Summer Plan

Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean the learning stops.  And I refuse to go without routines.  Routines have become a bit of a mantra for me lately helping me with all areas of my life!  Without them there is crazy and I end up with angry, bored kids and one very frustrated mama. So I’ve roughly planned out our summer based on routines and things I wanted to accomplish.

Now, this doesn’t mean I have our entire days scheduled to the minute.  My kids have a lot of free time to do whatever they want, including screens.  I don’t limit much.  But our mornings are more structured.

Here’s Galleons Lap’s summer schedule!


I like to think this is pretty self explanatory, but how about some ideas of what we’ll do these days!

Monday: Library/Park Day

A once a week library trip is just what we need to keep up summer reading goals and participate in all the wonderful summer reading programs that are going on both online and locally.  And right next door to the library is an incredible playground that includes not only slides and swings, but also building materials of all kinds, a sensory garden, chalk, trucks, sand toys, an art area with a new project always going on, and a water pump area with water tables that drain into a muddy creek bed.  Everything is supplied by the city.  All I do is bring a change of clothes, when I remember too, because the kids do get wet and muddy.

Tuesday: Art

This isn’t just drawing pictures, although I’m sure it will include that as well. We’re talking about sidewalk chalk paint, squirt guns filled with paint, clay, and lots of other messy, hands on activities that all three kids, even the toddler, can participate in.

Wednesday: Nature

This is our nature study day during the normal school year and it doesn’t really change in the summer time.  We’ll still be getting out once a week, although there’s a lot more beaches involved and maybe not as much study.

Thursday: Field Trips

I always have a long list of places I want to go to or see that never seems to happen so making a special day dedicated to doing these things is perfect!  We already have passes to the local Science Museum for days that we don’t want to spend a lot of money or time.  But I’m also including trips to the water park, art museum, zoo, and anything else that comes up that I feel the desire to do.  I know it’s summer, and many of these places will be crowded with camp kids and kids out on summer break.  I’ve learned if you go early, at opening, and plan to spend just a few hours, not only do you beat the heat of the day, you also beat a lot of the crowds.  And sometimes, you just have to deal with the crowds.

Friday: STEAM

If you don’t know, STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. I’m setting aside a time to build, discover, and explore.  This includes creating slime and putty, making catapults, building bridges for hot wheels out of tin foil, LED circuits out of play dough, and more.

It’s also summer of course, and some days/weeks we won’t get to it.  We have family visiting, or traveling ourselves. Summer camps to attend.  And days we’ll just want to hang out at the pool or splash pads.  And that’s okay.  Having a rough guide is important, but it’s just a guide.





Ariel Princess School: The one with a lot of glitter

Welcome back to Princess School!  We are on Week 2 of Ariel, The Little Mermaid.
2015-08-12 09.40.27
This week Little Miss loved our read aloud, Rainbow Fish. So much that we detoured from my planned projects and decided to make our own special fish.  I took our Green Bubbles drawing book, The Usborne Big Drawing Book.  He really never had any interest in it but Little Miss loved this book.  I remembered the very first page had a how to draw a fish.  While this drawing book really isn’t intended for three year olds, she loved it!   Later in the book is a mermaid, which I drew with my very limited art skills.  Then I let Little Miss have at it and draw as many fish as she wanted.

2015-08-12 10.02.34

After she was done, I traced her fish in white glue and let her go to town with glitter.  It may not be a rainbow fish, but it sure did sparkle!  She liked it so much she took her own pictures of it.
2015-08-12 10.17.24
Here’s a closer view of her drawing. We used a mixture of white glue and normal glitter, but also used glitter glue, like the hair on the mermaid. All I did was the tracing, Little Miss did the rest!

2015-08-12 10.18.50

If you notice, Megatron was missing from our glitter fun. While some messes are ok, I was not prepared for a toddler glitter project. He was able to join us for our next project this week though!

I didn’t take any pictures of the process for this one but it’s really not hard.  I printed up black and white photos of each kid before hand onto cardstock and cut out their heads.

