“How many days are left of summer vacation?” a child asked another. “As many as it is warm,” was the answer. “I mean how many days til’ school starts again?” the first continued. “It never ended,” was the reply. The first child was getting confused and felt the conversation was going nowhere, until they learned the other child is homeschooled year round. No that doesn’t mean he sits at a desk all day throughout the year, but it does mean he learns something almost every day. Don’t worry, that child enjoys plenty of time for fun in the sun. He doesn’t worry about how many days remain for summer, because once the sun cools down, fall adventures will begin, then winter, then spring… Each season brings new adventures. Summer adventures are his favorite though. Summer adventures are our whole family’s favorite. We’re a family that loves to visit family and friends, visit the beach, go camping, have BBQ’s, watch the stars… and Michigan’s summers are great for such adventures. But sometimes, even in the summer, we can’t go on adventures. Sometimes it’s raining and we’re stuck at home or for whatever reason we haveta find other indoor adventures.
During a recent event inside our local library we were reminded that we can go on any adventure – anytime – in a book. David Anthony and Charles Clasman are the authors of a few books series, including Heroes A2Z (click here for LINK), and they spoke about the kinds of adventures and people you can meet in books. They gave a great presentation, handed out books and signed the copies. They spent time answering kids questions and encouraged them to write their own stories, because “Every hero has a story!” Every hero has a story and every kid is a hero was their message. One way my boys decided to be real heroes is by adding on to summer school homework and writing about their adventures. They love the adventures and lessons in our summer nature program. Many of our supplies come from the Mother Goose Time curriculum. Last week we started “Nature Detectives” (click here for video) with a “Mystery in the Trees” focus. This week we’re investigating the “Mystery in the Air.” Both weeks we built onto the activities and they decided that Nature Detectives is a hero training program for protecting the earth… from pollution to planting these boys are determined to “save the world.”
They are worried about how to save the world with this weeks mission. The air is clear here but they’ve seen city smog and wonder how to clean up that issue. They talked about the pollution and germs in the air and other things – good things – that float around. They made lil’ hot air balloons and timed dropping them with different items in the baskets. We played with real balloons, made cotton ball cloud pictures (after reading ‘Spilt Milk’), and went bird watching. We went to check on our bird feeders from last week, but they were all gone! Pinecones and all. Best guess – squirrels took em!
Did you know there are flying squirrels? We had to research those and flying spiders! We made paper airplanes and flying saucers and Frisbee’s fly. We filled balloons with air and let out the air and let those fly. We talked about weight and speed and distance … what things flew well and what didn’t fly at all. We talked about the pressure of air and what makes the air good flying quality. We used all our senses to investigate the air. We felt the air travel through fans and wind. We watched and listened to it rustle the leaves. We even smelled it and could taste flavors from different scents in the air. Some smells like cinnamon were great – other smells like the ones from the farm down the road weren’t so great!
We investigated nature from the farm back to our home and got close with a magnify glass to check out details. The book “Get Close to Nature” was a great next step to our investigation. Our friends loved joining us to make our own nature books. We spent time outside enjoying the colors of the air and in nature. We found all the colors of the rainbow from the sky to the trees to the flowers.
We spent time outside enjoying the sounds of the air and in nature, then we came back inside and played games about weather sounds – which was perfect because it started to rain! As we often do with games we used as intended first then I let the boys make up new rules which lead to matching games and charades. When’s the last time your family played charades? Guess which weather or animal your family members are. Have fun and play with your kids! Just as one was worried about summer vacation ending soon – your kids wanting to play with you ends soon too!
Enjoy nature this summer with your kids. Get outside and enjoy fresh air and the “Mystery of the Air.” Climb new heights together and discover “what’s up.” Yell “it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s mommy doing a cannon ball!” Stay out late and enjoy the night air and yell “it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s daddy shooting off fireworks!” Michigan summers are perfect for adventure, but they end quickly and you’ll have to settle for book adventures soon when it’s 30below zero outside again! If you need ideas on things to do outside try our Pinterest board for nurturing nature. If you want to check out the Nature Detective kit contact Mother Goose Time (click here for ordering page). These curriculums are not date sensitive meaning you can use them whenever (as long as they are still in stock). We will be using this curriculum (as well as other top rated programs) throughout the year in our educational childcare and homeschool tutoring services – check out ADVENTURE ACADEMY for more information! Please support Adventure Academy and Mi Families by subscribing above and find us on social media sites such as FACEBOOK. Our facebook site is a great place for parents and providers to ask questions and share ideas and we’ll share resources with you, like messages that make ya think:
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