Startin' Summer and How to Build a Village

I don't think I mentioned before that our family just picked up and MOVED to a NEW STATE for the SUMMER. But that's what we did 3 days ago. We are away for 3 months trying out a place we've never been to during my husband's internship. And one of the things I miss the most (other than knowing people, having friends, and not getting lost driving around town) is that I had to leave my PROJECT ROOM behind.

I PLANNED for our SUMMER PROJECTS because I don't think I can make it 3 months without them. Just this morning Jay was telling me he was ready for a project and wondered where it was. Don't worry little buddy, I got it covered. I planned out a bunch of summer projects for the road. Did I mention that we could only bring what would FIT IN OUR TINY CAR?

So, today we began to build our village (more about that below). But not before we made a trip to the local thrift store to make up for not being able to bring a few things with us. May I just tell you that I always FEEL SO BLESSED when I go to the thrift store? I LOVE the TREASURE HUNT of it all. I always come away feeling like I've won a prize. I don't know if everyone feels that way. But seriously, I found just what I was looking for and felt so stinkin' LUCKY!

Want to see what I mean? I always feel like I can actually find REAL educational toys, not just stuff. Here are some of our finds:
This train was a .50 and if you look closely you can see that it is clear so that all the gears in this wind-up train (it has a key sticking out toward you) move and you can SEE them turn!

Children's encyclopedia, children's science book, subtraction wrap-ups game, scale, Spanish book, Nature books, shapes manipulative and little houses for OUR VILLAGE were all a quarter each!!  We also picked up a package of extra large construction paper $1, and a telling time game for $2.  I love treasure hunting at the thrift store :)

How do you plan your summer?  Do you plan your summer out, or just fly by the seat of your pants? Definitions of summertime vary. Since my kids aren't in school the only major difference is that we are in a NEW state/house/city..... But there are a few tricks up my sleeve for how we are going to learn and have fun this summer. I like to do both: plan and fly. So now that I have absolutely no ties (relatively few people know I'm even here) we are free from most commitments and able to spend our days however we choose.
Regardless of how much planning you like to do, there are probably certain things you don't want to miss out on. Write them down so you get to enjoy them.  Summer seems to slip by so fast!

This is a fun way to display summer goals. Mine are probably just going to be displayed on the refrigerator. I did remember to pack a magnet :)

Here are some of my "Project Goals" (since we are more likely to do them if I actually write them down)
FAMILY: Swim a ton, build a village (see below), read a lot, play outside a lot, explore our new state, leave the TV off even though we are excited to have one that works :)

Jay: finish learning to tell time and understand the calendar better
learn to read music
learn 2 songs by rote, 1 by notes (hopefully we have a piano to borrow since we left ours behind)
Be able to write all lowercase letters too (the right way)
learn about/how to count money
start math program

Learn to recognize all of the uppercase alphabet letters
finish shapes and colors
start math program

Thoughts on Building a Village:
This Little Project has 3 goals in mind: 1) Create an ongoing project for the kids and me to do together, 2) Create a new set of toys for them to play with that inspire creativity (since we couldn't bring many toys with us).  3) Try to use things we already have in our home so that it is inexpensive (I packed a little lunch box with as many little fabrics, trims, threads, etc. as I could!)

At first I thought I would make one of those floor mats where there are roads and different things and buildings all flat on the mat. Then I got a better idea: make it 3D so that the buildings weren't flat, but real. Then I got an even better idea this morning: Don't make it a mat where everything stays stuck, but make it where each piece is separate so that when it gets played with it can be a NEW VILLAGE EVERY TIME by simply rearranging it.

We have a pool in the complex we are living in. We've never had so much access to the pool. I could see us spending a lot of time there. It's indoor so I don't even have to do the sunscreen fight:) The kiddos are thrilled, so naturally we started with that item in our village.

see any resemblance?  Daddy and Jay at the pool...
It started with a piece of felt folded over to make it thicker.  Then some fabric glue "liquid stitch" and some trims and sequins turned it into our pool.  

I'll post about building our village over the summer and feel free to join in for This Little Project.


Buckeroomama said...

Your kids are so lucky to have for their mom. :)

We'll be in another country (!) for the summer. Planning to do lots of things that we can't or normally don't do here -- be outdoors a LOT, go berry-picking...

Anonymous said...

I just love this idea! Saw it on WhipUp. I am looking forward to watching your village unfold...

mmclassics said...

This would be great for our 8 yo daughter and 3 yo son! Big brother might even be tempted to help.

1 Big Question - Where would I find the little wooden people? I think we have everything else. We love felt too.

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