About 2 years ago I got a great idea from a neighbor of mine. We were talking about having things to do during the summer to keep our kids entertained. She said that she made of list of fun things to do and fun places to go. In the fun jar you place things that you could do everyday like eating Popsicles, playing in the backyard pool, going to a park, having a picnic lunch etc... the kids get to draw out a slip everyday. Then in the adventure jar you put places to go and you do once a week. We draw ours on Sunday and then plan a day that week that our adventure can take place! These are places like the zoo, the city pool, children's museum, planetarium, aquarium, splash park, having a sprinkler party with friends, getting ice cream from Arctic Circle etc... My kids had fun putting the lists together and then I just printed them out and cut them up. I got the jars at walmart and used a rubon alphabet to put the titles on the jars. My kid love it and I can't wait to pull them out and do them again this year!
I just love summer! I love the warmth and sun. I love the popsicle and trips to the pool. I love it all! What I don't love is thinking of ways to keep my kids happy and busy the whole time! We have the rule that you can't play with friends until 10 am, but my kids get up so blasted early that 10am seems so far away! Last year I added some school work and chores to our summer morning routine, and it worked SO well that I am totally doing it again...and I thought I would share...
I found some awesome notebooks for the kids that look a lot like the papers that Noah and Zach were bringing home from school.
It has a place for them to write a few sentences and then draw a picture above. I got them at Target. I also picked up a few Math books for Noah and Zach. So here is a run down of our new schedule:
8:30am-Breakfast 9am-Write in journal or do 1 math page 9:15ish-20 minutes of reading 9:45ish-do chore
Chores with my kids has been hard for me to implement. I don't know why...I grew up doing chores, but coming up with age appropriate chores has been hard. Last summer I started the whole chore thing...it has worked great and once they were into the routine it wasn't hard to keep it going through the school year too! Here is what they do: my 8 year old cleans the kids bathroom and my 7 year old cleans the 1/2 bath down stairs. By clean I mean wipe down the counter and mirror and take out the garbage every day. On Saturdays, however, they will do the Saturday version of the chore by not only cleaning the counter and mirror and taking out the garbage, but cleaning the toilet and sweeping the floor too! Even before we started my boys were saying,"What about Bailey?" (my 4 year old) ...In her journal I have her come up with a sentence and I will write it for her and then she will draw a picture to go along with it. She starts kindergarten in the fall and so we will be working on her sight words and writing her name more clearly. For reading time I will read to her instead and her chore will be to help keep the loft clean.
I have learned that more structure to our mornings helps with the boredom that seems to always set in an hour after they wake up!!