|Making Pinkalicious Week Cupcakes|
So last week the girls and I started my 12 week summer literacy based curriculum. And, I have to say it actually went pretty darn well. My older daughter was thrilled that there was a “theme” to the week and sort of used it as a touchstone for how to dress and what to expect. Pinkalicious week was a perfect choice except it may have set the bar a little high. I’m going to have to get pretty creative for the next 11 weeks to keep up with our first week for sure. This week our book is The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle so it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out given it was picked with my younger (2 yr old) daughter in mind. I’m hopeful that the older one will have fun with it too!
But if planning a 12 week literacy based summer curriculum isn’t really your thing (and truly I can appreciate that it probably isn’t) there are still SO many fun ideas to keep your kids engaged and keep you from going insane during these looong summer days.
First off, you’ve probably seen a lot of buzz about summer bucket lists lately. Lots of mommy bloggers have posted theirs and they offer cute and fun ideas to beat the heat and have fun this summer. Look some up on Pinterest and you’ll be amazed at the number of ideas you can use this summer. Like this one from Dine and Dish (which ok, I love because it has so many food related activities – yay!) or this cute one from The Iowa Farmers Wife. There are soooo many of these out there. Troll them for inspiration and sit down with your kids to make your own!
Then, I was thrilled to discover there are lots of great FREE virtual summer camps and classed (the operative word being free here of course). Did you know that the awesome Melissa & Doug toy company is holding an online Camp Sunnypatch which has “all the fun of summer camp right In your own backyard” this summer. It’s currently in Week 2 and each week has a theme and even giveaways! This week’s post is by Melissa & Doug Blog Ambassador and “Camp Counselor” Amy from the amazing Teach Mama. She offers up a great summertime twist on an old standby with water bottle freeze tag. My kids will FLIP for this – can’t wait to try it on the next sweltering hot day!
Michaels, every crafty mama’s mecca, is also offering a FREE Passport to Imagination series this summer from June 19th through July 28th with free in-store craft events that let kids travel the world through 54 fun and educational craft projects. You don’t even have to preregister (bonus for procrastinating mammas like me). You just show up and have fun! What I love about this is that you could have many related activities around geography and social studies based on the countries being highlighted. For event times and locations, see their Passport to Imagination website. Or stop in to pick up a free event brochure at your local Michaels.
And while they do charge, I happened to be in JoAnn fabric a lot recently (you know, stocking up on felt for 12 weeks of literacy based summer curriculum activities) and saw that they’re offering Kids’ Camp! with classes for “all ages” on sewing, cake decorating, quilting, knit and crochet, jewelry making, painting, papercrafting and more. Unfortunately, after checking the classes the “all ages” didn’t exactly mean kids aged 4 (most classes are for ages 8 and older or ages 5-8). But still. A fun idea and not too terribly expensive. (Average class seemed to run about $35 for a 3 hour session).
Just a few more ideas to help keep you and your littles learning and having fun this summer. Do you know of other free or almost free summer “camps” this summer? I’d love to hear about them. Please share!