Friday, August 19, 2016

Hey, Y'all!  I have really enjoyed the summer at home with my little ones.  I wrote here about what my challenges would be and what goals I had for the summer.  I wanted a plan to help keep me sane and to minimize bickering and unhappiness. Two of my goals were to read everyday and have some educational fun. What did that look like?

Read everyday and have some educational fun.

The teacher in me decided to rotate through some themes for the summer.  I would choose a new theme each week or two, check out a bunch of books from the library to support that theme plus gather the books we have at home, and find some fun activities to do. 

Some of our themes were: ocean, farm, construction, dinosaurs, and things that go.  A and L have enjoyed them all!  We've read some great books, both fiction and nonfiction.  We always had some simple activity or 2 that they would play with throughout the week. We often had an easy art activity to go with each theme since A is always asking if I have an art project we can do together. 

For example...

My kiddos love watching the show Octonauts on Disney Jr. and learning about various sea creatures. So after taking a trip to the Texas State Aquarium, I decided that our first theme would be the ocean. L loves ocean animals so much that it is difficult to read a book that includes them because he keeps putting his hand over your mouth so you'll stop reading so he can tell you things about them. 

I put together an ocean play bin that included:

  • water with blue food coloring
  • 3 Octonauts bath toys that I found at Wal-Mart
  • Mardi Gras colored aquarium gravel that I found on sale at Pet Smart
  • inexpensive plastic aquarium plants
  • sea shells that we had from trips to the beach over the years
  • blue pebbles
  • some plastic jewels (treasure) that came off of an art project they made at the children's museum
  • lots of plastic ocean animals that L received as a birthday gift (They play with these almost everyday.  They are constantly all over the house, but I don't mind because they love them.)
We read The Octonauts and the Great Ghost Reef.

Then I showed them the ocean bin.  No joke, they played for 2 hours together on the back porch.  I would love to post a photo of my cuties having fun, but I didn't let them play in their clothes because of the food coloring.  I have a feeling, when they get older, they probably wouldn't appreciate me sharing a picture of them in their underwear for the world to see.  So...

Here are photos of some other play bins we enjoyed...

Farm Fun

Construction Site

Dinosaur Dig

The kids look forward to new books every couple of weeks, and I've been really impressed at how well they have played together.  I'm looking for more ideas! Please share!!

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