I've been reading people's posts about summer plans with great interest, and finally decided to come up with a schedule to organize our weeks so that the days and weeks don't blend into one another. Because my kids are little- 3 years and 11 weeks- many of the other lists were too advanced for us, so I will share mine here in case there are other parents of wee ones who want to join in. I have chosen a theme for each week, and we will sometimes include trips to the library to check out related materials in addition to the activities I've listed. I'm sure we won't get to all of these things, but it helps me to have some sort of framework. Feel free to leave comments with suggestions of activities, books, movies, etc. that apply. Also, for those of you in the Ann Arbor/ Detroit area, many of my themes correspond to activities which will take place locally during those times, so check them out.
June 10-16 Gardening
Plant Seedlings and Seeds in Garden.
Craft: Paint rocks for plant markers.
Plan any other gardening projects.
Find leaves and flowers to press.
Book: Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots- a really great book about gardening with kids including making a pizza garden, a sunflower house, and a moonflower teepee.
June 17-23 Insects
Start worm box (compost)
Craft: Start bug collection (since my son is only three, I plan on giving him bug clip art to color, and then mounting them like a bug collection in one of the display boxes from the Martha Stewart craft collection available at Michael's-- for older kids, why not do the real thing?)
Craft: Cut an egg carton in half longitudinally and paint with tempera, add pipe cleaners to head for antenna)
Book: The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Movie: A Bug's Life
June 24-30 Recycling
Craft: Paper Mache
Craft: Make a toy by recycling a piece of clothing. (We're going to make a hobby horse with a measuring stick for the pole.
Movie: Trashy Town
Fieldtrip: The Scrap Box
July 1-7 Wings
Make a list of things that fly.
Make paper airplanes- have a contest to see which ones fly the furthest.
Fly a kite.
Fieldtrip: Visit the airplane exhibit at the Henry Ford Museum.
Fieldtrip: Airshow at Willow Run with Daddy and Grandpa Matt.
July 8-14 Water
Have a beach party.
Fieldtrip: Visit a water park.
Fieldtrip: Go fishing.
Movie: Finding Nemo.
Fieldtrip: Visit an aquarium.
Craft: With the help of a parent- make a toy fishing pole with a magnet on the end of a line, and little felt fish with washers inside so that you can "catch" the fish.
July 15-21 Art
Craft: Try a new medium such as clay.
Visit an art museum or artist's studio.
Organize an art exhibit in your home- hang artwork exhibition style and have your family over to see it.
Fieldtrip: Ann Arbor Art Fair.
Craft: Make an artist's smock- with the help of a parent.
July 22-28 Our World
Visit an ethnic neighborhood such as Chinatown.
Prepare food from other cultures or go to an ethnic restaurant.
Listen to music from other cultures. (Putamayo recordings are great)
Craft: Make a musical instrument out of household goods that is used in the music you listened to: example- turn an old oatmeal container into a drum.
Camp out under the stars.
July 29-August 4 Our Neighborhood
Craft: Build a town out of boxes- painted or covered with paper.
Craft: Draw a map of your neighborhood, or find a map of your neighborhood, and mark the houses of your friends.
Fieldtrip- Visit a municipal building such as a town hall, or a local museum.
Craft: Design a flag for your town and attach it to a stick or dowel.
August 5-11 Our Family
Craft: Make a family tree.
Craft: Make a photo album, or buy one and fill with photos of your family.
Make a home movie.
Craft: Design a family crest.
Send a letter to your Grandma.
Designate one day of the week for each member of the family, and let them choose activities and meals for that day.
Fieldtrip: Richey-White family reunion.
August 12-18 Zoo Animals
Craft: Make paper bag puppets of zoo animals.
Movie: Curious George
Fieldtrip: go to Binder Park Zoo with Grandma Barb.
August 19-25 Safety
Have a firedrill.
DVD: Danger Rangers
Fieldtrip: Take cookies to the firemen at the fire station.
Fieldtrip: Muster at the Michigan Firehouse Museum, Ypsilanti August 25, 10AM-3PM
August 26-September 1 School Days
Craft: Make a scrapbook of "What I Did This Summer."
Gather school supplies.
Craft: Make or decorate a special lunch pail or bag.
Schedule a playdate with a friend you won't see as much during the school year.
I just found this great blog to help us through these summer days-- Little Elephants.
And I always assume that everyone knows about uptoten.com for kids games, but just wanted to mention it to be sure. It's a favorite here. (We only play the free part)
And here's a craft that will keep your little one occupied for a little bit. Roll kraft paper out and tape to the floor, trace around your kid, and let them color themselves in. This one was colored with my help. Date it and store it away. Repeat occasionally and compare the new one to the old one.