Summer is the season to get outside and enjoy the water! Entertain your family with this fun Summer Activity for Kids: Gem Mining! Plus, I’m sharing a quick and easy clean up idea for those muddy little hands and faces when you’re out exploring the great outdoors.
Hi, friends! Are you enjoying the summer? I’ve been doing my best to keep my three little guys busy (and out of trouble). This is one of those great activities that all of the kids love — from age 20 months to 5 years…and counting!
When we were on vacation in North Carolina earlier this summer, one of the kids’ absolute favorite activities was “gem mining.” We spent an hour or so at one of those little side-of-the-road shops where you can buy a bucket of sand and rocks, stand by the rushing water, and sift through the debris to find the hidden treasures. They loved it SO MUCH that they repeatedly asked to do it again…every.single.day…until I recreated the excursion on my own!
So on a recent beautiful sunny morning, the boys and I packed up our bags and headed to one of our favorite local hiking trails in nearby Shenandoah National Park.
We love that the Graves Mill Trail is shaded, cool, and flat. Plus, it runs alongside the Rapidan River, which is gorgeous.
The boys wore their bathing suits and Crocs, and were responsible for carrying their snacks and their “tools.” They brought along buckets, shovels, and sieves.
My hiking backpack was loaded with the baby’s snacks, an extra change of clothes for everyone, a few towels, water, bug spray, sunscreen, my camera, and of course…Wet-Nap® Hands, Face, & Body Cleansing Wipes. When we’re exploring the wilderness (and bringing along food), I always go prepared! I love to let my kids get muddy and wet, but I don’t exactly want them (a) eating the germs with their snacks, or (b) bringing that dirt home in my car!
I grabbed these Wet-Nap® wipes the weekend before when I was on a shopping run at Walmart. I keep at least one set of them in my car at all times as well, since we always seem to have messes that need attention.
We set up “camp” at a wide open stream crossing where the water is clear and shallow. Spencer didn’t waste any time plopping himself down in the dirt and rocks!
The older boys waded out to find the “gems” at the bottom of the river.
We spent the entire morning out in the woods, so when they got hungry and wanted to eat, I was glad that we could at least wipe off our hands before ingesting some food.
Re-fueled, the boys spent a little bit more time “mining” before calling it quits for the day and heading home for a late lunch.
It was the perfect way to spend a morning with my family…and best of all, the clean up was EASY!
How have you been entertaining your children this summer? If you’re heading out on an adventure of your own, be sure to visit Walmart for all your Wet-Nap® needs: 110-Count Hands, Face, & Body Cleansing Wipes, 24-Count Packettes Antibacterial Hand Wipes and 40-Count Canister Antibacterial Hand Wipes.
Looking for more fun summer ideas? Try these favorites: