Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Take-a-Trip Tuesday & a Summer Giveaway!

It's Take-a-Trip Tuesday, and my kids are off to the Summer Movies. Where do you go to cool off when it's hot? Some of our favorite places to get out of the house are: 
the library     the aquarium     indoor trampoline/inflatable park     the beach     a shady playground     children's museum     ice cream shop     the pool     an arcade
 If you want more suggestions from The Mom Season's List of 72 Free Summer Activity Ideas, you can still sign up here! 

Since not all of those field trips are free, here's a chance to win some spending money for all those fun summer outings! Click the image below for a $50 cash giveaway.  And share the love with your mom friends!
#TakeATripTuesday #themomseasonsummer

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Read the Classics with Your Kids This Summer: A List of Favorites

In the school year, teachers assign books that the kids may not enjoy, or they spend reading requirements on series that fellow classmates recommend.  While their top picks may be fun reads, they often lack brain-building vocabulary, thought-provoking imagery, or inspiring messages that last. That's why the summer is the best time to check out some heftier titles from the library and read as a family!

I love introducing older, popular classics with my kids when we have more downtime. If I don't take the opportunity that school breaks offer, I worry that my three children may not otherwise get the chance to experience these well and long-loved tales. After all, there has to be a reason that certain books have been recycled, revised, and re-told for ages.

Remember what it was like to be bored and forced to come up with your own mental movie pictures? Listening to or reading stories, without provided images, was the original form of entertainment, before television. Kids are never too young or too old to imagine the narratives being told them.  Not only are there brains sparking with renewed creativity, but reading out loud allows me time to explain phrases or words they don't understand, as many older stories have cultural or dated references. For example, I had to explain recently that a "torch" in The Chronicles of Narnia was actually a flashlight. I'm also able to skip over any language or descriptions I find inappropriate for their age.

Reading together on the couch is great family time- maybe even a lost art form.

Understandably, my younger boys sometime resist turning off screens and settling down for lengthy periods of time at first.  But after every chapter is finished, they're hooked and their curiosities are piqued!  We sometimes draw pictures of what we think the characters or scenes looked like.  And when we read an entire book, we find the movie adaptation to celebrate. It's fantastic conversation material, as we compare the film's interpretation to the original story.

Here are a list of classics turned into movies that our family has enjoyed (I started this with my daughter years ago, so many titles are female favorites.  We're venturing more into boy territory these days now too):

  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
  • Anne of Green Gables* by L.M. Montgomery
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  • Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis
  • The BFG by Roald Dahl
  • Little Women* by Louisa May Alcott
  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • A Little Princess by by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  • Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
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Here are more on my list to read in the future:
  • Mary Poppins by Dr. P. L. Travers
  • Heidi by Johanna Spyri
  • Matilda by Roald Dahl
  • The Lord of the Rings series* by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lingren
  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann D. Wyss
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
  • Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
  • The Collected Tales of Nurse Matilda by Christianna Brand (Movie: Nanny McPhee)
  • The Adventures of Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green
  • Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reed Banks

*These titles are geared more for older children.  My oldest is a middle-schooler, so we can venture into harder texts than with my elementary-school aged sons. 

Do you have a favorite classic story that you think kids may love?  Share!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Monday, June 13, 2016

It's Another Mom Season Summer Plan!

Three weeks into my kids' summer break, I am finally getting familiar with the new paces and routines.  Every day is different.  Each week is new with camps or trips dotted throughout the calendar. So, I'm very casual.

But I know that the hour is looming...the clock will soon strike...OH MY GOSH WE HAVE GOT TO DO SOMETHING BEFORE WE DRIVE EACH OTHER CRAZY!
I'm not saying that the kids can't be bored sometimes.  I don't mean that we have to constantly keep them entertained every blessed minute.  But we can't really expect the kids to come up with the smartest ideas for filling a dozen hours on their own without some adult interaction.
Their first pick is usually screen time. Then they attempt risky experiments or stunts suggested by their very own genius imaginations. Those sweet faces will also constantly demand to know, "What are we doing today???"  And without some direction, the sibling harmony turns into terribly out-of-pitch cat screeching, when Mom doesn't have a surprise or two behind her back.
It's time to make a plan.  My son has already asked a few times when we were going to start our annual themed activity days, because he is so totally stoked that he doesn't have to do any school.  I get it.  I just haven't been on it yet, because we all just needed a break from schedules.  Until now. you haven't been following, my Mom Season friends and I come up with rotating weekday themes that give us the general framework for fun activity planning that has lots of flexibility.  

Allowing for our personal skillsets and resources, we can use this plan to tailor-fit our families' favorite things to do. We don't all love crafts, and we don't all join the swim team. But we all want to make lasting memories and enjoy our time with the kids, don't we?

So this year, I compiled a free list of 72 activity ideas that I've either used in the past or plan to try this year.  If you sign up, you'll receive a PDF to download in your email.  The lists should get you through the next 12 weeks!  How's that for a Make-Something-Monday AWESOME?!?

Rest your weary brain, Momma, I've got you.

Share your own fun summer plans with us!
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