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America, the Beautiful: Summer Camp at Home week 4

America, the Beautiful: Summer Camp at Home week 4

Happy birthday, USA!

How is your summer going so far? I’d love to hear from you if you are doing Summer Camp at Home or any variation of it. We are keeping busy! Tropical Storm Debby kept us inside for a day (I know others got the worst of the storm), and I spent most of the week prepping for my little one’s third birthday party. I got to tell you, WHEW! I am tired.

My sons loved playing pirates this week. But they still love to pretend being wildlife explorers. It’s not wildlife week — that was the theme of our first week of summer — but they are having fun, and I love that they are using their imaginations and feeling comfortable in a certain role. Role play actually stimulates children’s brains. Parents have to appreciate that!

We have travel in our plans this week (read the next paragraph for details!), so I don’t have a lot of activities prepared for the fourth week of summer. You may find some great learning activities for your kids. Here is what we are going to do, plus additional ideas.

- Field Trip: We are actually going to SeaWorld for the Fourth of July! SeaWorld will be open until 11 pm and have a fantastic fireworks show, a band playing patriotic songs as well as classic favorites and — of course — the wildlife my kids love. (My sons are budding wildlife caretakers.) We can’t wait to see the brand-new Turtle Trek exhibit! SeaWorld is on the way to our relatives’ town, where we are going to visit the boys’ great-grandma to celebrate her 90th birthday. Unless you’re traveling, too, you might be able to take a field trip to a history museum or historical landmark near your home. Older students can take a self-led “virtual field trip” of America.

- Geography: I picked up a United States floor puzzle for the boys, and we will keep it out so they can get acquainted with the 50 states. My oldest son is just starting to think about where places are in relation to others. Older students can do state map quizzes.

- Crafts: We plan on going to a craft play date with friends, where a friend of mine who is great at kids’ crafts has a Fourth of July project prepared. If we weren’t doing that, though, I’d be tempted to make these red, white and blue paper lanterns or at the very least, have fun with a patriotic coloring page.

- Language Skills: Truthfully, we may not do a lot of reading this week because of our travel plans. It makes me nervous to take library books on a trip! We always take our own books on a trip, but I don’t think we have any books about America. You may find some age-appropriate patriotic books at your local library, or look for A Is For America by Devin Scillian; America: A Patriotic Primer by Lynn Cheney; America Is… by Louise Borden; The Scrambled States of America by Laurie Keller; America the Beautiful by Katharine Lee Bates; and Good Night America by Adam Gamble.

- Math skills: We will use the American flag to learn about the flag and our country’s history, and practice counting skills. There are 50 stars to represent the 50 states. (That is a lot of counting, but I think my five-year-old can do it with help.) There are 13 red and white stripes, representing the 13 original colonies in the United States of America. Or how about a game of patriotic dominoes?

- Cooking: I love these red, white (well, almost) and blue fruit snacks. My boys would have fun putting fruit on skewers and then eating them (if they didn’t poke out an eye with the skewer).

- Music: This one’s easy — there are lots of patriotic songs. If you don’t know how to sing them, look them up on YouTube and listen to them with your child. Older students may want to learn about the stories behind the patriotic songs.

- Fine motor skills: Doing crafts and coloring are good for fine motor skills. Other than that, we are practicing handwriting on lined paper as I mentioned last week.

- Science: Fireworks! Fireworks are science in action, and everyone likes watching them. Older students might like to learn about the science behind fireworks.

- More: You will probably have additional excellent ideas for having fun while learning this week.

Enjoy summer time while summer is still here! It’s hard to believe my oldest son’s summer at home is already halfway over, because he is set to go to summer day camp with his occupational therapist for the last four weeks of summer. Summer days sure don’t last…. Get out and play!

Make it a great week!


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