Summer comes and I'm trying to figure how to make sure our summer doesn't go by without anything happening. I know that if I don't take some time out, it will fly by and I won't know where it went.
A couple of years ago, Rebecca and I started doing a Summer Camp with our kids. We took turns going to each other's house once a week. We sat down and thought out what we wanted to teach our kids and what we wanted to get accomplished. We came up with a theme and then we tried to have several different things to reinforce that theme, like making something hands on, and a song etc.
This year we have the following planned (in no particular order):
Cultural Day- Learn about Denmark (that is where a major part of our ancestors were from.)
We love aebleskiver. This is our Dad with a bowl of aebleskiver (isn't he cute?! We love him!). We like our aebleskiver with butter and Jam inside of them.
We printed maps for coloring and labeling cities.
We will teach the kids a Danish folk song and learn some Danish (from our Dad who lived there for a few years...hence my name;) We will make some Danish flags and find some fun facts about Denmark. We always try to add a fun craft as well. These are heart baskets that the Dane's make:
Make A Movie Day - We will have the kids make up a movie. They have to write it out and then act it out and film it. They have to come up with their own props and costumes. Each kid will have a part in it.
Photography Day - We will go over some very basic ideas about how to take pictures.
We will talk about the parts of the camera. The kids will each get to take pictures of each other. We will reinforce picture taking with a picture scavenger hunt. The kids will all get to see the pictures on the computer and they each got to pick some pictures to have printed. We will use the best pictures to make camp books.
Reading Day - This is a favorite of ours, since our family is crazy about reading. We get to wear our pajamas and bring a favorite book to read for the rest of the group. Then we will talk about the parts of a story and let the kids each write and illustrate their own book. I have a binding machine to put it together like a book.
Patriotic/Service Day - We will talk about our country and why we are fortunate to live here. We will make some goodies and take them to a local firehouse as a thank you for service people (you have to call ahead and see if it is ok to do.)
Nature Day - This will be in July so we will plant pumpkins for the fall. Mom always said that you plant pumpkins on the 4th of July if you want them for Halloween. We will also plant some seeds in clear cups so the kids can watch them grow. We are going to make birdhouses out of recycled household materials.
Water Day - It is hot here so we will have a ball with water day! We have all kinds of games outside, like an obstacle course with water balloons. We will go swimming and then we have a potato sack race.
Science Day - This is also a favorite. I have a book and we go online to find all kinds of different science experiments. Some we would like to try are: Scratch & Sniff Watercolors, Sparkle Bottle, Invisible Ink, Squishy Balls, Instant Volcano.
Sports Day - We will talk about the different positions on a team and then have a soccer scrimmage, Baseball/Tball, Basketball, Volleyball, Racquetball,
Constellation day before Camping - I have a cute constellation book that talks about the story behind the constellations and then shows the orientation of the constellations. We like to do this before we go camping so they can identify some constellations while we are outside.
Rebecca here, it's funny that Anjeanette is posting on this because I also thought of some of these same things. It is important to me to have a plan. Otherwise, life just happens and you don't accomplish those things that mean the most. For instance, you remember to do laundry, the dishes, and have the kids take a bath. That is because those things have to happen. However, did you stop and read to them or play a game with them? Did you go camping like you wanted? I think about what my goals are for the summer and write them into my schedule.
I want to make sure I am making my life happen, and not just letting it happen to me.
In my life I have made a conscious effort to stop and watch my kids. You know how they are always saying, "Mom, look!" Or asking for just a minute of my time. This happens so often and most times I tell them, "not right now" or "in a minute". I've made a decision to always look when they want me to. To stop and listen to their funny joke or story. It only takes 1-10 minutes. My "To Do Stuff" will still be there when I'm done. But at the end of the day, when I think back over my day, I bet you can guess what parts I remember best. Yup, it's those 1-10 minutes of watching my kids, that I could never find the time for before. It's the best!
I love our Cousins Summer Camp! I can't wait to jump on it for this summer.
Past camps we had everyone tie die TShirts.
We were all colored for at least a few days!