Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The summer half point - our favourite activities

I missed a post last week as summer fun and a teething Isla kept me very busy - and without free arms or sleep for 4 days straight!

Looking at the calendar last night, I realized that, sadly, we are at the half way point of summer this week. But I am choosing to embrace that there are still four more weeks left of summer! I was also going through all of the activities, quiet days, friends and family time that we have filled our summer with to this point - and I think that for my family we have finally found a really nice balance this year.

Ewan and I have chosen a theme unit to focus on each week and that has guided our plans. We have moved through several themes including - under the sea, rocks, the night sky, bugs and now birds. These units have given me the opportunity to try new activities that I am very excited to use with the Nursery School program this year. It has also given our week a framework and a way to be selective about which activities that we choose to fill our days with - maybe just being more mindful of how we spend our days has in fact slowed the summer down for us.

Some of our activities have included:
Using letter rocks to match capital & lower case letters.

Washing the rocks we found on our hike.

Visiting the cave at the Museum of Nature.

Staying up late to look at the moon & stars through the telescope.

Our science table with our moon chart for the week.

Visiting the rocket at the Science & Tech museum.

Searching for bugs in the forest.

Eating dirt & worms for desert!

Pretending to be spiders & catching bugs in our web - Ewan's most favorite activity of all time!

Ewan eating his snack in his nest that he built (he is wearing 'head protection' from the bees (too many Scaredy Squirrel books!)

We have been visiting a museum each week and we have really enjoyed all of the activities being offered. Ewan's favourite museum is the Museum of Nature and really has so much to  offer - from the dinosaurs of course, but they also have an aquarium, an amazing space and rock exhibit, a whole floor displaying every kind of bird, live insects and bugs as well as a really great class on building bug traps (which we now have all over our yard!). We have also made a trip to the Museum of Science and Tech to see the rocket ship, but we loved the trains as well as the light maze and all the other hands on activities. The Museum of Agriculture is also well loved by both kids. 

We are also trying to enjoy many of the trails right in the area - Stony Swamp, the Chapman Mills Conservation area and the Manotick dog park are all favourites. Many days we have spent enjoying our own backyard catching bugs, making mud pies and watching birds. Swimming has also been a favourite activity - we are lucky that our neighbours and in laws have beautiful pools that we have open access to use. It is incredible how spending several uninterrupted hours at a pool can improve the kids swimming skills - Ewan is becoming quite the confident swimmer - no longer the over confident boy who would jump in and very quickly sink!

Are you happy with how you and your family have been spending the summer so far? What have been your favourite summer activities? Any must see things on your list? 

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