure to dress accordingly and bring a sweatshirt and pants if you tend to get cold (like me!) 
  • The roads are narrow and wind around quite a bit so if you or your kids tend to get motion sickness, make sure to take some Dramamine or something to distract while driving up. It’s definitely worth the drive, though! 

Directions:From I-15, you take the Highland/Alpine exit. Go east on Highway 92 for 8 miles to mouth of American Fork Canyon. Go 5 miles up the canyon to the fork. Take a left to the North Fork/Forest Road 85 to Tibble Fork Reservoir. Stay on paved road as it turns left past the parking lot. Go about 1 mile to Granite Flats campground.

If you are interested in getting more information on the different activities and recreation, you can visit this website.
 

If you are interested in reserving a campsite, you can go here.

Do you have a favorite canyon or camping spot near where you live?  I’d love to hear about it!