Sunday, July 10, 2011

How we're crushing the summer dulldrums!!

Do you get tired of hearing your children complain, “I’M BORED”, a million times throughout the summer? Why not create a day camp environment for your kids at home. I decided to do this, because my kids do much better with some structure. There are many themes that you could do each week that will allow for experiments, crafts, and places we visit (Just Google: ”summer day camp themes”. My favorite are: Parks and Recreation’s Camp Catalog, OMSI’s camp catalog. I got plenty of ideas from these two.)
I’ve chosen not to necessarily do a theme, but have a similar schedule each week, that will look something like this:
Monday: Smaller Activity.
Tuesday: $1 Movie
Wednesday: Larger Activity
Thursday: Possible Second $1 Movie, or Smaller Activity, plus Library Visit
Friday: Garage Selling
Smaller Activities: We will visit different parks around Vancouver, the Water Resource Center, & Blue Lake park, bowling, berry picking, etc. .
Larger Activities: We will be visiting places such as JJ Jumps, North Clackamas Aquatic Center, the Zoo, OMSI, Kid’s Club, Oaks Park, Enchanted Forest, , Bullwinkle’s Fun Center, Golden Skate, Ice Skating, Big Al’s Happy hour arcade games.

We’ll be trying to finish most of our activities right around lunch time. After lunch we read for half hour to ourselves, and then I’m reading out loud for a half hour while they color, or play with something quietly. Then the kids can have a half hour of video game time followed by free time to play whatever they wish.
On days that we're staying home, I'm giving them guidance as well. If we're not working in the yard or doing chores, or projects around the house, I've been giving them "playing tasks". They get to choose, they can either help with chores or do the next task. Total "no brainer" on which they pick, but this way if the task is one that they don't totally want to do, but I know they would enjoy, they're going to do the task. The way that I give these to them is in the form of riddles. For Example: "These have been made for girls and for boys, you sometimes forget to play with your ________" (toys). I keep them simple, and have them do them for about an hour, and then they can move onto the next task. I give them specific board games to play, movies to watch, places to go like the park, backyard games to play, etc. I keep it specific, so they don't end up spending an hour arguing over which board game to play, which is what happens when they are completely free to pick all the time.

I’ve got lots of incentives for the kids. I am giving the kids a roll of dimes each week (only ends up being $5). When they have bad attitudes or are complaining, I take one away. They can earn them back by participating and getting along. At the end of the week, we’ll cash in their leftover coins, and that is their money for garage selling. Of course I’ve also signed the kids up for the library’s summer reading program, and since we’re doing a lot of reading, they will be able to get lots of prizes from that.

I’m making sure to simplify as much as I can. I made out a meal plan for each week that we will follow throughout the summer. This will help my grocery shopping to be easy, and the kids will know what we’re having, and will hopefully keep the “I’m hungry”,” what are we having for lunch” comments at a minimum.
Lastly, I will be having the kids scrapbook our summer. I noticed last year that my kids quickly forgot what we did last summer, even though I was very purposeful in making sure that we did a lot!! So, I am going to be better about taking a ton of pictures, and letting them put together their own journals about our summer together. I am very excited about our time together.
These are my ideas for the summer, I would love to hear more ideas and thoughts about what your family will be doing. Thanks for stopping by!!

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you guys will be having a blast this summer!
    Don't forget to hang with friends! ;)


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