40 Things To Do This Summer


Summer is here! Has the anxiety kicked in yet? What am I going to do with these kids?

Well. Here’s a list of things I compiled.

While most of these things are meant for AZ, I know that other states have some of the things I’ve listed that you can do with your kids.

So here are 40 things I came up with:

1. GEOCAHING – If you’ve never done it, you’ve gotta try it. It’s tons of fun and you don’t need a GPS unit any more. Register for FREE on geocaching.com, download the app, then go on your hunt. Here’s some of our geocaching finds.

2. LEARN TO COOK – Plan a day a week to teach your child some basic cooking skills. At Kids Cooking Activities, it gives you tips on what and how to teach different age groups, including toddlers. There are even age appropriate recipes.

3. JOIN A SUMMER READING PROGRAM AT YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY – They have all kinds of incentives and prizes for reading. See your local library.

4. HAVE A SUMMER MOVIE NIGHT – Plan a fun night of friends over for a movie, having popcorn and other treats. If possible, have it outside.

5. HIKING – Get up early and hit some favorite hiking spots. Or if you are adventurous, drive up North where it’s a little cooler for a hiking trip.

6. CHEAP SUMMER MOVIES – Check your local movie theater. In AZ, they have a cheap summer movie program. $5 for 10 movies. The movies are ones that have been released for a while, but it is fun to go with friends to the theater and watch again.

7. PUT TOGETHER A MODEL – Your local craft store sells models of all sorts of things that kids can put together. Some them are only $5.

8. START A QUARTER COLLECTION – Ever since they’ve made the different state quarters, I’ve always wanted to see how many I can collect. One summer, for my son’s Cub Scout collection belt loop that’s what we did. Read here on how we did it.

9. BUILD A BIRD FEEDER –  See how many birds come to your back yard. Here are some easy bird feeders to build.

10. PLANT A GARDEN: HERB, FLOWER OR VEGETABLE – You can learn here how to use any container to plant seeds and watch them grow.

11. VISIT THE ZOO – It’s always a crowd pleaser.

12. VISIT A CHILDREN’S MUSEUM – The Children’s Museum for Kids is full of never-ending activities. My recommendation is that you pack a lunch, because you can literally spend all day here.

13. VISIT A SCIENCE CENTER – The AZ Science Center is full of exhibits and activities for kids to learn from.

14. TOUR A FACTORY – If you gather a big group of friends, some companies offer tours of their factory where you learn how they make things. In AZ, Cerreta’s Candy Company offers group tours to groups of 30.

15. VISIT A FARM – There are some local farms that offer tours and even let you pick your own produce. A big one in the valley is Schnepf Farms.

16. MAKE A  SUMMER SMASHBOOK OF ALL YOUR ADVENTURES – Here’s a great video on how to put one together.

17. COOK OUTDOORS – Sit down and plan a BBQ menu and let your kids help out in preparation and cooking.

18. HAVE A BOARD GAME MARATHON – Invite over your friends and have a marathon of games.

19. PUT ON A BIKE RODEO – Invite other kids over and test their bike riding skills. If you are still not sure what a bike rodeo even is, here’s a site that explains it.

20. MAKE A TERRARIUM – After you’re done eating those animal crackers, save that Costco-sized container to make a terrarium. What is a terrarium? They are little ecosystems that your kids can make. Here’s how to make kid-friendly terrariums.

21. GO PLAY AT A SPLASHPAD – AZ has many different locations for splashpads that are open to the public.

22. LEARN HOW TO KNIT OR CROCHET – Remember learning how to knit from grandma, or crochet from Aunt May. If it’s been a while, you may have to visit your local Walmart and reinvest in some knitting needles or crochet hook and watch a few youtube videos to remind yourself how to even do it. Teach your kids how to do this skill. Once they get the hang of it, have them start on a simple project. Martha Stewart has a video on how to teach kids to knit.

23.  THROW A CUPCAKE DECORATING PARTY – Make a couple dozen cupcakes, invite friends over assigning them a decorating item to bring: frosting, candy, sprinkles. Have different frosting tips and let the kids go to town decorating their cupcakes.


25. PLAN A WATER DAY – Invite friends over and play all sorts of water games. Here’s a few ideas of what you can play.

26. HAVE A CAMP OUT – Set up a tent in the backyard and have a camp out.

27. GO ON A PHOTOGRAPHY SCAVANGER HUNT – Have the kids print out their pictures and make a poster showing the things they found.

