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Pick a theme for your curriculum to fill your summer planning. It’s a great place to start. You’re field trips, menus, and activities can all be guided by or even generated from a central theme. If you’re a babysitter, you run a summer camp, home daycare, or you’re a stay-at-home mom with your own kids during the summer and you just want to beef up your summer plans, working around a themed curriculum can create a memorable, educational, and entertaining experience.
One summer, we chose “safety” as our summer theme. The theme was broad enough that I could stretch it throughout the summer weeks, 11 in total. I covered topics like community figures who offer safety services, not to talk to strangers, internet safety, and how to make safe choices by the poolside. I took my kids to explore our local fire station and police station. I worked with the kids to memorize their home address and parents telephone numbers and how to find help if they should become lost.
There is no rule that suggests lesson plans should consist of math, science, or reading. When working from home, there is no better place to teach kids about secondary topics like safety, exploring foods, skilled vocations and crafts, the health of your environment, your personal health, or even farming and gardening. We used various crafts and experiments to learn about severe weather and how to make safe decisions in the event of a tornado, house fire, earthquake, or electrical storm. And we used worksheets found on Education.com like a free printable pdf that allows preschoolers to match the best attire for each type of weather https://www.education.com/worksheet/article/what-to-wear-weather/?source=related_materials&order=3.
The video below teaches kids about tornados and it was a favorite the kids asked for again and again:
Once you have a theme or idea of what you’d like to teach kids, there are several great, free and paid resources online. The above picture headed “Our Solar System” is a free printable pdf (https://www.education.com/download/lesson-plan/the-solar-system/attachments/our-solar-system.pdf) that can also be found at Education.com. Education.com offers several great resources from printable worksheets to full lesson plans covering a range of academic topics for kids learning at preschool level til 5th grade.
I have also found lesson plans and worksheets using Teachers Pay Teachers at https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/ and Open Education Resources at https://www.oercommons.org/. I will warn however, the more I look around, the more I find which could be problematic because too much information takes longer to weed through when what you really need is simplicity. Whatever you decide to teach, don’t overthink it. Spend a little time searching for your materials because what the kids usually prefer are the activities that go along with the lesson.
For me, the best place to generate ideas for activities is Pinterest. I have found so many of my ideas from other moms and teachers who blog their ideas and share them in brilliantly colored photos on Pinterest. Many times the materials for these ideas can be found around the house and there is no need to make an expensive trip to the store for supplies.
I have shared a few of these creative activities on this blog and pinned them to my Pinterest Board:
Sharing is caring. Share your themes and creative ideas in the comments section below. I hope a few of the resources shared in this post will help you find great materials for structuring your curriculum and lesson plans, whether you use them for the summer or the whole year through.
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