Monday, June 13, 2011

ABC Summer

My summers at home with my daughters have generally had some sort of a theme. Last year was the first official theme, The Summer of Fun -- a theme which is basically self-explanatory. (We did have a TON of fun.) Prior years had had sort of ad hoc, unofficial, semi-or-completely-unspoken themes. There was my Retro Mom Summer. (That was a really fun summer. My babies were barely 1 and 3, and I recall a lot of water play and stroller walks.) Before that was The Summer Stress Almost Killed Me and then The Summer Everything Sucked.

Um. Those...sucked. Sigh.

Moving on!

Welcome to our ABC Summer! Credit where credit is due: this idea is courtesy of my friend Kathy, with whom I am doing this summer-long project, along with another of our close friends. She says she got the idea from a former-teacher friend in her previous state, before she moved to MN.

The basic idea: Each week of the summer is assigned a letter (or letters, since summer isn't 26 weeks long) of the alphabet. During that week, we plan and do a bunch of activities that start with that particular letter. These activities can be big or small; requiring planning or requiring nothing more than, say, a box of sidewalk chalk or a jump rope; stuff we would normally do anyway (the pool, the park, the farm...) or stuff that isn't an every-day occurrence and that we're doing specifically for this project.

The letters for each week do not go in alphabetical order, because certain events that must occur at certain times of the summer (4th of July celebrations, for instance, or summer soccer) are perfect opportunities to match up activities with letters. So, for example, we may put "S" in June, for Strawberry-picking, and assign "B" to a typically-hot week so we can go to the Beach.

The girls will each have their own ABC Summer binder, with a page for each letter, where they will write, draw, and otherwise record information about the activities we did that week for the corresponding letter of the alphabet. I'll (try to) take and print photos of what we do, to paste onto the pages too. At the end of Summer 2011, we'll have two complete memory books of how we filled our days and weeks with ABC-themed fun.

A few caveats: We won't be doing a big planned ABC activity every day, by any means. We have plenty of unstructured time for lazing around. Also, we'll be doing plenty of other activities each week that don't fit in with the assigned letter. For example, we'll go to the pool every week, not just during the week labeled "P." The idea is just to liven up and fill in our usual summer fun with a novel, planful approach to the weeks.

This week is "D" and "H." We plan to: play Hopscotch; have a Hot Dog Dinner; go on a nature Hike in a nearby marsh; Dance at our town's weekly outdoor music event; make Haystacks (those chocolate/butterscotch and crispy chow mein noodle treats); Hula Hoop; and check out books on Dogs, Dinosaurs, and Horses at the library.

This is surely a whole lot better than the Summer Everything Sucked, wouldn't you say?

Do you want to come along for the ride? You could do the ABC Summer too!


Mom and Kiddo said...

You know, I see "Letter of the week" activities on a lot of mom blogs and I always think, "good grief." But here's what I LOVE!!! about yours: the girls are making a book! What a great idea, which keeps them involved, interested and gives them ownership. (Plus "free" time for you while they draw... ha ha). It is unstructured: D and H at the same time? Awesome. And... it is NOT some homeschooling plan to learn the alphabet (not that there is anything wrong with that...), because... duh... they already know it. Also, what an awesome keepsake to have at the end of the summer.

Shannon said...

@Mom and Kiddo: EXACTLY, yes, yes, and yes. :)

Laura said...

Aw, what a cute idea!