Thursday, May 21, 2009

School is Out for Summer!!

Yesterday was the last day of school for my kids. You know what that means? It means that my kids will be tagging along for every appointment, every shopping trip and we will be traveling, camping, you name it. What does that mean? It means I have two kids to keep busy. Busy kids are happy kids.

I made up a "Summer" banner and place mats to kick off the season. After my oldest went off to school for the last time this year, I put up my banner and set out the place mats. I just printed it out on photo paper and used a roll of $1 ribbon from the craft store. Stuck together with double sided tape. You may not be able to tell, but the ribbon is stars cut out of a string of felt. (when 4th of July rolls around I will put red white and blue starts along the ribbon instead. Probably with the words "4th of July" or "USA" on them.)
Lately, my boys have liked using their old place mats from pre-school. My nearly 5 year old (just a week and a half to go) wants us all to have place mats. So we have had mismatched place mats for the last month or two. I used my printer to print out some things to cut out and stick to construction paper. I chose to have our names on them along with "Summer Fun", a tropical flower and a beach ball. All in the same colors I made the banner out of. In fact the banner has the same flower on it. I then used a roll of transparent laminate to cover the front and back of my place mats. That way I can wipe them clean and they should last all summer. I made these things all with materials that I already had in the house. Nothing like using what you got!! I like the large size construction paper because it is a good size for a place mat. The smaller 8.5 by 11 sheets are just a bit too small.

I have a plan to sit with the kids and do 1 planned activity with them a day. Meaning, drawing, writing, crafting or what ever strikes our fancy. I don't want them to get out of the habit of sitting down to a task. Especially my soon to be Kindergartner. He really needs the practice. I don't plan to make them into lesson plans because summer is suppose to be fun. I want them to enjoy the activities so they will be things like science experiments and other things that interest my kids.

Our movie theater has a summer movie schedule. Every week they have a different G or PG rated movie for kids. If you buy the pass it is 10 movies for $5. If you buy the tickets the day of (assuming they are not sold out) it is $2 per movie. These prices are per person. Lots of different theaters have programs like this. I bought passes and we will see a movie a week all summer (except 2 because my kids won't want to see 2 of the movies). Still a great bargain.

My local craft store has a $5 and under section. In it they have lots of stuff for kids. I found some mini light bright sets, a fishing game, sling shot air planes, a game that comes it a box that folds out to be the game board, and a couple of peg games. I have two canvas tote bags from summer camp 2 years ago with their names on it. In each bag they will have the above items divided between them. For my older son I will add a pad of paper and markers. For my youngest I will add a small color explosion tablet and pens (made by crayola, part of the color wonder collection). He likes to use the pen to remove the black coating to reveal the colors underneath. They will not get to use anything in these bags when at home. That way when we are waiting someplace or driving someplace or camping they will have something different to keep the from being bored.

Summers around here are hot. Some times hotter than hot. I have taken to having a mini cooler in the van with us. In it I keep, drinks and some snacks. Before we go anywhere, I place a cooler pack in it to keep everything cold. That way, when ever they need a drink, they will have something cold. I hang a plastic grocery bag from the arm of my seat for a trash bag. It really helps keep my van clean. Oh yeah, baby wipes clean up spills, hands and faces nicely.
I also keep sun block in my van and a change of clothes. Especially during monsoon season. One time we were at the zoo when the sky opened up and we got soaked trying to run back to the van. Luckily I had towels (because we were going to go swimming) and a change of clothes. In the van I was able to dry off my dripping wet, soaked through and through kids and put them in clean clothes. Ever since then, during monsoon season, I have a towel and a change of clothes in my van. Another essential are baby quilts. The car seats get hot, burning hot. I cover the seats with the quilts when we get out of the van. That way the buckles don't get very hot.

1 comment:

Deb said...

I love the idea of baby quilts to cover the seats! And the cooler in the van! And the traveling/waiting bag. Hmmmm. . .my wheels are turning!

Have a fun summer! We still have 9 1/2 days. . .