IMG_4869On another piece of cardstock I let the kids paint!  Green Bubbles always leaves when paints, crayons, markers, or anything ‘art’ related comes out.  It’s not his thing.  Thankfully, Megatron was more than happy to paint a second piece of paper with Mommy’s help. (All I did was spread out the globs of paint so they actually filled in the white spaces of the paper).  We used just two colors, blue and white. Little Miss painted her paper all on her own with no help at all.


After the paint was dry, I glued on their heads!  Then I cut out some ‘masks’ from whatever color construction paper the kids picked out.  Except for Megatron, I picked out his 🙂  I glued on a straw and then the mask.  The straw is the snorkel, get it 😉


Even though Green Bubbles didn’t participate in this craft, he really liked seeing his picture up with the other two.  And Little Miss liked pointing out how Green Bubbles and Megatron were both wet! (I picked pictures from when we went to the beach or pool).  Little Miss didn’t have any good ‘wet’ pictures so hers was dry.  She questioned it, but after I explained it was because she was actually a mermaid, she was much happier!

We ran out of time, but might add it in later.  I saw this project with little fish swimming around in the open space and bubbles coming from the kids.  I think I might add Little Miss’s name in the bubbles to help work on how to spell her name.  But even if we don’t get to it, I think they still turned out really cute.

We read a few other books from the Rainbow Fish series as our read alouds this week since, as I mentioned above, Little Miss liked them so much.  They are cute stories about sharing, being kind, being brave, and more.  All great values to teach kids.

Ariel Princess School: The one with seashells and a lot of paint

A little late, but here’s our first week of Ariel Princess Preschool!

We found this great activity involved sea shells.  You would think we would have plenty of sea shells laying around our house with how often we visit the beach but… we don’t.  The beaches we go to are either over populated and the only shells you can find are tiny or broken, or they are protected wildlife areas where you are not allowed to take any shells back with you, mostly the later.  I ended up buying some seashells for our project similar to these.


Then Little Miss’s favorite part, paint!  I pulled out our normal tempera paint and paintbrushes and let Little Miss and Megatron get to work.  Any art project with a one year old is bound to make a big giant mess. I had to take a deep breath and just let him go knowing it could all be cleaned up.


We ended up using every color except white and black and had a whole tray of rainbow shells!  And green paint all over the table and baby….
I let them sit over night and our second project was creating a seashell pencil holder.

2015-08-05 09.19.00

Then came the fun part.  We put air-dry clay all over two washed, cleaned, and no sharp edges cans.  Little Miss needed a lot of help with this part so I let her have at it while I did one can by myself, and then we switched and I fixed her can while she started on the next step.

2015-08-05 09.41.57

Little Miss began sticking our painted shells into the clay.  We also used beads and buttons we already had in our craft stash.  I had to go over Little Miss’s creation and really push the shells and beads in so they wouldn’t fall out.  I showed her on the second can how you can make prints with the shells to add texture to the clay, but she really had no interest in this.

Just a tip…. The clay shrinks and, when it’s placed on a structure, cracks. This isn’t as much an issue if you are building something without a structure under it, but it is with this method. It wasn’t that bad on the can on the left in the picture, but Little Miss’s can on the right fell apart and can’t be salvaged.  She’s ok with this and we did it totally for the experience rather than having any lasting keepsake.  I knew this was a strong possibility and wanted to warn anyone else doing this same project.

Books we’ve read this week!

The Mermaid and the Shoe –  A cute story about a little mermaid who goes on a quest to discover what the strange object (a shoe) is for.  Her sisters all have great talents and poor Minnow doesn’t.  That is until she discovers her special talent while on her quest.   Little Miss loved this story.  It’s got mermaids, and little girls, and everything she could ever want.

What It’s Like to Be a Fish? – A science book all about fish.  This book talks about gills, fins, swimming, and even eye lids, or lack there of.  While this book was full of information, it’s not much of a story and had problems holding Little Miss’s attention.  I think it would be a much better book for an older child, probably Kindergarten age, who might have more interest in details about fish.  Little Miss is much more about stories at this point though.

As always, affiliate links are included.  This doesn’t affect your price if you choose to purchase, but will help support our homeschool.