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The Best Summer Blog Series for Parents and Their Kids

We started off this week talking about making a mindful summer and I find I still have a few more thoughts on the subject.  I love this post, 18 Summers – How Many Do Yours Have Left?  It makes my heart beat a little faster just thinking about it, but I love it.

 

How many summers do you have left with your kiddos?  However many it is, I’m sure you want to make the most of them.  So here I am, your own personal assistant, ready to help.  If you have young kids, check out two posts by my pal Alissa: Toddler’s Won’t Wait for You to Have the Perfect Time to Connect and A Few Secrets About Playing with Toddlers.  Both provide quick insight on how being present with your kids really is enough.

 

Along with approaching summer with intention, it also never hurts to have some backup.  Wether you want to get artistic, read more with the kids, learn, explore, or just have some fun, there’s a blogger out there with a summertime series just for you.  Here are some of my favorites:

 

Jennifer at Classic Play has a really great thing going on with her Art School Series.  I could tell you about it, but she really says it best:

Like me, you’ve probably read that many schools across the country have cut art programs. And many parents are wondering what to do. We can’t let arts education die. Am I right?! [feel free to insert a fist pump with me here].
I thought, hey, I have this here blog, and a bunch of readers who are looking for things to do with their kids. Let’s create our own art class!
So I went out and found a great teacher to help… While she wants me to tell you that she’s not ‘technically’ an artist, I’m going to tell you that when her kids’ school had to cut art class from their budget, she volunteered to go in and teach it. She studied, created lesson plans, tested them out and has hands-on, real world, art teaching experience. So, um, heck yeah, she’s qualified!

Sounds pretty great, right?  Read on for more fabulous finds.

 

Not only is Make and Takes‘ new Storybook Summer Series filled with tons of great reading recommendations, each one also comes with a fun activity to expand on the story.  This is the perfect series to help you put together a summer reading list.  And the hands-on stuff is sure to excite even your non-bibliophile kiddos.

 

Another of my favorite series for preventing summer slide is Mommy School in Action from I Am Momma, Hear Me Roar.  Cheri has a real knack for seamlessly integrating opportunities for learning and discovery into activities her kids already love.  Case-in-point, for the series’ first installment she augmented a trip to the petting zoo with an animal BINGO printable that her boys used to help name the animals, the sounds they make, and more.  I’m telling you, there are tons of easily implemented ideas to be had here.

 

I am so excited about TinkerLab‘s new Tinker With series!  I truly believe that encouraging kids to explore, and question, their environment early is one of the best ways to promote critical thinking and creativity.  Seriously, the photos of Rachelle’s daughter taking a pair of scissors to a stuffed animal fills me with joy (is that weird?). For a much more eloquent discussion on the topic, see Why Is Tinkering Important?  Here’s a small taste:

 

Tinkering is… about playing with materials and figuring out how just about anything can be assembled. Tinkering is about hands-on experiences, learning from failures, and unstructured time to explore and invent. And through the processes of exploration and invention lies the potential for innovation.

 

Raising a maker-kid doesn’t mean we have to outfit our homes or classrooms with high tech equipment or tools that are outside of our budget or comfort zone… What we CAN do is provide our children with opportunities to explore materials, take things apart, and imagine new possibilities through the process of invention. And this can be done simply by providing them with low-cost materials and time to tinker.

Yes! And the best part is that if you don’t know how to get started tinkering, Rachelle will hold your hand and walk you through it with this new series.

Finally, if you’re looking for a fun way to beat the heat while fostering ingenuity and resourcefulness, fort building is always a great option.  MPMK contributor Allison has a super fun Fort Friday series on her blog All For the Boys that’s jam-packed with ideas.  Wether you want to build outside or in, go fancy or keep it simple, inspiration abounds.
What do you guys think?  Will you be incorporating any of these series into your summer routine?

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P.S. Looking for more ways to simplify and connect with your family?


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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

gina June 28, 2012 at 3:46 pm

um, its thursday…. LOL!

Great ideas! thanks =)

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Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com June 28, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Ha, can you tell this post was originally scheduled for tomorrow? Thanks for the heads up Gina – you reminded me to add some info. on how to vote in DecoArt’s craft competition and win some goodies for yourself :).

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Tansy Dolls June 28, 2012 at 4:13 pm

I love TinkerLab. They have such fab ideas for the kids. Thanks for the links to the other resources. I try hard to do something creative with Aria every day and its nice to have a list of resources to check out for ideas and projects.

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Jacquie@KCEdventures June 28, 2012 at 6:54 pm

We only 3.5 summers left with our oldest – wow! So yes, it’s very much on my mind (and has been always, but more so now that there seem to be so few left). My husband and I have this list of ideas – things we want to experience together as a family – that we have been working on for years. Traveling is really big for us, and introducing him to great books and experiences that stretch how he thinks and views the world. And of course, encouraging him to ‘be a kid’ for as long as he can be :)

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Kim @ The Educators Spin On It June 28, 2012 at 8:13 pm

As a mom of a now sophomore in college I promise you this is all to true… only 18 summers with your babies. I have 17 and 12 left with my other to and plan to treasure every moment of their summertimes with me. I’ve collected a few of my favorite things and shared, would love for you to add yours as well. Off to go check out some of your suggestions! http://theeducatorsspinonit.blogspot.com/2012/06/afterschool-express-summer-bucket-list.html

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