My 4 year old has been out of preschool for two weeks now. That means I am now home with two small children (4 yrs and 2 yrs) with no break of even a few hours of preschool to mix things up several days a week. As all you mammas of small children out there know oh so well, that makes for long, looonnng days. As her last week of school approached I will admit I was pretty panicked. (Well, ok more like sheer terror).
But thank you oh innernets you have saved me once again. After researching some local summer camp options and realizing that I really can’t afford to send her to any of them (still have day care costs on the days when I’m at work), I came across some an inspired and fabulous mommy over at Creekside Learning who created a whole literacy based curriculum and I had my ah-ha moment. I’d create a 12 week literacy based summer curriculum to keep my kids entertained with a range of crafts, activities, printables and more all based on a book that we either already have and love or would love to discover and read. So I set out picking the books. I did some research on literacy based curriculum planning and then some research on childrens literature (including recent book preschool book lists and award winners) and after much searching and discovery came up with the following summer curriculum reading list:
Week 1: Pinkalicious by Elizabeth Kann and Victoria Kann
Week 2: Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Week 3: Fancy Nancy Bonjour Butterfly by Jane O’Connor
Week 4: Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet by Jane O’Connor
Week 5: Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
Week 6: Brown Bear Brown Bear by Eric Carle
Week 7: Olivia Goes to Venice by Ian Falconer
Week 8: Madeline and the Cats of Rome by John Bemelmans Marciano
Week 9: The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss
Week 10: Little Cloud by Eric Carle
Week 11: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff and Felicia Bond
Week 12: Kite Flying by Grace Lin
The selection of the books was a fun process for me and led to the discovery of some great new books that we’ll be getting (like Oliva Goest to Venice). But the criteria for book selection was loosely as follows:
1) we already had the book:
2) there are activities related to the book:
3) we want to read the book and if the book is fun and sufficiently summerly.
The other factor I took into consideration was trying to get a mix of books for both ages of kids (4 yr old and the 2 yr old) and while some of these books, like The Very Hungry Caterpillar, are beneath my 4 yr old’s reading level, they are beloved books for her and *should* be met with a warm reception anyway.
Each week I’ll have a mini-curriculum ready to go with activities and fun for each book. For example, in Week 1 Pinkalicious week which starts this week (YAY!) I’ve got the following activities planned:
– Make strawberry lemonade
– Cupcake counting craft and math game via Creekside Learning
– Let the girls wear pink all week (if they want) via Creekside Learning
– Make pinkalicious glue for crafting via Creekside Learning
– Make a pinkalcious wand via Creekside Learning
– Play with pinkalicious paper dolls (Ok, so we took our kids on a very rare outing to Burger King last weekend and imagine my surprise that the kids meals toys and box were Pinkalicious themed! YAY! Now, I have pinkalicious paperdoll templates I can cut and glue onto popcicle sticks for the girls for this week’s theme!)
– Create a Pinkalicious activity book via Creekside Learning
– Do Pinkalcious printables (including word matches, coloring and much more) at the official Pinkalicous website called Think Pinkalcious which has tons of other great resources, too!
– Listen to the Pinkalicious The Musical soundtrack (um, maybe…)
– Watch some snippets of the broadway musical of Pinkalicious (yeah, who knew, eh?)
– Watch/listen to Pinkalicous read by Victorian Kann on Barnes and Noble Online Storytime
– And of course, make PINK CUPCAKES (“Pink I said, Pink, Pink, Pink!”)
You get the point… basically have a handful of activities, crafts and games at the ready all based around the main book for that week. That way, when it’s only 9:15 in the morning and we’ve already painted, crafted and played outside and the kids are bouncing of the walls I can whip out yet another Pinkalicous activity and it seems somehow connected, relevant, at the ready.
I have to admit, I’m excited. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun and it definitely helps ease my terror of just what the heck we’re going to do all summer long. Plus it allows me to have fun “playing teacher” and even lets me use a teacher’s curriculum like this one via Fabulous Classroom for Pinkalicious week. But perhaps most importantly it somehow fools my brain into thinking that I won’t be quite so unprepared or taken off guard for the looong days of summer with my two kiddos. It lulls me into a sense of calm knowing that when things get rough I have the 12 week summer curriculum to lean on. (Shwew!… I feel better already.)
We’ll see how it works out and I’ll likely be posting some updates on it throughout the summer if you’d like to hear how it’s working out for us. Unless of course it crashes and burns but if that happens I’ll let you know that, too. (And maybe *then* I’ll have to splurge for summer camp anyway.)
There are SO many blogs and resrouces out there for creating your own summer literacy based curriculum. Here are just a few of my favorites that I found in this process:
What do you think? Am I delusional? Or, are you planning a summer literacy based curriculum too? What books and activities do you have lined up? What are your favorite blogs and resources for planning activities? I’d love to hear from you!
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. There are no affiliate links in here. I’m not making a nickel off any of these selected books. Just another tired mamma trying to keep her kiddos entertained during the long summer days. All thoughts and opinions about the internet being AWESOME and reading being way cool are my own.