Summer Vacation: Themed weeks

Need ideas to keep the kids entertained?

It’s summer vacation! For most parents, it can be interesting to keep the kids occupied, out of trouble and not always underfoot. And, for some of us, we also want our kids to be learning! But we don’t want to “ruin” their summer by doing summer school or trying to homeschool all summer long.

A friend of mine (hi Kelsey!) told me one of her kids wanted to do “theme weeks” this summer.  I thought this was a great idea, and I decided to create a few of these themed weeks for my own kids! I’ll release them as we do them, hopefully with pictures.

My goal for these themed weeks is to keep the learning (and activities) light and fun, while still allowing for us to explore some topics we might not otherwise get to. Plus, there’ll be a bank of activities, both ones that require parental involvement and some that don’t, that will help keep the kids interested and occupied.

Here’s the list of topics I’m doing this summer.

I’ll put together a printable with the list of activities, supplies needed, and any links or instructions included.  They will be available for purchase in my shop.

What’s in each unit?

Each unit will contain a lot of fun stuff. From crafts to snacks to books and games, I try to make it multidimensional and engage every part of learning.

For each unit I give you two themed crafts.  I provide the instructions for both crafts, and one is much more involved than the other. So you can spend a day crafting, or just an hour or two, depending on what you’ve got going on. Most of the crafts are aimed for the 6-10 age group, but if you’ve got younger kids, you should be able to adapt easily.

I also provide instructions for two activities for each week. One is outdoor only, and one is meant to be able to be played indoors. That way, rainy days shouldn’t get in the way of your fun!

I also will give you suggestions for themed snacks and games. The games should be familiar to most of us adults, and there might be a twist or two on some old favorites. And I’ve tried to be sensitive to dietary needs for the snacks, but I can’t promise that they’ll all be safe for everyone.

Bonus: a themed book list!

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love reading. And this, for me, was the most fun part of designing these themed units. I put together book lists for all reading levels and that will hopefully grab your kids’ interest levels.

My favorite part of these units is that I’m including a family read a-loud. My goal this summer is to start the habit of reading out loud to my kids every day. I’m thinking we’ll be able to fit it in over breakfast.

You don’t have to do everything.

I’m a firm believer in letting kids be bored. I don’t want to organize every minute of their day. I want to give my kids plenty of time to get creative, to explore, to be lazy and have fun, to just be kids! Sometimes, it feels like it could be easier if I controlled their every movement… but I’m raising people, not robots.

At the same time, these units will give me a quick and easy resource to go to when the chorus of “I’m bored” gets to be too much. And it will give my kids a launching pad to more learning. I can already picture my girls taking some of these themes and running with them.

Should be a fun summer!

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