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Picking Out Summer Fun

on May 27, 2012

It is now officially summer vacation, and that means that I am in SAHM mode.  Work does creep in occasionally, but for the most part, I am in charge of education and entertainment for my kiddo and me.  Each summer I make a calendar of all the free (or really really cheap) things we can do about town.  This gives us some options to choose from on a daily basis.  Our favorites include summer reading program events at our public library, free movies, and kids projects at the local craft store.  We also sprinkle swimming lessons and a gymnastics class at the community center in as well.

But, what do we do on the days when there is nothing going on, or we don’t want to do what is on the calendar that day?  My daughter is finally old enough to have more of a voice in our activities, but I wanted to make sure that they were ones we (I) could handle.  So, I came up with an idea.  I’d make a system for us to choose items.

My first vision was of colorful pieces of paper in a clear container, so we could see all the fun colors to choose from. I am a bit crazy for color coding, so I decided our outdoor activities would be on yellow paper (for sunshine), indoor on blue (for cool), and the field trip type on pink (just because it is kiddo’s favorite color).  I cut out circles in the three colors.  I decided I would write the word on the front of the circle and put a picture of the activity on the back–because she is not yet old enough to read.  I thought this would be a good sight word re-enforcer too.  I let kiddo help me pick out the pictures mainly from clip art, but we did have to go to Google images for a few.

I liked the way the circles turned out, but when I put them in my clear container, the just all stacked up in a pile–not the floaty image I had in my head.  I thought about folding the paper, but then it wrinkled the picture.  I tried gluing some pom poms on the back of a few blank circles to see if that helped give them more depth.  No go.  So, I started scouring Pinterest.  The links I found were to really cute things people had done on craft sticks.  Sadly, this would not work for us, because I needed pictures AND words.

Eventually, I figured it out.  Glue the circles to the craft sticks!  Then, I took an old, but fun vase I had stuffed in storage and filled the bottom with flat marbles.  Finally, I arranged our colorful circles in the vase.  I think this turned our pretty well.  Not my original vision, but it does look like a bouquet–which is pretty summery and fun.  Just dumb luck that the vase colors matched my circles!

I ended up with 8 activities in each color–by random chance.  My thought is that when we are looking for something to do, we can decide what color we want (inside, outside, field trip) and I can pluck 3 circles from the vase.  Then, kiddo can pick which one she wants to do.  As I have the advantage that I can read, I can sort of pre-select what I think we can handle that day before giving her the options.  I am very excited to try this out and hope it works out at least sort of like I see it in my head.

UPDATE:  In addition to our lovely vase of fun, after scanning through lists of wonderful things to do with your kids in the summer on Pinterest, I decided to make my own.  I had quite a bit of fun putting this together, and it went through a few rewrites.  I tried not to include too many things that were already on our colorful circles.  Instead, I tried to pick big things or possibly one time things, and I did include stuff I knew for sure we were going to be doing and stuff I thought would be good for us to try.  Hopefully we can get to quite a few of these by the time school starts!

Summer Fun List–CLICK ME!



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