But the very first thing Maddy, Owen, Cora, and I did on our first official school-free day was to rock out our Summertime Fun Cards. We ate lunch outside and then I grabbed some index cards and markers, we gathered some imagination and brainstorming, and we got rolling.
This is our second summer with Summertime Fun Cards–we did it last year and LOVED having the cards right there, in the center of our home, smiling and happy with ideas for rainy days,
- Summertime Fun Cards 2.0: Knowing how quickly the summer can disappear before our eyes, Summertime Fun Cards give us a chance to sit down, breathe, and plan some fun things to do before fall arrives.
I said, Okay, my friends, today’s our first day of summer! Before we head to the pool, let’s think about all of the things we love about summer.
Maddy had just spent what she perceived as a verrrry long time (it was really about 15 minutes) cleaning her room, and she said, I want to organize my room. That’s all I want to do. I want boxes like Cora has to put all of my things.
I said, Great. That’s a super idea. Your room does need to be re-organized, so why don’t you make that the first thing you write down on a card?
Owen was busy writing his own card that said Good Sun. I asked him what it meant.
He said, It means that I want some good time outside in summer sun.
Great! I said. Awesome idea–you want lots of time to play outside this summer.
Yes. Like at the pool and at the park.
Me too, I said.
our cards and markers, ready for ideas
I didn’t care that he kind of missed the point in writing down specific activities or that he missed some words that would help to clarify his idea. This was not school, and he was already writing his second card. The last thing I wanted to do was to make him stressed out about his writing.
Because research says that especially for the little guys–our emerging readers and writers–if they willingly write freely without prompting, that’s awesome and we should be happy. Who cares if there are some spelling mistakes or missing words. C’mon, it’s summer!
This summer, we want to pick flowers from our garden, make s’mores, have family movie nights,
do a hot dog dance (Owen’s idea, and I have no idea what that means) and pick blueberries at the farm. . .
This year we kept some blank cards for last-minute ideas, and Cora beautified them so they were ready for some ideas we came up with on the fly.
So we generated a bunch of ideas, chatted over Pirate Booty and grapes and sandwiches, and then Maddy, Owen, and Cora ran off to put in some time on the swings.
I hung the cards Monday night–in the same place that we had them last summer–and the kids came downstairs on Tuesday bouncing and dancing and buzzing about our super-fun, super simple, summertime plans. And that’s it. Just a fun short afternoon to kick off summer. . .before things got crazy and we start Smart Summer Challenging!
Hope you’ll plan to join us!