Thursday, May 13, 2010

think about it Thursday...

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:

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 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!!


  1. I have been following your blog daily for the past week and I LOVE it!! Thanks for sharing all your fun ideas. We just built a house in Washington fields and are getting ready to move into it in the next few weeks. I am so excited to decorate! I'm not a natural or even a learned decorator, so this will take some work to find what I like and want. i will be referring to your blog and the others you post to give me many ideas. Just wanted to tell you thanks and keep inspiring us!!

    PS love the idea today! Sounds like a good plan for me and my boys this summer.

  2. This is so great. I tried to maintain a schedule for my little guy and I last summer, too, even though he was just turning a year old. I think it's so important for them. And SOOO great that you're keeping up on school work. That is a huge help to the teachers! (trust me, I know!)

  3. I love the jar ideas! What a great way to realistically enjoy the summertime! As a teacher, I'm also totally digging your schedule and journal time. I commend you for keeping your kids productive in a fun way during the summer months!

  4. How fun! I have a 4 and 2 year old so chores are hard for us too. My 4 year old, Aubrie, is in charge of feeding our dogs every day. She can't handle the water bowl just yet b/c it's big, but she gives them two scoops of food. She doesn't like it everyday, but it's good for her to have responsibilities :)

    Also - love the jar idea! I work during the week, but could still totally do this on the weekend :)

  5. love the jar idea..will try it for sure.

  6. Thank you for posting this. My husband just deployed for a year, and I am dreading this summer (don't get me wrong, I love my children dearly, but summertime means no break at all for me) I love this idea of a structured morning. I will definitely have to implement your ideas in my house!!

  7. Great Idea!!! Love it! We may have to use this too!

  8. What a cute idea. We homeschool year round so I don't get to deal with summer boredom. That said, I could see doing this as a season by season thing to make sure we actually do great activities like tulip festivals in the spring and pumpkin patches in the fall.

  9. What a great idea. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Great ideas. Thanks for sharing.

  11. What a fun and creative idea, I love it, I may have to try it with my three kids.

  12. LOVE the jars and ideas. I featured this post today
    I'm a new follower and I'm so excited to check out some of your 'older' stuff!

  13. I love this! I just made some jars of my own. thanks for sharing this great idea!


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