28. MAKE A COLLAGE – Give the kids a topic and have them find pictures in magazines and make a collage out of them.

29. COLLECT LEAVES AND MAKE SOLAR PRINTS – With summer in AZ, this shouldn’t be hard to do. You can learn how to make them here.

30. LEARN ABOUT DIFFERENT ARTISTS- Each week, teach your kids about different artists and have them work on an art piece using that artist’s technique. Here are some links to different lessons on different famous artists.

31. START A BLOG – blogspot.com let’s you set up a blog for free and you can even customize it to be private and only allow who you want to view it. Your kids will have fun uploading photos and recording what they did that day.

32. MAKE A CRAFT USING DUCT TAPE – this is a popular and easy craft, because usually you only need the duct tape and scissors. Also, there are all kinds of designs that duct tape makes, making it more fun when it comes to craft projects. Here are 45 projects you can work on.

33. TEACH YOUR KIDS HOW TO DO BASIC SEWING – Skip To My Lou Blog has a great series on teaching kids how to sew.

34. LEARN HOW TO DO ORIGAMI – A fun inexpensive project for kids to learn and do. Here are a list of origami activities.

35. VISIT LOCAL HISTORIC SITES – In Hawaii, I did this a lot, visiting old palaces and war memorial sites. AZ has a lot of Native American sites, especially up North in Flagstaff.

36. MARSHMALLOW SHOOTERS – Tons of fun, but I do recommend kids be supervised and these shooters be used by kids over 8. Here are some instructions on how to put them together.

37. DO A MUSIC VIDEO CHALLENGE – This is one our family is going to do. We got this idea from a family friend that is in the middle of doing this with their family. We are going to make our own version of the Harlem Shake and post it on our family’s FB page. The challenge is for our relatives in Hawaii to come up with their own video of the same thing. Have you ever seen the Harlem Shake? Here’s one of my favorite versions. There are Harlem Shake apps that you can download to make the video. But the music video challenge can be a dance routine to any song you pick. Have fun with it!

38. HAVE A PIZZA MAKING PARTY – you make the dough, and invite others, assigning them to bring a pizza topping. Divide the dough into mini pizza sizes and let the kids make their own pizzas.

39. MAKE FITNESS GOALS – sit down with your kids and make a fitness goal. It can be walking, running, biking, you choose and decide how many days or miles you will accomplish to complete the goal. Have the kids make a poster to record the progress throughout the summer. Here’s a great example of that.

40. HAVE A BAKE SALE – This one’s a lot of work, but fun, especially is you have a “cause” in mind. One year, my kids and I baked up things to donate for the Tsunami relief in Japan. There are many good things your kids can raise money for and it will make them feel good that they are doing something good.

There’s your list.

Have a great summer!!!

Yours Truly,

The Busy Coconut

A Sunday Moment: Mothers


It’s Mother’s Day and it’s the first Mother’s Day in four years that I have spent without extended family. I have been thinking a lot about the female figures in my life that are all mothers.


My mother and sisters and I. This was in New Zealand, 2005, the one and only time we spent Mother’s Day together. It had been a surprise for my Mother.


My sisters-in-law and my sweet mother-in-law. While living in Hawaii, we started a tradition of going out the night before for Mother’s Day. We have so much fun!! Miss these ladies. I think a trip to Hawaii for Mother’s Day to be with these ladies should be a given. I’m just sayin’.

They are all wonderful women that I have a great time with and am missing them very much on this blessed day.  I have learned something from each of these women, and they have helped me in different ways be the kind of mother I am today. Hopefully, if you ask my kids, they will say that it shows.

This past Wednesday, I had the pleasure of helping put together an activity for our youth and we based it around Mother’s Day. At the end of our game that we played I showed them a video put out by our church. It is a non-denominational video. It is a sweet video, perfectly describing what a MOTHER is.






The Busy Coconut

My Instagrammed Week


It been a busy week. One of the things that I love about Instagram, besides the awesome filters, is that I can keep track of the big and little things that happnen in my life. It’s fun to look back and see what you did. Sometimes, we rush through it and not realize what even happened.

Here’s a recap of my week:



Last week Saturday was a memorable day. We didn’t actually get married last week Saturday, but we did celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary. We went out the night before with the kids and enjoyed a fun evening together.


Besides giving talks in Sacrament, we had people over for dinner . . . . . a new tradition we are trying to adopt monthly.



