It’s that time of year again. Can you feel it?
We’re almost there. The finish line is drawing ever near.
Soon you won’t be dragging yourself through the rigmarole that is getting children to stop singing and eat their breakfast, convincing them 23 times that they need to get dressed or they will be going to school in only their underwear, negotiating for the fourth time this week why they can’t wear the same sweatpants and too small shirt to school, and OH MY GOODNESS YOUR OTHER SHOE IS RIGHT WHERE YOU LEFT IT JUST PUT THEM ON ALREADY WHY DO I HAVE TO GO THROUGH THIS EVERY SINGLE DAY!
Just hypothetically speaking of course
Before we know it the only question we will ask each day is which park should we go to first. And how shall we get there?
The dress code for the day will be determined by which swimsuit is dry.
And if they don’t want to wear shoes, well maybe they don’t need to wear shoes.
Summer is drawing near and I am prepared to welcome it with open arms!
How about a little fun with a countdown to summer?
Countdowns are great physical representation for children to anticipate an approaching date. There are many ways to go about this. Opening windows at advent. Unhooking paper chains before birthdays.
Recently I heard about this ABC countdown from the queen of summer herself, Kelle Hampton. I thought it sounded like something my kids would enjoy and also sounded like something I didn’t have to put much thought into. Here is how it works:
You start by counting back 26 days from the last day of school. That day you begin with A, the next day is B, and so on and so forth until the last day you have reached Z and thus Zippidee-doo-dah YOU MADE IT!
How do you represent that letter? Well that is up to you and your energy level. Some days filled with great energy could be an art project or fun activity. But it’s best not to set yourself up for that right away. A simple snack starting with that letter will do. Maybe wearing the color “blue” for B day. Maybe the story you read before bed has to start with that letter. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s the countdown that makes it exciting.
A few things to keep in mind about this project…
When you miss a day (and notice I say “when” not “if” because it will happen) do not fear failure and give up. Figure out where you are and carry on. This is an end of school countdown, not a thesis paper.
It is quite possible you do not have the same last day of school as my children and therefore have fewer days left in the school year. First of all, luck you. Second, you could maybe choose a word or the child’s name and spell that out.
This doesn’t have to be reserved for the end of school. Maybe you want to countdown to a vacation you have coming up or a visit from grandparents. Perhaps you want to countdown to the start of school. Countdown are useful tools for many dates to anticipate.
If you have a child in the family who knows their letters, provide them with a calendar, you could draw this up for them if you don’t have one already, and mark the letters on the calendar. Then, instead of being the camp counselor for this activity, invite them to help you decide that day what would represent the letter. This takes zero prep and planning, other than making the calendar. They will have fun thinking about what might represent that letter. And you won’t have to feel stressed about adding one more thing on to your to do list each day.
I decided to go ahead and brainstorm a few ideas for each letter to give me a head start. I would love to see what ideas you think of too! Summer, we’re coming for you in 26 school days!
A…apple snack, acrobatic lessons on the jungle gym, be an author
B…blue day, build with blocks, bike riding, baking day, bubble bath
C…cookies! Cupcakes! Candy! (So much sugar in C.), create, color, cuddle, cars
D…dance party, dig in the dirt, draw
E…eat eggs, eye spy game, do something good for the Earth
F…fishing game, buy flowers, make a family flag, flashlight fun
G…game night, green day, make green goo, grape or goldfish snack
H…hat day, hot dogs/hamburgers, say hi or high five neighbors, hopscotch, hide and seek
I…ice cream, play with ice, hunt for insects
J…juggle lessons, sing jingle bells to school, jumping game
K…kisses for all (with consent!), kick a ball, king for a day, kite flying (or drawing), kiwi snack
L…lollipop, make or hunt for ladybugs, leaf rubbings, lemonade, legos
M…make a mask, m&ms, monster drawing, mustache day
N…necklace making, noodles, night fun, nap (right?), guess that noise game, nail polish, nuts
O…orange, opposite day, ocean,
P…popcorn, pickles, pizza, paint, penny walk, purple
Q…queen for the day, quilt collage (or simply snuggling under one), quacking contest
R…read, red, rock ’n roll, rainbow drawing, rocket play
S…silly socks, sing songs, sand play, superhero, soup
T…trains, tickle, tacos, tic tac toe, tools, tree art,
U…umbrella fun, unicorn, up and down game,
V…vegetables (they will love this one), veterinarian, vehicles,
W…water play, watermelon, weather watch, wheels, worms, web
X…xrays, xylophone music, x marks the spot maps
Y…yellow, yummy foods, yes day, yarn play
Z…zip all of the zippers, zoo fun, zippadee doo dah we’re done!