Summer is coming….

Summer is comingIt’s been a weird few days. We had a few big storms roll through over a span of two days, which didn’t end up directly affecting us, but it still was enough to cancel school, move exams, and shorten work hours. As we waited out two afternoons of storm systems to move through, we spent the mornings prepping by spending as much time outside as possible. Which got me thinking about what I am going to do with the boys this summer….

If you live in the deep south you know that you get to a point in the summer where you can only be outside in either the early morning, late evening, or if you have a sprinkler continually running. Which means downtime. Which means CRAZINESS. Knowing that I have about two months of continual kid time, I am approaching this summer with a game plan, and thought I’d share!

1. Kid-Shared Activities. I usually pick a combination of two to three planned activities for A to do. This summer it’s two weeks of morning swim lessons, a week of little gym camp with his cousin, and art in the afternoon with friends (I am totally copyrighting that, ha!).

2. Early Morning/Late Afternoon Easy Ideas Free Play. This includes things like play-doh, searching for treasure in the sand table (I am switching out the rocks and putting it back to sand this year), Legos, Coloring, and Cars. Easy to get out, but these only entertain for so long.

3. Learning Plans. Now this is where my serious game planning starts. I’ve come up with four sets of different activities to do throughout the summer based on what A likes to learn about (because after all it’s summer), and what J could easily participate in as well.

First up, reading & writing

Reading & Writing[1][2][3][4]

With A, we are going to work on tracing and recognizing words. My Mom gave me four boxes of the sight word set you see above, and last summer I created sight word snack time. Being typical A, he totally remembers this and wants to do it again. I like them because they are not picture oriented, so you really have to sound out and learn the word (not just guess it). The other plan I have is to create our own poems. The book Hi, Koo is about a panda who experiences the seasons and it’s all written in Haiku form. We are going to learn about what a Haiku is and create our own.

With J, I am working on letter and picture recognition and talking. He LOVES flash cards in boxes like the ones the two above come in because he can sort and stack them himself. I also have found them to be pretty indestructible.

Second, numbers & counting:

Numbers & Counting[1][2][3][4]

For A, we are going to work on tracing numbers, recognizing amounts, and simple addition. You may remember the Panda book (I don’t know why I have a theme of Pandas this summer, but I’m going with it) from a Friday Favorites post. Turns out, it is all about counting and seeing amounts. A loved it! I like the tactile use of something like an abacus to slide and see amounts and be able to compare.

With J, I am working on him learning how to count with his fingers, and also recognizing animals (again flash cards), and amounts.

Third, geography & world history:

Geography & World History[1][2][3][4]

Again, I am thinking of these topics because of what A is interested in right now and talks about. The two puzzles above are both large floor puzzles, which means the boys can assemble them together. A is very interested about where places are, and about those places, so this gives him a true visual of where countries and continents are located. Two of his favorite places he is interested in right now are China (my parents are taking a trip there), and San Francisco (I was born outside of San Francisco and still have family there….I think part of his interest is my favorite sweatshirt says San Francisco on it). I found two great books about both these places.

Fourth, arts and crafts:

Art[1][2][3][4]

So a good friend of mine (and frequent poster on here….thanks!) said, “hey do you want to teach the kids some art and art history?”, I was mulling around the idea when I found the art lab books above. These books are AWESOME. They do a lot of what I have been blogging about with my art history lessons for the boys. With that in mind, I decided I could come up with some projects and lessons for the kids to do this summer.

In addition I am working on colors with J, and I love every book Michael Hall has written. The combination of graphics and bright colors always entrance the boys.

And I came about with all of these ideas because I was on a search for the craft book. The crafts range from simple to more complex, and will provide some great morning and mid afternoon activities throughout the summer.

4. Our trip to the city:

Washington D.C. Metro MapOur big trip of the summer is to B’s parents house outside of Washington, D.C. A is VERY excited about it! I am pretty sure he is most excited about riding the metro. He has a map like the one above in his room and we have already been picking out where places are (like the museums and the zoo), and where Nana and Grandpa live off of the metro map.

5. Gardening:

Childrens GardenBesides our little set of potted herbs and flowers my Dad has been working on prepping some of their land to create a garden. The boys and I are looking forward to helping plant and maintain the garden throughout the summer.

6. Outdoor activities. Bike riding, chalk drawing, picnics, sprinkler obstacle courses. I also am planning a moon watching “late night” picnic for A one evening.

Phases of the moonAnd that’s it so far! I am now off to calculate my items and see what we already have, what I need to purchase, and what to check out from the library. Happy summer activity planning!

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