This week begins our Mission: Keep Our Brains Fresh
Week #1- Outer Space
As previously explained in Mindset Mondays I am on a mission to keep my kiddos brains fresh this summer break from school. Every year I try to focus on hiding some learning opportunities into our summer fun and this year my oldest daughter and I have put together this weekly plan of attack.
Our Plan As Follows
Every week of summer we will have a new weekly theme and we started these themes this Monday as this is the first official full week of summer break for us. The weekly themes my oldest daughter (she is helping me run & organize it this summer, just call her my “PA” personal assistant!) and I have decided to focus on are as follows:
- Outer Space – This weeks learning theme!
- Bugs & Butterflies
- American History
- Colors & Shapes
- Super Spy School
- Water Fun
The idea we have regarding the weekly learning theme’s is to focus on a different theme each week that gives us a commonality to incorporate multiple different subjects under the same topic, much like daycare’s and preschools do. Each Monday I will be posting a new blog with our weekly theme and some of the lesson ideas and tools we will be using that week. I plan to focus about an hour an afternoon on a different subject each day but which days I execute which “assignments” will depend on the flow of each week . We will only be taking an hour out for assignments on typical school days, Mon. – Fri. As I mentioned before, I don’t want their summer learning to ever feel like they are attending summer school for 3 months straight.
Each week I hope to cover these subject areas in our daily
Mission: KOBF hour
– Art project or craft, I don’t plan for this to be a big production every week. Most weeks will likely be coloring, painting or drawing, but again, depending on the theme for the week, I may change-up the difficulty level & intensity of the arts & crafts sometimes.
Our plan for Outer Space is to use a printable I found that allows each of my girls to color a set of the planets & then we will use paper plates to create solar system mobiles.
I also found these links that will encourage coloring and creativity during the week as well:
Book of Space Words – this will also make a great “lesson” to incorporate vocabulary.
If I found a new planet booklet – this definitely encourages creative thinking!
– Vocabulary Lesson, this may be as simple as providing a list of words to have my 7-year-old copy for practice neatly writing into a short sentence each and also for my older daughters to include in a creative writing assignment.
As for vocabulary this week, I am kicking off our lesson with this cute video about the solar system to introduce the theme and a series of vocabulary words. Solar System Preschool Video I have found a few vocabulary tracing worksheets about the 8 planets & the solar system that I plan to have my kids practice their handwriting while learning new words and I also found a short essay template along with other worksheets that I have included in pdf form with a collection of other pages I decided to incorporate into our week conveniently put together in one document. There are however some other great alternative printables at this link for Solar System For Kids worksheets allowing you to take advantage of alternate lessons. This is another GREAT RESOURCE for preschool printable packs you cn purchase for a small price. Though I didn’t use these, they were too cute not to share and I will be saving her page to refer back to in future weeks!
– Reading, story time style taking turns from one week to the next depending on the difficulty of the book chosen each week. Some weeks my 7-year-old will read it out loud other weeks it may be one of my older two and on some occasions it will still be me (we have quite the expanse of books in our home so most of the books will likely come from our existing collection but I will share those titles when available in advance).
I don’t believe we have any books in our home library on the solar system, so I plan to take them to our public library this week, as they have been asking for weeks and we have been too busy to sneak a trip in before now. While there I will focus their book searching efforts to those in the solar system content of course. I came across this Planet Report Template that I plan to have my kids complete on Friday at the end of our Solar System Fun. So if they each pick a book they are interested in while at the library, it will make completing that report worksheet even easier (though I do have some teaching material I intend to use included in my pdf document).
– Math, this will be a practice session with themed math worksheets whenever I am able to find or create them within our theme. On some occasions though they may be hands on activities, like baking or cooking, or measuring to create (i.e. helping to prepare a dish for a camping trip or family cookout=measuring lesson)
This particular week there isn’t really a practical way that I could find to apply math into the weekly lesson but I was fortunate to find a worksheet that includes a solar system picture that is color by number math problems. It is also included in the pdf that will be attached at the end of this post. This website has quite a variety of great Solar System Activity Worksheets also so you can customize to your child and their needs, skill level, and interest.
– Physical outing or activity, it may be as simple as a dance session to some kind of music that fits the theme or it may be a game or sport altered to fit the theme but whatever it is it will get our hearts pumping! ( because our family has a wide age range we may personally incorporate multiple variations of play to whatever activity we do. Take the liberty of personalizing our recommendations to fit your families dynamic & age span).
I took some inspiration from this momma and her awesome Astronaut Training Course and we will be running an outdoor version of an Astronaut Training Course complete with an asteroid field they must navigate, spaceship tunnel, propulsion training on our sit ‘n spin, and completing their training with “anti-gravity training” on our neighbors trampoline.
– Snacks, I have always been a food lover and as a creative person I find it fun to “play with food” in my family fun theme’s, learning experiences and celebrations. I’m a super cheesy person and love a good theme! I will use our weekly themes as an opportunity to look at our meals, snacks and treats through a different lens through the summer so look out for some fun snack/treat ideas inspired by our theme selections!
This week I have a selection of simple snacks to incorporate into our meals & snacktimes through the week. Here are a sampling of the choices I made:
- I saw this cute banana & graham cracker rocket idea and knew right away I would be using it for a surprise breakfast treat one morning this week!
- Being fresh off of Memorial Day weekend we have watermelon on hand so I thought I would dig out some of my star-shaped cookie cutters & let them cut watermelon stars on afternoon.
- We also will do “Cheddar Sausage Rockets” for lunch one afternoon my wrapping a cheddarwurst with a croissant so it looks like a rocket ship!
- To go with our Rocket Dogs I figured we could have some cheesy “asteroid” balls because my kids will always think I am a rock star if I serve them cheese balls!
- Another snack idea I thought was super fun was to make marshmallow & pretzel stick constellations.
- An easy and fun sweet treat to fit into our Outer Space themed week is Moon Pies! I can’t say my kids have had these classic treats so this week I will be introducing them to Moon Pies!
We’d Love You To Join Along!
As I can fit them into our theme I will be looking for “field trip” opportunities and we always welcome friends along for those fun outing so watch out for those in our weekly plans if you are local to us! Also we welcome play dates in the summer schedule too. If you can’t join us in person we would still love to hear about your fun summer themes if you decide to put this plan in place to fit your kids and your family! Share pictures and stories in the comments!
Whether you plan to execute this identical to my plan and future blogs on the topic (using this PDF Document I compiled the majority of our printables for KOBF wk #1 Outer Space) or whether you use is as a guide, or even not at all doesn’t really matter to me. What matters to me is that you are proactive about allowing your kids brains to properly be stimulated WITHOUT electronics and that you make it fun for your kids specifically. Remember, while you are doing this you aren’t just keeping their brains fresh, you are creating memories! So go make memories this summer, but don’t forget to check back for more ideas on our themes and other summer fun memory making ideas! Now Blast Off to a week of intentional, productive fun!
As always, thanks for reading!