Summertime, summertime, sum, sum, summertime…..I am a huge fan of summer and sunshine!! We are almost two weeks into our break, and it’s been a free for all of activities. Parks, play, and chaos!! After week one we clearly needed a “plan.” As we near the end of week two, we desperately need a “PLAN!”
I believe learning is a lifestyle. There are lessons found in almost everything we do. In the summer I prefer to set textbooks aside and think of learning as exploration and creativity. Given that I’m a tad bit OCD, I like to make a proposed plan to explore and create…..without micromanaging….quenching…..whatever you want to call it.
Summer Adventure Kits
We have eagerly begun our summer with one consistent activity in Thrive Magazines Around the World in 60 Days!! The resources are all available online, so check it out!!! In a nutshell, we are exploring 27 different countries in 60 days. We are learning about different countries and cultures in a really fun and often hands-on way. We are reading scripture daily and most importantly, praying for the countries we are learning about!!!
(update: this site now offers several kit options)
As we go into next week, we are officially beginning our family’s summer activities. Year-round I create a calendar that I can note our scheduled activities. I keep the calendar in a binder that is easily accessible by the entire family, and also holds the documentation to go with scheduled activities. Our binder currently holds our calendar, passports for Around the World in 60 Days, summer reading logs, local library schedule, and a park list.
There are many programs for summer reading. We participated in Barnes and Nobles program last year. The littles were so pleased with last year’s accomplishments that we had to buy them each a new book when we picked up this year’s reading logs at our local store. Hmmm….marketing gimmick?!? When my kids are excited about reading, kudos Barnes and Noble, I’m all in!!!
Some of the programs I’ve found online are:
- Barnes and Noble Imaginations Destination – kids grades 1-6 get a free book when they read 8.
- Book It Summer Reading Program sponsored by Pizza Hut.
- Chuck E Cheese Reading Incentive Chart – Earn tokens after two weeks of reading. (update: this link is now to their homepage to search for the current year’s program or check with your local area Chuck E Cheese.)
- Scholastic has a summer reading challenge. (update: link now leads to their homepage to search for current year’s challenge.)
The local library can be a great resource for summer activities. Many city and county libraries host summer programs. In our area, we enjoy a weekly program or craft activity at our neighborhood branch. The library is one of our favorite destinations, so we are always excited to attend the summer programs and pick up a few books.
We are very blessed to live in a community with several public parks. Park time is certainly the favorite summer activity for the littles. A mom from our church makes a summer list of parks for regular group play dates. The kids enjoy the play and the moms enjoy the fellowship. If you don’t have a park group, start one.
Much of our summer revolves around the options available in our activity jar. As soon as the jar comes out, it seems to beacon each little to pull an activity. They enjoy the new ideas and even giggle over the risk of pulling a chore.
Feeling bored and don’t know what to do?
Go ahead and draw an activity….or two…
You must do the activity you draw
or extra chores could be in store for all…..
Some restrictions may apply.
The jar cannot be held responsible if you pull an unpleasant activity.
See mom for official rules and details.
I know, I know, I’m not a poet, but the littles think it’s fun.
Here is my Activity Jar list. I have tried to consider activities that the littles can perform independently. As they get older they are constantly growing in computer knowledge. I have bookmarked some sites that go with the activity jar. I carefully monitor their computer usage!! Although many ideas are my own, I have gleaned ideas from other sites over a few years. I apologize that I did not note the sites to give credit where it is due.
Each week of summer I attempt one mom-planned activity. For example, last year the idea of “make a lemonade stand and give free drinks to any neighbors that stop by” was a planned activity. Over the week the littles made a stand and enjoyed blessing the neighbors with refreshing lemonade.
Less involved activities can include:
- Freeze action figure in bowls of water that can only be saved by melting with squirt guns.
- Make homemade bubbles and wands.
- Go on a local hike or walking path.
- Take a bike ride around the neighborhood or bike path.
- Make fun crafts.
What fun are you planning this summer??