Tag Archives: summer activities

Summer fun: DIY Marshmallow Guns

This happened at my house.  DIY Marshmallow Guns.

Marshmallow war collage

Inspired by this photo and completely made by Christopher and Grandpa!


Here’s how they did it (in Christopher’s words):

1.  You need 1/2 inch PVC pipe, 2 elbows, 1 T, and 1 cap.IMG_9007

2.  Tools:  Pipe cutter or some way of cutting the pipe, tape measure, and a pencil.IMG_9008

3.  Measure four 4-inch pieces of pipe and one 7-inch piece of pipe.IMG_9009

4.  Cut the pipe at your marks.IMG_9010



5.  Put a 4-inch pipe into the bottom of the T.  Cap it.   Put a 4-inch pipe into one side of the T.IMG_9014

6.  Put an elbow on the end of this 4-inch pipe.  Put another 4-inch pipe in the other side of this elbow.IMG_9015

7.  Put the last 4-inch piece into this elbow.  This is your mouth piece.IMG_9016

8.   Put the 7-inch piece in the other side of the T.  This is your barrel where you load your marshmallow.

9.  Push it together tightly or glue it.

10.  Spray paint it.



11.  Load your mini-marshmallow into the end of the 7-inch pipe.IMG_9018

12.  Blow hard to shoot your marshmallow.


13.  Have fun.


Summer League Swim mom Survival Guide


I love Summer League Swim Season.  These short 5 weeks were our foray into the world of swimming.  Whether your child is just swimming for fun or your child springboards from here into competitive year-round swimming, summer league swim is a time to relax, cheer for your child, and enjoy the summer.

What you need to bring:

  • Sunscreen
  • Highlighters
  • Sharpies
  • Cash
  • Water
  • Chairs and/or picnic blankets
  • Snacks that won’t melt (try frozen grapes, granola, or rice crispy treats.


What you need to do:

1.  Slather on the sunscreen before you leave the house.


2.  Arrive at least 15 minutes before warm-ups begin.  Your child needs to check in with his coach.  This also gives you time to set up a spot for your family.  Chairs, blankets, games, ice chests, etc.


3.  Buy a heat sheet.  You’ll need the cash to purchase a heat sheet.  This is your guide to the meet.  Find your child’s name and highlight it.  Your child will swim more than one race, so don’t miss any.  Also, check the relays.  If your child is listed on a relay, you don’t want to miss it!  Three other swimmers are counting on you!

Each event or race is numbered: 1, 2, 3, etc.  Within each event, swimmers are divided into groups of 6 or 8 to swim heats.  The heats are arranged slowest to fastest.  (The slowest 6 will swim the first heat.  The fastest 6 will swim the last heat.)  Within the heat, the swimmers are assigned a lane.  The fastest swimmers in the heat are in the middle lanes.


4.  Determine what race, heat, and lane  (R, H, L) your swimmer is in.  Use a sharpie to write the RHL on your child’s arm.  When my kids were little, I wrote on their upper arm.  Now that they are old enough to line up by themselves, I write it on their forearm so they can read it.


5.  Volunteer.  Swim meets run because of parental involvement.  All clubs need parents to help time.  This is the easiest job.  You just push “Start” on a stop watch when the buzzer sounds and push “Stop” when the swimmer in your lane touches the wall.   Timers sit behind the starting blocks, so these are the best seats in the house!

Some clubs need parents to volunteer to run snack shacks, help line children up for races, or as runners.  Find out where you need to be.

I’ll be honest.  Volunteering is not really an option.  These meets can not proceed without enough help in place and your team’s coach will appreciate all your help.


6.  Slather on the sunscreen.

7.  Teach your child how to follow along.  Some clubs have volunteers that will call small children to line up.  If yours doesn’t, you need to keep track of which event is in the water.  You child needs to line up 2 events before  theirs.

8.  Drink plenty of water.

9.  Slather on the sunscreen.

10.  Cheer for your child.  You are there to cheer them on, not coach them.  The coach will do that.  And remember, the goal in swimming is not to win.  The goal is drop time.  That means that every time your child swims a 50y freestyle, they want to swim it faster than before.


11.  Last but not least, slather on the sunscreen.

Updated with a few more thoughts from my friend Angie, a former swimmer and current swim mom and coach.  Thanks Angie!

  • Make a new swim mom friend (sometimes this will become your best friend)
  • Be very impressed with your kids.  Swimming is HARD.  Most moms couldn’t do with their kids are doing, especially in those early May hours when the water is 76 degrees!
  • DQs (Disqualifications) and tears may go hand-in-hand but a hug, a high five, and encouragement to try again are all they need.
  • A 6-8 year old that can do a legal butterfly or breaststroke is a special gift to a summer league coach.  Be very impressed!
  • The true sign of a swim mom is the wet mark that’s left behind on Mom’s dry t-shirt after a hug from her swimmer.

I’d love to hear your summer swim experience.  Any questions or tips and tricks?

Swim Mom Survival Guide

It’s that time of year again—Summer Swim League!  Woo Hoo!

Summer swim is a fun break for my kids because they swim year round.  For us, the shorter practices are fun and the meets are time spent with friends.  The only downfall—Louisiana in June!

Here are a few things we must have for those 5 hours we are at summer league meets:

1.  Sunscreen.  Sunscreen for them.  Sunscreen for me.  Sunscreen for my face.  And don’t forget to reapply.


2.  Water.  Again, for them and for me.  Lots and Lots of it.

3.  A picnic quilt.


4.  A pop-up shade.  Our swim club has two covered areas.  One is reserved for visiting teams.  The other fills up quickly.

5.  Lawn chairs.  At least one for me.  My rule is:  If you want a chair, carry it yourself.

6.  Food.  Swimming makes you hungry.  Waiting for a race makes you hungry.  Just being 8-years-old can make you hungry.  We pack grapes, cherry tomatoes, peanut butter sandwiches, yogurts, chex mix, and rice crispy treats.

7.  Some cash.  You’ll need to purchase a heat sheet.  At summer league meets, these are usually only a few dollars, but they are always cash only.

8.  A highlighter and a sharpie.  Highlight your kids in the heat sheet and then write their race, heat, and lane on an arm or a leg.  They sooner they can get to their own races, the better!


9.  DSs, iPads, phones, playing cards, books, crosswords, sudukos, and lots more fun stuff to do.



10.  Patience.  Lots and lots and lots of patience.  Also, a willing attitude.  Summer meets  couldn’t run without parent involvement.  Timing is easy (and you get splashed so it’s quite refreshing).  Or, trade off with another parent and watch her kids so she can time.  Trust me.  You’ll coaches will love the help to make the meet run smoothly.


If you’re in the Shreveport area, Summer League is sponsored by COSST.  You can swim with any team.  Town South, the Swim School, East Ridge, the Elks, Pierremont Oaks, Stonebridge, and Southside are just a few.