I’m sharing this yummy summer drink over at Cupcake Diaries today! Come on over to see how to make it!! I’d love it if you’d leave a comment, of course! And be sure to check out Alli’s recipes. They are delicious!
My kids love digging for bugs while I’m working in the garden! What fun ideas! (I also have some great worm ideas that I’ll share in the near future.)
Making bugs out of playdough. This is a great way to teach all the terminology and body parts.
Bug sensory table (icky picture–Sorry!)
I love learning and teaching about frogs! Such fascinating creatures!
Water table with frogs. There are also some educational ideas listed.
Just wanted you to know my Summer Bucket List is up again! Need an idea for something fun to do with your kids this summer? There are ideas for crafts, treats, field trips, and links to other great sites. Be sure to check it out!!
What are you doing fun this summer?!
Are you planning to visit any National Parks this summer with your kids? Did you know that most of the parks have a Jr. Ranger Program? This program is set up to help families learn about the park and see things they may otherwise miss, getting kids ages 5-12 excited about the outdoors!
Visit the visitor’s center at your park and tell them you want to do the Jr. Ranger Program. They’ll give you a little activity guide to complete. (I read online that sometimes they’ll charge a small fee, but ours have always been free.) While you’re out enjoying the park, you complete the tasks, such as finding certain plants. When its completed, you return it to the visitor’s center and each child gets a completed certificate and a patch or badge that looks just like the kind the rangers wear in the park! Each national park has their own unique one so its fun to see how many you can collect and how different they are. If you don’t return to the visitor’s center before leaving the park, you can mail it back. In just a few short weeks, your children will receive their certificate and badge in the mail!
We went to Mt. Rainier National Park last summer while visiting family in Washington. We decided to participate in this program with our kids; they were so excited!! The guide was broken into age-groups so my older child had more advanced tasks to complete, like a word search, while my younger child’s tasks were easier, like a coloring page. I loved the learning that took place! We chose the mail-in route, and it worked! My kids got their activity guides back, as well as a completed certificate and a badge unique to Mt. Rainier National Park. We’ll definitely be doing this again this summer as we travel and hike!
Want to find one near you? Go here for a complete list of participating parks in the nation.
In my opinion, I have some great ideas in my archives! Those entries were back in my “good” blogging days and probably some of my better posts! But honestly, who takes the time to browse old entries?! I mean. Really. So, I thought I’d take some time on Fridays to share some old favorites.
The following are some fun farm activities. Perfect for the first part of summer, right?!
Farm animal matching game. I think this would be incredible with pictures you take from a farm field trip.
Need a new bedtime book for your children? Or want to keep your children reading through the summer?
We just discovered this series of classics geared towards elementary school children: Treasury of Illustrated Classics! They’ve taken the full classic and simplified it, only including the most important details. There are also pictures interlaced into the story, which contribute to comprehension. My children can now share my favorites without having to read the full multi-hundred page books (most of these are less than 200 pages). And I know high school teachers are loving these because kids are now coming to school with knowledge of these required classics, whereas many hadn’t ever read them before.
I can’t find a site anywhere that tells how many total there are; the most I can see is 36. I listed a few of our favorites below, so be sure to check out more of the titles here.
My 8-year-old finished Moby Dick in one day; couldn’t put it down! He wanted to read it because Matilda does. HA!
I just ordered Little Women and Anne of Green Gables for my almost 6-year-old for her birthday. She loves the movies, but the books are a little over head. She won’t be able to read them independently, but I’m hoping we can enjoy them together! (Lauren–Maddie would LOVE these and might be able to read them!)
We also ordered The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Journey to the Center of the Earth (his request) for my son for his birthday later this year.
I’m sure you could find these at your library. I found some at Hobby Lobby for $1.99 (hardback)!! And Amazon sells most of these for cheap (I’m talking, less than $5.00).
I think these would be great for 3rd – 6th graders independently, and for younger children if you’re reading it with them (I’m thinking bedtime book for my older kids).
I love that my kids are learning to love the classics at such a young age! Go check these out!
Fact: I am a sucker for handprint art. So, when my daughter gave me this handprint vase for Mother’s Day last year, I about died from the cuteness! Oh.my! (She made it in preschool; I can take no credit. Darn it.) I just love it, and it still sits in my kitchen, a year later! (I’m thinking this might be a great gift for Grandmas this year. I hope our Grandmas aren’t reading this…)
I’m not exactly sure how it was done, but here’s my guess:
1. Paint the INSIDE of the jar. Put a dollop of craft paint in the bottom, tip upside-down and roll around until it’s all covered. Leave upside-down to allow excess paint to escape. Then, tip upright and let dry. Any color will be beautiful.
2. Using craft paint again, place your child’s handprint on the OUTSIDE. Let dry. I really, really like the white handprint in contrast with the color on the jar.
3. Be sure to write your child’s name and the date in permanent marker somewhere on the jar. I love how my daughter wrote her own. Memories for me.
4. Optional: Tie with a big bow and place a fake flower inside.* With the bow, they didn’t even have to wrap it. LOVE!
*Note: You cannot fill the jar with water, as the paint will wash away. I read somewhere that if you put a cup inside with water, you can then put real flowers in. I would love fresh flowers as a centerpiece for spring!
This Mother’s Day idea is a favorite of my readers so I had to share it again!
Have your children decorate hot pads for mom to use in the kitchen! They will think of your children every time they cook. Use fabric paint or markers and let your children decorate a light-colored hot pad. Be sure to label it with their name and date.
For our grandmas a couple of years ago, I did a handprint with paint on one side and let my son (then 2) color the other side with markers–all scribbles. They turned out adorable and the grandmas love them! (see above)
We’ve also done this version, which I just think is the cutest!! They’re tulips made with their hands (just paint the 4 fingers, not the thumb; and the top part of the palm). The kids drew on the backs, as well.
- 4th of July
- 5 senses
- all about me
- arts and crafts
- Author Study
- Blissfully Domestic
- Dr. Seuss
- dramatic play
- Earth Day
- Eric Carle
- Fabulous Finds
- Fancy Nancy
- Farm Animals
- Father's Day
- field trips
- fine motor activities
- Friday: Modge Podge
- General Conference
- Groundhog Day
- guest post
- Guest Posts
- ice cream
- Jan Brett
- Jr. Ranger Program
- large motor activities
- local fun
- Monday: Arts & Crafts
- monthly plan
- Mother's Day
- name games
- Native Americans
- New Year's
- Nursery Rhymes
- one-to-one correspondence
- outdoor fun
- pretend play
- rainy day
- sensory table
- sight words
- St. Patrick's Day
- Stories for Snuggling
- teacher appreciation
- teddy bears
- Thursday: Educational Fun
- Top 5
- Tuesday: Fun in the Kitchen
- Valentine's Day
- Wednesday: Dramatic or Active Play
- Zoo Animals