Summer is Here! What to do, what to do?

Last Friday was the kids’ last day of school.  Wow – each school year seems to go by quicker than the last!

I surprised the kids with these for breakfast on the last day…

(last summer we found a Wilton donut pan at a garage sale… and the recipe I used can be found here.  The only difference is that I used cherry chip cake instead of Funfetti.  Still yummy!)

So summer has arrived, and as always I am searching out and planning things to do and ways to keep the kiddos busy (read:  not bickering).

When the kids were younger, I planned different topics to learn about on different weeks, complete with activities.  You can read more about that in this post.  I would definitely recommend that for preschoolers to about grade 2. 

My kids are too old for that now.  So this is what I came up with for this summer:

I will be having the kids fill out these papers in order to focus their activities and our “field trips”.  The ideas I’ve gotten so far are Disney World and Splash Lagoon.  Ha ha.  I was thinking smaller scale!  LOL.

This is our “I’m bored” idea jar.  I’ve ALREADY had them come to me and say some variation of “I’m bored” or “What can I do?”.  My usual response to this is either “only boring people are bored” or “go clean your room”.  But I thought I might help them out a little this summer.  If they come to me and say “I’m bored”, then they will pick something out of the jar.  About 80% of the things in there are fun and 20% involve some work (cleaning, etc.).  My rule will be that if they say it, they’ll pick something and they will have to do what they pick.  I’m hoping this will both cut down on the “I’m bored”s and also help them be a little more creative with their activities.

And these are our scripture books.  I haven’t yet figured out exactly how I’m going to work it – but in essence these will be used to write out / memorize Bible verses that are pertinent to certain behaviors / habits that need to be adjusted.  My original idea was that it would be used during a time out to write out the pertinent Bible verse (e.g., if they speak harshly to a sibling, they write out Proverbs 15:1).  My concern with this is that it might give scripture a negative connotation, so I’m still on the fence.  If I don’t do it that way, though, I will be using the journals in another way for scripture memorization.  If you have any thoughts, opinions, or ideas, please let me know!!

And of course, we still have our chore charts working!

So that’s what we’ve got going this summer.  How about you?

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the pursuit of science

For one of our field trips this summer (space week), we went to the Rochester Museum and Science Center and the Strasenbergh Planetarium.  It was going to cost us (for me and 3 kids) $51 for admission to both the museum and a planetarium show, just for the day!  Yikes!  Fortunately, a friend gave us this tip… as a customer of Time Warner Cable, you can get a reduced one-year family membership.  The family membership with the discount was only $58.  For info, here is the website for RMSC.

The best part was that the following week, we were able to get in free at the Buffalo Museum of Science, to see the Robotic Dinosaur exhibit (of course for Dinosaur week!).  And here is the website for Buffalo Museum of Science.  I’d call that a deal!

Here are a few pics from the Robotic Dinosaurs…

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The Planetarium show we went to was great – definitely suited to the younger crowd but still interested my 9 year old.  Both museums had enough hands-on stuff to keep the 3 year old interested as well.  However, I think when we return I’ll just take the two older kids so that they can spend more time at each exhibit.  (Trying to keep my eyes on the little one and keep her happy while the older ones were trying to read and interact with some of the more involved exhibits wasn’t easy!)

So hopefully you’ll take my tip and if you go, get a family membership.  Don’t forget your Time Warner card or a recent bill.  Enjoy!

Exploring at Explore And More

Hi there!

I’m a little behind in posting this.  This was a field trip we went about a month ago.  The Explore And More Museum.

This is really intended for the preschool through maybe 1st grade age group, although my 9-year old still had a good time.  It was my first time there, and the location was a little odd – it was located on the first floor of an office building, I think.   It is small – but definitely worth the price for the little ones.  The kids loved being able to touch, play with, and really get involved in each exhibit.  They encourage hands-on everything (wonderful for preschoolers!!!) 

A good rainy day field trip!

Here are some photos of our time there…

Build this one into your summer planning!!

Free Movies!

This is so awesome!  If you’re looking for things to do with the kids this summer… check this out!

Regal Theatres has a Free Family Film Festival this summer, with select movies showing free at 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  There are a couple of theatres in both Rochester and Buffalo participating.  You can see schedules at the following link:

http://www.regmovies.com/nowshowing/familyfilmfestivalschedule.aspx

Happy Summer!

*Bounce* Fun

When the kids were on Easter break a couple of weeks ago, we took a field trip to Bounce It Out.

It was our first time.  We LOVED it!  (myself included).

What we loved about it…

  • Price was reasonable.  Adults were free!
  • It was clean.  Really clean.  Including the bathrooms.  They even had smaller toilets for the kiddos and a pull-down step-stool at the sink.
  • Lots of inflatables with a good variety of sizes and activities.  All three of my kids – who span the age range – enjoyed themselves.
  • Physical activity rather than video games at an arcade.  Yay.
  • Secure – each kid gets a wristband matching yours.
  • Only kids 10 and under are admitted… and kids older than 10 and adults are not allowed on the inflatables.  I liked this rule – it prevented the younger children from being overrun.  (And I did get in one inflatable once to find my 3 year old, and I saw other parents do the same for smaller kids who may have been having trouble navigating – and no one had a problem with it.)

Try this place with your little ones!!  I think you’ll enjoy it!

Remember if you go…

to wear (or bring) socks!  Everyone, including adults must remove their shoes and must have socks on.  (They do have some you can buy if you forget).

TTAH Tuesday – Spend a Day, Not a Fortune

OK, so I stole that line.

We went to Martin’s Fantasy Island a few weeks ago.  I haven’t been there since I was very young.

I’ll tell you, if you have pre-schoolers, or young school-aged kids, this place is way better than Darien Lake.

Cheaper admission prices.

Free parking.

More kids’ rides.

A petting zoo.

Miniature golf.

Water park (although we didn’t get to do this because the weather wasn’t too great).

Canoeing.

Lots of fun for the under 10 set, to be sure.

Try it out with your family this summer!

TTAH Tuesday – Springdale Farm

Last week’s field trip was to Springdale Farm in Spencerport. 

Here’s the website for more information:

http://www.heritagechristianservices.org/springdale/index.html

This is a definite must-do field trip for preschoolers to school aged children.  Not too far away and doesn’t take too long to get through.  Nice variety of animals.  Some learning activities.  Free admission, although the petting zoo area and the dairy barn tour you must pay for.  They also have a playground and picnic tables in case you’d like to pack a lunch.

Try it out & let me know if your family gives it a thumbs-up, too!