Thursday, May 28, 2009

"What are we going to do today?"

Summertime is here. As hard as it was for me to adjust to having my children in school 5 days a week last Fall, it is equally challenging for me to keep them engaged and learning this Summer. Especially since only one of them still naps! Fourteen hours a day for the next 80 days feels bit intimidating.

We are planning to attend several morning day camps, but the last few days have reminded me there will still be A LOT of hours to fill. I don't want to be overly structured-- I am all about staying in pjs and resting. However, since that seems to only get my crew to about 8:45, I like to always have a few activities in my back pocket to keep things exciting (and it seems to keep squabbling at bay!) 

A couple of Summers ago I remember reading that Shannon had her children make a list of lots of fun things they could do during their Summer break. Whenever one of them said those dreaded words, "I'm Bored" they were sent to the fish bowl to pull out an idea. 

I adapted that idea this morning to colorful notecards. The children and I brainstormed about places we could go (yellow or orange cards) or activities we could do around the house (blue cards). I am hopeful this will allow me to make some choices based on time involved and money. I am also wondering how I can creatively add some chores to the envelope. :-)

This is still a work in progress so I am not sure if I will have the Leader of the Day choose or if we will randomly pull things from the big envelope. (I am open to suggestions...) Either way, it feels good to have some ideas that the children helped generate at my fingertips.

Our cards range from various playgrounds around town to one hour road trips to the zoo or a childrens' museum. In home activities vary from playing the Wii to baking a cake or making snow cones.  During a very quick google search this morning, I came across this list that may help with generating ideas. I am sure there are more resources out there.

Here's to Summer!

11 comments:

The Layne Family said...

If you're not doing the summer reading program at the library, you can still sign them up. They get a lot of free kid's meals and free passes to the museum, baseball, skating, bowling, and movies when they complete 20 hours of reading being read to. Also, we are heading to the inflatible place today after lunch if you're interested. It's $5 day!! :o)

Love Being a Nonny said...

I remember those days of keeping little ones occupied during the summer. My three loved anything with water. The water sprinkler and a wading pool were enough to keep them satisfied on those long summer days. At the age of your three, we still had *quiet time* in the afternoons. One hour on their own bed....with toys or books or music....anything as long as they stayed on their bed. It was time for me as much as it was for them. If they were tired enough, they fell asleep. If after and hour they were awake, I assumed it meant they didn't need the sleep. Sounds like you are going to have a great summer! Have fun!

MEGAN said...

If the kids like to bake you could bake different things for breakfast (and try to make the recipes healthy), like banana bread, or muffins...or just bake treats and give them to friends/family. Water sports in the backyard are fun, cheap movie theatres in the area, camping in the backyard, hide and seek. Hope those 80 days aren't too exhausting for you!

Traci said...

Take them to do a tour of the capital building one day- it's usually free and many times they get to make "famous people" or lawmakers- we met the governor quite by accident on the elevator in Nashville. Another fun thing is the farmers market with disposable cameras- tell them to take pictures of as many different colors/things as they can and then let them make a collage on posterboard on another day with their pictures.

JMom said...

I love the ideas. Keep them coming!!!

Sarah said...

You may have already heard of this website, but I think it has some great ideas. I plan on using some of the ideas this summer with my 2 year old. It goes up to age 5, but some of the activities might be too young for your little ones. Good luck!

http://www.productiveparenting.com

Felicia said...

it is so funny you posted about this b/c it's all I've been talking about! It's only week 1 and I feel like we've done half of what was on our original list to try to keep them busy! :) Thanks for posting the site (and thanks for the other suggestions everyone else). Hopefully they will help me, too! :) Just think though..summer is even shorter now than it was for our parents who had to entertain us. :)

Keri Ann said...

I can't speak from experience yet, since summer is still only 4 days old for us, but I'm pleased so far with the idea (definitely dropped into my head by the Holy Spirit)to have themed days of the week. So this summer we're going to have...

Movie Monday -- borrow a movie from the church library on Sunday and make a big production out of watching it on Monday.

ArTistic :-) Tuesday -- do some painting, a craft, something music-related, even cooking or baking counts since it's a creative endeavor...

Wild Wednesday -- I chose this theme for Wed. because that's the day my girls will be going to Summer Camp at My Gym, but I'm also going to make that our day for exploring new playgrounds or doing other "wild" physical activity; also possibly a day for the zoo? :-)

Thinking Thursday -- our library's storytime is on this day, so we'll attend that, then check out books; then we'll focus on other "thinking" activities -- reading the books we checked out, doing science experiments, playing board games...

Field Trip Friday -- this will be the day we venture out on fun visits to museums and other local attractions (weather- and budget-limited, of course)

We're really excited about this plan...ask me in August if it worked! :-)

Anyway, maybe this will spark some thoughts for you...? (And I'm sorry this comment is so long!!)

Kara Lyn said...

My sister found a great site a few years ago that we now use every summer. We order the workbooks and have the kids go through a couple pages each day to keep what they have learned in school all year fresh! I haven't had time to check out the website fully but here it is...

http://www.summerbridgeactivities.com/

Tara said...

Love the ideas shared so far! Thanks.

Bethany said...

Thanks so much for all the ideas! I'll be nannying again this summer and started a list of things to do with the kids- so I'll keep adding!