Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Summer Plannin' Had me a Blaaa-aast!

Thought I would share our plans for summer, since they are FINALLY ready! (Warning- this one will be looo-oooong!)

I decide, for the sake of organization, to create a Nature Journal. It has a two-fold purpose. The first is to encourage Joshua to start writing and recording (drawing etc...). The second is just a place to keep all the activities I have planned. I want to have things ready but not schedule things to certain days so as to be more flexible, NOT my strong suit!

First, I went here and printed off pages that I liked to use for his writing and recording. I chose some that are lined a bit with space for drawing and some with just open space for pictures and taping found items etc...
Next, I looked at all the activities I wanted to do and split them up into subjects. (Intro, Birds, Trees/Plants/Flowers, Backyard Animals, Insects, Sun/Clouds, Creek, Frogs, Beach Life, Dirt/Compost)

Here are the activities to go along with the subjects. (Feel free to ask for more infrmation if something you are interested in is unclear!)


  • Create Journal- I slid every printed out page and activities written on cards into a page protector. I plan to pull the pages out as we use them and slide them back in for keeping.
  • Spring Nature Walk- http://www.heartsandtrees.blogspot.com/ Look in the sidebar under My Free Downloads! Check out this blog! You may want to just order her ideas!
  • Plant Seeds- We have several different planting projects including a Chia Pet, Paper towel sprouting seeds, and a few other ideas and kits I have been collecting. I figure if we plant a ton...something will grow!
  • Under a rock- literally move a rock and discover what is underneath, write and/or draw what you find.
  • Paint Clubhouse- We are just going to paint a giant box left over from Josh's birthday, something he can drag out and play in for a week or two!
  • Trash pick up hike to the park! Grab a bag and join in!

  • Make birdfeeders- like this and this.
  • Bird graph- We are just going to keep track of all the birds we see for one day by color, type, what they are doing, etc...
  • Bird observation and journaling.
  • Set up a bird bath, I hope!
  • Make a bird from here http://kidscraftweekly.com/bird_issue.html! Highly recommend joining this site!
  • Journal writing

Backyard animals

  • ID Local animals using our local animal field guide!
  • Set out a pan with flour anf food on it to check out footprints and figure out who are nocturnal etc... Footprint guide found at www.bear-tracker.com
  • Squirrel lapbook (Will share links in a week or so, ya know, after I find them!)
  • Journal writing



  • Take a Cloud Walk downloaded from http://www.nostudentleftindoors.com/Home.html
  • Make a cloud book showing different cloud types with cotton balls.
  • Make cloud pictures like this!
  • Make solar prints using black construction paper with leaves on top and set in the sun.
  • Create a simple sundial with a paper plate.
  • Make suncatchers like this super easy idea!
  • Journal writing

Creek Life

  • We have a creek in our backyard so we will be studying the water and creatures we find!
  • Creek clean up! You would not believe all the stuff we find!
  • Journal writing


Beach Life

  • Shell/rock sort
  • ID shells with cards from http://www.montessorimaterials.org/science.htm
  • Sand vs soil study
  • Shell Wreath- glue shells on a cardboard cutout wreath shape. Maybe a frame instead if we do not have enough shells for a wreath!
  • Journal writing


Rainy Day ideas

So that is it for now! If you get a chance, let me know if these types of write up are helpful! I do not mind doing it but it does take a ton of time. So if it is not of use to anyone, I could probably find something better to do with my time (read- do the MOUNTAIN of dishes in my sink!)


Melissa said...

Sounds great! I LOVE this post, and I appreciate all the time you put into it. Keep it up! O is too young for a lot of these things, but we'll definitely try a few, I've starred this post so I can come back to it when she's older. I'm also going to send my sister a link because these are great activities for her to do with my 4 year old niece. Thanks!

Shannon said...

Thanks Melissa!

I forgot to mention that we will also continue working on PL activities around the house. We will pick back up on shelf work in the Fall!

Julie said...

wow. what a load of info. You are a fountain of resources!

MerrandaVK said...

Now to find time to go through all your resources. :) Thanks so much for all your tips and suggestions - I appreciate them so much. I'd love to start a nature journal for Justin of some sort. He'd LOVE that!

Nadia said...

Excellent! I will take your ideas for beginning a journal with my 4 years-old son but in French. I really appreciate you being so generous ;) It's a precious guideline

Shannon said...

Thanks everyone! Now if I can just make sure we follow through with all these plans!

Laura said...

Wow! You have really planned a lot. It sounds really fun. Thanks for sharing all the great links.

Jenny said...

Along with everyone else, I found this post to be very helpful, and so informative! I have a pretty good idea of how long a post like that takes to put together, so I really do appreciate it, and I hope you'll keep them up!

Shannon said...

Thanks Jenny! It is a lot of work but it is really nice for me to have it all in one place to refer to!