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Monday, June 09, 2008

Summer Stuff

I've been promising everyone to share my ideas for keeping kids busy in the summer so here ya go... Some are my ideas, some are great websites...I'm sure I could have done better, and I bet you've heard of most of this stuff, but I think it has helped me to feel a little more prepared.

Here are a few basic rules that I've set up for myself.
1. Try not to sleep in.
I think one of the hardest parts of summer is when your schedule gets out of whack...so I'm planning on getting up at the same time. If the kids sleep in, great, it'll give me more quiet time, but I know I need to make sure I'm up and dressed and ready to go...I always feel better if I am dressed and showered with make up on first thing in the morning.
2. Daily exercise.
I'm going to get the kids involved with walks every day (as long as it's not too hot). My kids can get lazy in the summer. I found one website that had this great idea about doing a coin walk. Where you go out the front door and flip a coin...heads you turn left, tails you turn right, and see where you end up.
3. Menus with planned snack times.
I don't want the kids to eat all day long, so I have set up specific snack times that I am going to post on the pantry door.
4. Chores are a necessity.
I have their chore charts ready to go and they will have to have them done before they are allowed to do any of the fun stuff.
5. Summer Reading and Daily Homework
Nothing elaborate, I have some hooked on phonic activities and some work books for Anna, and I want to have reading time everyday. There is a great summer reading program at my library for kids of all ages.
6. One and a half hour of TV or other electronics a day.
I haven't decided if this is too much...what do you think?? I don't want them to turn into TV zombies. But I figure this is how long most movies are so they can choose to watch a movie in the evening or play on the computer for a half an hour and then watch a favorite show. I don't know though??? Maybe they can have a NO TV day once a week.
7. You don't have to have something creative everyday.
I think it's important for kids to use their imagination. Jeff and I are always amazed when we tell the kids "No TV" that they always figure out cool stuff to do. So I know they have it in them. I definitely plan on having crafts and game ideas ready, but I don't think I need to plan a craft every day.

Here are a few of my favorite ideas...

For the first day of summer vacation I am going to give each of the kids (even Audrey) a summer journal with a new fancy pen (dollar store). I'm going to let them decorate the journal. I thought it would be cool if they could write down all the fun and crazy things they do this summer. They can paste in pictures of what we have done and I can help the little ones journal their days.

I also plan on giving them each a disposable camera. I'm going to tell them they can take pictures of whatever they want but if they use all the film in one day that is all the pictures they can take, or they can take one really cool picture a day and the camera will last half the summer. I want to teach them a little bit about taking pictures and what makes good pictures, etc.

Anna and Elizabeth are super excited about doing cooking days. I got the kids aprons and we're going to cook a new fun thing once a week. I thought it would be fun to get some index cards and recipe boxes and let them make their own recipe boxes with their favorite foods.

I've made plans with a couple of friends to go on a field trip once a week. We're going to go to places like the zoo, library, beach, fire house etc.

So, there you have it. Here are some of the websites I've found. Let me know what you decide to do, and if I've missed anything super cool, I need to plan for!


http://www.funattic.com/game_summer.htm

http://familyfun.go.com/arts-and-crafts/season/specialfeature/summer-crafts-to-wear/


http://babyparenting.about.com/od/summerfun/Summer_Fun.htm

http://www.readwritethink.org/beyondtheclassroom/summer/


http://www.amazingmoms.com/htm/summerplay.htm

http://www.amazingmoms.com/htm/summerfunwaterplay.htm

2 comments:

Thibodeau fam said...

These are really great ideas and if you don't mind I will pass along them to my sisters??

I just started a "1 hour a day media time" for my kids. Mostly for Makayla since she is older. She get's 1 free hour of t.v. computer, or x-box a day and the rest has to be earned my picking something from the "chart." I have chores on this and things that need to be done at home. So far this has worked really well and Kayla doesn't just assume that she get's to be on the computer all summer.

Anonymous said...

Nikki, will you be my Mommy! What a fun summer for your kidlettes! I wish I were little and lived with you. I'm sure the rest of the family's moms will benefit from your ideas. Enjoy! Aunt Judy