Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Summer Theme-A-Week: Bears

A few of my friends have expressed surprise that I would do something as "complicated" as the Summer Theme-A-Week. It's really very easy and once you get going, your kids will do most of the work. My sister and I are doing these theme weeks together, but she lives an hour away so most of the activities are being done at each of our respective houses. We get together once a week and that is when we will do some group stuff. You could just as easily invite some friends over for a play day, or perhaps you have enough children to put on a play. I have to borrow a few.

Anyway, our girls are between the ages of 4 and 8 (just completed 2nd grade), so you will find a range of activities for those ages. This week's theme was chosen by my 4 year old, so it could go much younger as well.

Let's get started, shall we? The first thing you do is choose books. We just raid our children's bookshelves to find any books that go along with the theme. I helped Little Bit (4), but my older daughter did this by herself. Here is our collection:

We also checked out bear books from the library. Gathering that many books took very little time and we will read them all week. We have ours stacked on the fireplace for the week.

The next thing you do is tell your children to go find all the bears in the house. Mine go crazy with this. We call it our "bear collection" and they can play with them all week.

An optional thing you can do is build a bear cave. I just used a pop-up play house and stapled crumpled up brown paper around the opening. Sweetheart (8) doesn't really care about the bear cave, but Little Bit (who has always loved small spaces) thinks it's great! She has a flashlight and bear in there to read to. Just an idea--you may have just the right corner of your house to make a better bear cave than this. It's hard to imagine--but you might. (End sarcasm)

And in the second picture you can see where we ran out of brown paper...but I think you can still get the effect of a cave, don't you?

The only other prep work sister and I did was to make a list of possible activities. We planned one art project, which I will be sharing later in the week, because we didn't want to have to be activity directors all week. Hopefully, all the book-reading will spark an interest in your child and they will think of their own things to do along the bears theme. Also today we will be enjoying a stunning rendition of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears." Again, the kids are in charge of that activity.

So, summer theme weeks don't take hours of work on your part. If you want to do themes that your children are interested in, just gather books, have the kids make a collection, and brainstorm a list of activities. If you have no ideas, 15 minutes on the internet should be plenty. One theme activity a day is plenty.

If you want to follow along on our themes...feel free! The entire bear week will be available this weekend.


  1. I will be checking your activities. When swim lessons run out, we will need something new. Try to include some boy themes! ;)

  2. I think you sound like one fun mom!

  3. I'm glad that you're posting this summer series. I'll be passing several of these along to my friends with girls if they don't apply to my boys.

  4. There will be boy themes, I just don't know how much of a boy twist we can put on the activities--we'll try!

    Coming up we have fish, pirates, and horses.

    After that, we'll see!

  5. So cute! Great idea. Your bear cave looks awesome.

    If I ever get rid of this flu we'll do fun stuff at my house too.



I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)