Summer Guide: Stress-Free Summer Learning Fun in Tampa Bay

Summer is upon us, and I haven’t prepared a thing!!  This will be my first experience with a child out of school for the summer. Last year, the months flew by with little change in our routine.  This year, I’ll admit, I have gotten used to having one in school and only ONE at home while I work.

My daughter’s excitement for the summer to start is catching. She has beat me to the alarm clock two days in a row! I want to make sure we have lots of fun scheduled, and also make time for keeping newly learned skills fresh in her mind. Many of my friends have expressed the pressure they felt to keep their children on track in Kindergarten. The curriculum for early learners is much more rigorous than it used to be. The summer is a great time to sneak in some learning activities, so that our children start the year off feeling confident and capable. Confidence is key to success in school and enjoying the experience of learning. Summer is also a time to for rejuvenation, so I don’t want to stress her out with work (or stress myself out with pressure…and more work).

That said, I HAVE NOTHING PREPARED!  AHHHHHH!!!!  As usual, in these situations, I turn to my trusty friend, Pinterest.  She’s always got my back.  I invite you to join my board “Summer Learning Fun” to find easy, and free, learning related activities for your children.  I’m pinning resources for a variety of ages, and making sure each pin actually goes to a site (and not an ad or product).

summer learning

 

Here are some of my favorite discoveries:

Sun-Ucycled Crayons for a science-y/artsy twist

Star Spangled Banner Printables for patriotic/singing fun

The “Bored Jar” List of Activities for all those times you hear “I’m boooredd.”

Learning Websites For Kids and I wanted to add myOn to that list–it’s fantastic.  Ask your child’s school if they have a free login for you.

Painting with Plants for an outdoorsy/artsy/nature mix

Floating Numbers for a super-fun mix of math and swimming

I’ve invited my friends to join the board, so there will be lots of great posts from all over, for all ages.  Why not make your own board and invite your friends to join?  Pooling resources makes it easier (and cheaper)  for everyone.  In fact, if it requires supplies, you and your friends can each pick one–do the activity with your own kids–and then swap supplies!  Or, have a Pinterest Playdate and have each parent bring supplies for one activity.

Also, I have to give credit to my friend Carrie.  She made a great “Summer Calendar” on Google Drive and added our e-mails to it.  It is a great FREE way to plan as a group. She adds things like park days, pool days, and museum days to the calendar.  We are all free to add our own activity ideas and/or join them.  She also makes sure to mark off dates they are out of town or are not available.

calendar image

If technology isn’t your style, I found a few printable planners you can use to keep your summer a little organized.  It helps avoid the “what-are-we-going-to-do-today” blues! There are lots of great activities out there, at libraries, stores, malls, museums, rec centers.  Many of them are free. Filling in a planner can help keep all your ideas organized.  I know I often feel like, “Now, where was that free reading circle and craft activity happening? Was that for today or yesterday? Did I have to register in advance?”  Jotting your ideas down helps a lot–you can do all of them or none of them.  No pressure for the summer–just fun, learning, and quality time with your children.

Summer Holiday Planner

Summer Planner Printable

The Peaceful Mom’s amazing FREE Printable Planner/Binder Sheets

Work doesn’t stop just because the children are out of school.  There are a ton of great weekend and evening activities happening all around the area.  Make sure to check the site often to find updated listings. Make sure to keep yourself stress free, so you can enjoy the time too.  Here are some ideas just for you:

Cosmo’s Stress Free Summer Party

The 10 Beach Bag Essentials For A Stress-Free Summer (if you can get to the beach or pool by yourself for a second or two…)

6 Tips to Stress-Free Summer Child Care

And don’t forget a great summer book Glamour’s 10 Best Books for 2014 Summer Reading

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Any great ideas?  Share them with us here.  

See you on Pinterest!

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