My Summer Bucket List

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One more day of work until my summer vacation officially starts! I’ve created my local Summer Bucket List full of exciting activities for my family. Click here: LocalBusyBeesSummerBucket2015.pptx  for a printable version of my list and a blank copy of the template so you can write in your ideas.

I’m thrilled to have been asked to guest blog on The Club Mom.  Check out my blog post at http://theclubmom.com/category/family/ for a ton of ideas for everyone.   I have lists of outdoor activities, craft ideas, rainy day fun and more.

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Leave a comment below about what is on your Summer Bucket List. Whatever it is, I hope it is fun filled! 🙂

Stop “Summer Slide”-Fun Activities to Keep Your Kids Thinking

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I can’t believe summer vacation will begin in just a few days. As a teacher I must give my public service announcement about the importance of maintaining a summer learning routine. By this, I don’t mean skill and drill worksheets that will result in a battle between you and your child, but rather fun activities that keep their brains thinking and charged up. It’s all about disguising the learning because after all learning can and should be FUN!

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You don’t want your child to experience “Summer Slide” because if their brain sits idle for too long it may result in a loss of academic skills. Not only have I witnessed this first hand but there is a ton of research about the loss of learning that occurs over summer break for some students. When it comes to learning, nobody wants to see his or her child slide backwards. Here is a wide range of engaging activities that your kids (and you) will enjoy!

Click StopSummerSlide.pptx for a printable with over 100 high interest ideas.  There are activities for toddler through upper elementary children.

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Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 8.52.37 AMScreen Shot 2015-05-23 at 8.53.53 AM(Above is just a sample of the pages.  Click StopSummerSlide.pptx for the entire document.)

Read, Read, Read!!!

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 9.45.00 PMThis is the single most important thing your child should do throughout the summer.  Signing up for the summer reading program at your local library is always a motivator for reading.  Read to your children, with your children and encourage them to read as much as they can.

Build background knowledge about places you’ll be visiting.  For example, if you are going on vacation to Washington D.C. read books with your child and have them learn a little history about what they will be seeing. Perhaps they can help you plan the itinerary or keep a journal about their experiences.

Vacations

Here is one of my favorite quotes that emphasis the importance of exposing your child to a wide variety of opportunities.

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Have an entertaining summer and remember to squeeze in some learning time!

Fun Ways to Celebrate the End of the School Year!

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When I think of the last day of school I can’t help but sing, “School’s Out For Summer” by Alice Cooper. It’s such an iconic song symbolizing the end of a school year and the beginning of a more relaxed schedule. Why not start Summer Vacation off right with a way to celebrate your child’s accomplishments and have fun?

Here are some exciting ways to kick start summer:

  • Have a countdown to summer calendar.
  • Take a photo of your child on their last day. Click Last Day Signs.pptx for printable signs.
  • Leave a note on your child’s bathroom mirror before school, tucked in their lunch box or waiting somewhere for them when they arrive home.Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 7.20.19 PM
  • Send your child to school with a last day of school shirt. (You could even have their classmates autograph it, but you may want to check with their teacher first.)
  • Bus Stop Greeting- have a treat to give them when they get off the bus such as a popsicle or cupcake.
  • Arrange for a special visitor to come over such as a grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, friend, neighbor.
  • Throw a Bash! It could be simple or elaborate. Consider coordinating with neighbors or their classmates for a joint party.
    • Theme Ideas:
      • Ice Cream Shop- have different flavors of ice cream with toppings for them to create their own sundae.
      • Camp Out- have a tent set up, roast marshmallows, grill out
      • Water- fill a small pool, have squirt guns, run through the sprinkler, slip-n-slide
      • Game Night- Twister, Tag, Bean Bag Toss, Pickle in the Middle
      • Home Drive-in- watch a movie under the stars
      • Minute to Win it Games
      • Beach Party or Luau
  • Welcome Home Banner- hang it on the garage, front porch, or have them run through it.  Click Last Day posters.pptx for printable signs.
  • Door Decorations- decorate your front door with things such as streamers or balloons.
  • Chalk Sayings on the driveway or along the path on the way home.
  • Dinner- cook their favorite meal or go out to dinner.
  • Special Activity such as a park, miniature golf, bowling, etc.
  • Decorate your car for pick up with balloons, streamers or the markers you can write on your car or fill your car with balloons. ** I have not tried this so test these items out first in an inconspicuous spot to make sure there is no damage to your car.**
  • Jazz up their bike with streamers or other fun items and have a bike parade.
  • Gift basket with summer related items or gear (bubbles, swim suit, goggles, sunscreen, sidewalk chalk, etc.)  Click S’more.pptx for the s’more gift tags.Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 7.48.13 PM
  • Sayings: Fun in the Sun, That’s a Wrap, Goodbye ___th grader, Hello ___th grader!, O”fish”ally Summer, Too Cool for School, Have a Ball This Summer, I’m Looking Forward to Spending “S’More” Time With You

First impressions are everything so kickoff the summer with something that will make your kids smile!