The transition from summer to school is underway, but not today. Today is all about the
Summer of 2019
and all the great memories you created with the kids in your life. Over the last 13 weeks our #NoSummerSlide series offered beyond-the-book ideas to keep your child’s their literacy skills sharp. Each set of ideas was designed to be fun, easy to do, and – most importantly – connect with your kids in ways that created a boatload of memories.
As the “unofficial end of summer,” it seems only appropriate that this week’s idea is a trip down memory lane. We’re guessing that your family has had a great (probably busy) summer, so why not celebrate it with a family event?
Yes, it is a riff on the “What did you do this summer” assignment we used to get in school. BUT how often do our kids get to hear what we loved about spending the summer with them? This is a chance for you to hear what your kids loved about their summer (and vice versa); one more chance for them to practice their literacy skills; and one more chance for you to model them.
The Literacy Skills Involved
- Comprehension & Visualization – Remembering events/activities/emotions and organizing them in a meaningful way.
- Organization – Putting together a story with a beginning, middle, and end so that others can understand.
- Communication – Writing / Telling a story, as well as asking and answering questions about the various experiences.
- Motor Skills – Writing a story and/or drawing pictures not only helps with holding literacy tools, but also engages eye-mind-hand coordination.
- Imagination – Using creativity to (re)create a memory and make it real for others.
5 Ways to answer the question:
What did you love about this summer?
Whatever way you decide to celebrate, this gives each person – including you! – a chance to think about and talk about their “favorites.” There is no right or wrong idea, so create something that fits your family’s style, interests, and personalities.
Old-Fashioned “Home Movies”
Remember, back in the day, when we used to show family and friends home movies of our trips? Since everyone uses their phone as a mobile filming device, we can still do that. Use the camera roll to find photos or videos that celebrate the favorite parts of summer and give everyone a chance to share what they loved about those particular moments. It can be a single photo, a simple slideshow or, for those who love mixed media, set to music. The kids will know how to get the images projected onto a bigger screen.
Make Some Summer Memory Mad Libs
Write a short story about a single event/activity from the summer. If your kids are in 3rd grade or older, they can write one, too. Collect the stories and edit out some words, turning them to blanks. Then hand out the stories (or read them all yourself). One person will read the story and the listeners will write down the words they would use to fill in the blank. There is a great, easy-to-understand post about How to Make Your Own Mad Libs at Hobby Lark.
Our 20 Questions (Game)
Find a container, some paper (think Post-it Note size), and some pens. Put the collection in an obvious spot with some instructions: Write your question about something to do with summer or a summer memory.
- Trivia. Example: If you visited a science museum, write a fact that everyone talked about and see if they remember the answer.
- Memory Recall. Example: “How long did it take to drive to ___?”
- Open-ended question. These are the easiest – and most fun!
- If you could do just 1 thing again, what would it be?
- If your life were a movie, who would star as you?
- What ONE word would you use to describe your summer vacation?
Revisit a Favorite
Try a little Deja Vu and recreate a favorite moment – maybe it was a picnic at the zoo, trying a new restaurant, going peach picking, or a sibling bake-off. It can be anything! If there is something that everyone enjoyed, why not do it again? You might not be able to go back to the beach or the lake, but maybe there is something you love about being there that can be re-created at home.
Under the Night Sky (with or without S’mores)
There’s something about telling stories around a fire, after dark. Give each person a turn to talk about their favorite something of the summer. It might be an activity, a place, or even just doing nothing and being together.