Tuesday, June 3, 2008

School's Out...Now What?

Works for Me Wednesday has a theme this week. It's the

"Mom, I'm Bored!" Edition
These were Shannon's instructions:

Post your ideas for clever ways to keep the kids
occupied during the summer months. And if your ideas are cheap and simple, I'll love you that much more...

Here's our free/cheap and simple summer entertainment plans:

Free Movies!!!!
Regal Cinemas is offering their Free Family Film Festival again this year. Throughout the summer they will be showing FREE G and PG rated movies every Tuesday and Wednesday morning at 10 A.M.

I'm 6 months pregnant and due in August, so free, air conditioned fun sounds great to me!

Our Local Library:

I can't believe all of the great activities our local library is hosting this summer. I know all libraries are different, but I recommend checking out what your library offers.

Ours has a summer reading program called "Catch the Reading Bug" and they've planned a weekly activity for every Thursday afternoon around the insect theme. We signed up this afternoon.

They also offer weekly classes for all ages (e.g. Kitchen Science, Art, Video Gaming Groups, Summer Fun Club, etc.) And again, everything is FREE and you just show up when you want to participate. There isn't any registration required or required attendance. We could go once a day and be fully entertained.

Nature Journals:

After listening to this Focus on the Family broadcast and watching my girls enjoy the visit from our little duck family, I have been inspired to give my kids more opportunities to enjoy nature.

We went to the dollar store today and they each picked out a journal with blank pages and a new box of colored pencils. I didn't want this to feel like a homework assignment, so I just gave them the blank journals and said, "Go explore and look for bugs, plants, birds, animals, flowers, or anything you see in nature that you like. Then draw what you see and we'll see at the end of the summer all of the great things you discover."

We got home from the dollar store this afternoon and they started right away. I was surprised by how enthusiastic they are about this project. I'm excited to see how they fill the pages.

It's funny. When I read through the summer rec program here, I was bummed by how expensive it all was. As I looked for what we could do for free, I've found more than we'll probably have time to do. There's the upcoming minor league baseball game that is $1 admission on Family night, the Christian bookstore's story and craft hour, the parks and rec van at the parks on Monday mornings.....the opportunities have filled my calendar.

I want our summer to be free (not just financially). I can remember times in my own childhood when I was over scheduled. I decided I'm just not up to a strict summer schedule. I plan on lazy days of sitting in the wading pool, eating our Popsicles, and then having all of these opportunities available when we want them. If we are happy eating our Otter Pops in the backyard and running through the sprinkler, I don't want to stop because we HAVE to be someplace.

And if the girls get bored, there's always Webkinz on the computer. THAT topic I will save for another post on another day. (Has the Webkinz craziness hit your home yet?)

Happy Summer Everyone!



Anonymous said...

We might try the parks and rec activity van... they are set to visit the park we had lunch at and the activities are free. I'll send you a link... but only if you'll join us! Ha!


Anonymous said...

Aww, silly me.. you already know about the van! I should have read your whole blog entry! Anyway... where is the Christian story and craft time being held at? I'm hoping its on one of my days off.

:) Marisa

Anonymous said...

Great list. I will have to check for free movies around here.

I am with you on an unstructured summer!

Daiquiri said...

I am totally going to copy your nature journal idea. I can't wait! I just love how Amy wrote her first page...what a treasure!

I came over to grab a link about the ducks we saw the other day. Come see some of the great shots I got!

I am so insanely tired...my left eye is even twitching uncontrollably! Going to finish this post, and then hit the hay. Had fun visiting with you today. Hope you get some good rest too :)

Lysa TerKeurst said...

What a great and helpful post!

I love the nature journals... and the free movie deal.

Yes the webkinz craze has totally hit our house too.

Happy Lazy Days of Summer...

Lisa Knight said...

Yes, the webkinz...
Love the journal idea, putting journals on my shopping list.

Ginny said...

Great post, we are doing almost everything the same, lol.

Emma said...

Wow! There is a lot of free stuff out there. Regal Cinemas in Tri-cities also has the free movies. Not sure about this year, but they have in the past, but the art classes at the library sound really fun!

Amy said...

LOVE the nature journal idea! I think this is something that might interest both my kids (ages 3 and 9)


Katy said...

Cool, Gracie just walked in with a note in her backpack about the library catch the reading bug program! That will give us something to do and i'm sure we have the free movies at the mall again! And like you I'm up for sitting in the pool and staying indoors where it's cool! I don't think I'm going to enjoy being big and pregnant in the summer!

Wendy said...

Cool, I knew some theaters have dollar matinees once a week, but FREE is even better! Thanks for the link!

We also got a schedule of the library programs but we have to register here for some of them.

Sonya Lee Thompson said...

I love the nature journal idea. As we were entering the parking lot at the pool yesturday, we had to stop the car in order to miss this huge Peacock!! Yes the bird! It was great and we snapped a few pictures with my phone. It would have been fun to have had a journal to post this in. You just never know. :)

Anonymous said...

Great minds think alike! I posted about Regal's free movies also. We're regulars there every summer. I like the blank paged journal idea. I think I'll head to the dollar store tomorrow to let the kids pick some out. Great ideas, thanks!

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of making nature journals! Thank you for sharing.

The Jernigan Family said...

Here are some fun Hands On at Home activities from the Children's Museum that I use to work with, http://www.hocm.org/page.php?id=96 if the link doesn't work check out www.hocm.org.

The Farmer Files said...

Aloha from Hawaii...

LOVE the journal idea...eldest is a lefty, preschool age, and needs a lot of encouragement for writing/drawing tasks. LOVE the idea of him picking out his own journal!!