While trying to figure out some fun ways to come up with combining learning and summer, my husband mentioned an idea, which has taken on a life of its own. The general idea is to enter a whole bunch of fun, inexpensive or free, and responsible ideas for summer activities into a hat and let your kids draw to “pick” the activity. The thought is to still get some school work done, while breaking the monotony of summer boredom that can set in with young kids.
I sat the twins down and asked them what fun things they wanted to accomplish this summer? First was having a camp out in the backyard, next was Super Hero Day, Princess for a Day, and on and on the ideas came. They were so excited about the concept that they wanted to start immediately! I put them all in a table in Word and then cut them out, reviewed them with the kids (where they added about 7 more!) and threw them in a magic hat. We played rock paper scissors to see who would draw first. Our first fun day was Orange Day – where everything you wear is orange, and I painted their fingernails orange. They even invited their Auntie to participate, which was a fun way to get family support. They were very excited to get up and get going. It was a nice change to the normally sleepy and resistant kiddos I have early in the morning.
Below is a list of some of the things we came up with, to help you brainstorm:
Go to the local Beach for the Day
Go to the Ocean for the day (about a 2-hour one-way trip)
Go to the Movies
Pick a New Park Day
Art Day (making your own Art Gallery & they have added they want to have an Art Show for their family)
Take Your Bikes to the Park Day
Teach the kids to walk our dog on a leash
Explore a new water/spray park
Making and Delivering treats to family members
Picking up litter day
Super Hero for a Day
Backwards Day (where you also have to talk backwards!)
Scavenger Hunt with Daddy Day (this one I’m excited about – it will be one where you have to drive to places and take pictures, but you could also do this activity in your local neighborhood)
Where’s Waldo Day (travel around and take pics with Waldo, then send off to family members and plot the pictures and locations on a huge map)
Orange Day (already done!)
Learn to Cook your favorite dinner
Learn to bake your favorite treat
Movies at home day (this is next)
The list and the options are endless, ours goes on so much I am not sure we will get it all done before summer is out. The rule we made was if the kids draw something that requires travel (such as the Ocean) we are allowed a day or two to plan it and if the weather allows it. The idea is to be spontaneous, but responsible as well.
On a side note, I was thinking of taking pictures of each of the days and generating a small memory book for them. Our kids really enjoy looking at pictures so this would be a wonderful keepsake of a fun summer memory.
Have a fun summer!