Monday afternoon, I found my kiddos huddled up in front of the laptop. When questioned what they were watching, the kids laughed and said they were watching the top 5 deaths of Disney movies.

What?! Where is your mother?




Tuesday, Coconut #4 and I worked on his Heritage Belt Loop for Cub Scouts. Did you know they sell mini-projects boards. I thought they were so cool.



Wednesday, I was up bright and early, ready to go  back to running after being absent for about 2 weeks. Proud to report, that I was in the zone, and was able to run non-stop for my whole 5 minute session . . . . . just kidding. It was 25 mins. Baby steps.

Later in the evening, my younger coconuts and I were locked out of the house. So to pass the time, while we waited for someone to come with a key, we played a game I used to play when I was 9. In Tonga we called it, “Moa”, basically a Tongan version of Jacks.


Capturing a motherhood moment for my friend @BellaBeanphoto. If you are interested in joining this cute photo challenge, see details here.


Date night on Friday with my hubby: shopping followed by a movie. Love that one-on-one time to catch-up and relax from the week.

Tell me . . .



Did you know I moved? Don’t worry, I instragrammed it.

I’ve been away for a while. Life has been extra busy here in my home. My husband and I did something crazy and moved our family. I’m no longer in the beautiful state of Hawaii. Moving has been quite the ordeal. It took us 3 months of planning, purging, and packing to get us on our way. Luckily, I’ve jumped on the instagram bandwagon and tried as much as possible to document our move.

Our family has moved many times, so I’ve developed a talent for packing. I have to say that this was the most challenging, but you know me, I never back down from a challenge. By the morning of our flight, I had 14 bags packed and 10 carry-ons ready to go, we were on our way.

Along with the exhaustion of packing, emotions ran high with saying good-byes to wonderful and dear friends and family. Hawaii has been a wonderful place, where my kids learned to love where they are from and who they are.

Hawaii will always be our home.

Where have we taken our family?


Back to the desert. I know, it’s crazy. I think living away from Hawaii, causes us though to have more pride and appreciation in where we are from. We are always asked to share our talents that are unique to the islands when we are on the mainland. In fact, my daughter and I are performing for a luau during the Christmas season. Good times.

Hawaii will still be a part of this blog. Especially now that I’m an island girl in the desert.


My daughter had her birthday couple of weeks ago. It was pretty low key. She just wanted to hang out with her friends. So we planned for them to do s’mores as part of “hanging out”. We were going to do the regular thing of lighting the BBQ, and having the girls roast their marshmallows there. Then I came up with a more fun idea. Remember how I had used the cinder blocks for plants. Well we didn’t need them for that any more, so I thought we could use them for mini-fires for the girls to roast their marshmallows.

We stalked them them three blocks high with the bottom two on their sides. We had the block on the top upright so that the hole in the middle was facing up.

We had made three of these stacks (there were about 9 girls). Then we filled the top with charcoal.

The girls  lit them and thought that that was the coolest thing ev-er. These are 15 year old girls in case you were wondering.

Isn’t that a cute little fire. The block does get hot, so be careful not to get too close.

The girls gathered around the nearest fire, roasted their marshmallow and chatted the night away. It was a fun summer evening. They even let me join in the fun ; )

Our Annual Christmas Card Event


Do you do Christmas cards every year? Is it an event like it is with our family?

Every year I try to put out a Christmas Card to send to all our friends and family. Every year, we pick a picture that happens to have all of us in it and looking at the camera, and if we’re smiling, it’s an added bonus. In the last couple of years, I decided we should deliberately take a nice picture for our Christmas card. I usually make this executive decision on December 20th.

Let me tell you, just figuring out what everyone is going to wear, could have easily been the start of generations of family feuding to come. Once the outfits were picked and donned, we headed out the door to a picturesque spot.

Once we hit our scenic locale, we get into position . . . . . or at least we tried to.

Then it’s time to set that timer.

Whoops! Guess it needed to be set a little longer. Hurry up dear!

The next challenge is getting everyone to look at the camera.  Coconut#5 was pouting. He says we weren’t getting his good side.

I tried to assure him that both sides were fabulous. He started warming up after I told him that.


One more time.


Thank goodness for digital cameras! This was the winner.

Despite the challenges and difficulties that are involved with this annual tradition, it’s one that we look back at and are glad that we do it. One day the kids will thank me.

I’m sure of it.

Either that or I’ll never see a Christmas card from them for the rest of their adult lives.


Merry Christmas!!