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Challenge: Summer Fun

Summer Night Hacks

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Bedtime gets a little tricky around here during the summer. Most nights, my kids are in their pajamas and ready for bed even though the sun is still up. Now I love those long days and extra hours of sun, but after being my kids’ cruise director all day long, those early bedtimes can’t come fast enough. But sometimes, the most summer fun happens when it’s dark. So if you’re letting your kids stay up late, here’s a few summer night hacks to keep the summer fun going even when the sun goes down.


Hack a Move Projector- If you’ve seen those fancy outdoor movie projectors and wondered how you can have one without paying a small fortune, this hack is for you.

Here’s What You Need:

  • A box
  • Magnifying glass
  • Black spray paint
  • Black duct tape
  • Cellphone or tablet


Here’s What You Do:

Start by cutting a hole that is the exact size of the magnifying glass. Spray paint the inside of the box with the black paint. Use the duct tape to attach the magnifying glass inside the box. Tape the edges so that no light can get in around the magnifying glass. Put your phone or iPad into the box (be sure to lock the rotation because you need to turn it upside down so the reflection on the screen is right side up) and adjust to focus by propping the phone or tablet up higher in the box, turning up the brightness, or moving it closer to the magnifying glass. Turn the box to a wall or hang a sheet outside to create a screen. Start streaming your movie and use speakers to enhance the sound.

Grab your popcorn, pillows and blankets, and enjoy your outdoor movie projector! You can even fill a baby pool full of pillows and blankets for a comfy outdoor couch while you watch the movie.

Glow-In-The-Dark Chalk- Just because it’s dark outside doesn’t mean your budding artists can’t get creative. Here’s a super easy way to make glow-in-the-dark sidewalk chalk.

Here’s What You Need:

  • Plaster of Paris
  • Glow in the dark paint
  • Water
  • Ice cube trays
  • Petroleum jelly or cooking spray
  • Plastic Cups

Here’s What You Do:

Start by putting a thin layer of petroleum jelly or cooking spray inside the ice trays. Then, add glow-in-the-dark paint into each of the plastic cups and add water. Mix the paint and water and then add the Plaster of Paris a few spoonfuls at a time until the mixture has a thick but not too dry consistency. Pack the mixture into the ice trays until they are full and allow it to dry for at least 10-12 hours.

The glow-in-the-dark paint does need to be charged under light, so leaving it in the sun during the day or holding it up to a light will do the trick.

DIY Personal S’more Pot- It’s not officially summer until you’ve enjoyed a delicious s’more, but you don’t need a campfire to roast those marshmallows. The best part of this hack (besides the yummy s’more) is that it costs just a few bucks and you can make a bunch of these pots for your family and friends—perfect for a BBQ!


Here’s what you need:

  • Small terracotta flower pots
  • Tin foil
  • Charcoal
  • Matches
  • S’more ingredients

Here’s what you do:

Line the pot with foil and fill with charcoal. Light the charcoal and get your marshmallow roasting on. If you need more roasting sticks, wire hangers do the trick.

So enjoy your summer because while it's short, it sure is sweet. And if you let your kids stay up a late, maybe they'll sleep in. Maybe...

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