Friday, May 23, 2014

School's out for summer.....now what??????

http://www.pinterest.com/marcylauren/summer-fun-with-kids/

 Here are a few of our Favorite ideas that will keep your little ones having fun all summer long!
Be sure to visit Simply Sprout on Pinterest for more ideas

1. Use permanent paint markers or stickers to decorate smooth river stones. Have children use them to create a story or to remember an event from their summer.

2. Transform that old t-shirt to a fun summer art smock or pool cover up. Use sharpie markers and rubber bands to create a one of a kind tye dyed look.

3. Use those science and math skills to whip up a batch of sidewalk chalk, freeze it into a popsicle mold. Take them outside onto the blacktop for some frozen fun.

4. Who needs a flat Stanley when you could have your very own pet rock. Have your little ones use craft paint and permanent markers to create their very own pet rock. Have them keep a journal to tell about the pet rock's summer adventures, take photos of the pet rock on trips, outings etc. Your child will have a great time reminiscing about their summer adventures all while strengthening their writing skills.

5. Have some fun with sight words, use chalk to write the alphabet onto the driveway. Give kids some sponge bombs soaked in water and let the fun begin. Call out sight words and have them spell them by tossing the sponge to the correct letter, this also works great with math facts.

6. Bring your backyard to life with a color wheel scavenger hunt. Use a color wheel or paint swatch to have kids find items that match the colors. Great activity to introduce or review colors with little ones.


With just a few days left of school my little ones are counting down the moments til summer. They are ready for a little more freedom and fun. Late nights, pool days and fun with friends are on the horizon. But with all that fun they still need a little bit of structure....let's face it the teacher in me needs it too. Last summer for a lot of reasons we were in survival mode, a vacation here or there, lots of lazy days spent in jammies and more rainy days than I could count. This summer I decided to take a different approach. While I love to go with the flow ( Just ask Amanda....it drives her crazy) I wanted to make sure that my kids knew what to expect each day and made sure that we built in some time to our day when we could keep the academics going along with the fun. Above you will see our summer schedule. Each day has a theme. My goal was to not be running all over town from activity to activity, I also didn't want to spend a fortune on fancy activities, projects and toys, I want to make memorable moments that my children enjoy and hopefully help them to appreciate the simple moments that make summer fun! So here's a look at our week...

Monday: Make it Monday
We will create an art project or craft, these are the days where we will break out the glitter, special markers, paints etc. and get around to some of those things that we have pinned on Pinterest.

Tuesday: Learn & Earn Tuesday
Tuesday is our day for some learning fun, trips to the library, educational playdates with friends, making books (Kids love this!) , trying out a new science activity with stuff in our pantry or whatever inspires learning for the day. On this day we will also be going to the Library and checking out books (It is FREE and has AC... two huge bonuses in my summer book). It is so important to keep kids reading and practicing those sight words over the summer, so the library is a great activity. In the afternoons this will be our "Earning time" the kids (age 6 and 3) both have a few chores (cleaning their rooms, laundry, helping with vacuuming etc) if they get their chores done they will earn a $1...which they will need in order to go to the movies each Wednesday. 

Wednesday: Movie Day
Our local movie theater is doing summer movies for kids for just a $1! If my kids earn their money each week then we will go to the movie theater, if they haven't we might do a movie at home (if all of their chores are done :) ) Since we will be inside all morning the afternoon is the perfect time to take a dip in the pool, play in the sandbox and water table, or just spend some time outside.

$1 Movie schedule 2014

Thursday: Neighborhood Thursday
While its fun to spend summer days out and about our goal is to stay closer to home so Thursdays will be spent on our street, and in our neighborhood. Get out make some new friends, go to your local park, take a walk, have a picnic, ride bikes, roller skate, draw on the sidewalk whatever it is that keeps you in your neighborhood ( and out of your car!) Enjoy time outside before the hot afternoon settles in. In the afternoon use that time for some indoor play, my kids love to dress up and put on shows (rainy summer afternoons are perfect for this)

Friday: Fun Friday
Fridays are our days when anything goes, it's kid's choice. We might take a day trip, or visit a local park or museum, have lunch with friends etc. Having one day a week for some around town fun will be a happy balance for our week.

Each day we will still have a nap time / quiet time. My youngest still takes naps (Thank GOD!) During this time I will be working with my Daughter ( a rising first grader) on some enrichment activities or her reading skills, so much academic sliding happens during the summer keep those skills fresh by practicing reading, keeping a writing journal and practicing those math facts.

If you would like to give this schedule a try click on the image below and print (works best if you save image and insert it into a word document.) Just add your own text for activities and times that work best for your family.

Here is one that is blank so you can create your own days


While I know that my schedule won't work for everyone it is something to think about, how will you create meaningful memories for your kids, foster learning and not break the bank? We would love to hear how other moms survive and thrive during the summer. Leave us a comment below.


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