ACP Surviving the Summer

More Links

Surviving the Summer

By Ruth

The final bell rings and excited children everywhere flee the school in happiness... this marks the start of the Summer Vacation. As children dream of this day quickly approaching, parents and caregivers look for help to keep the kids busy and to avoid hearing those dreaded words... "I'm Bored!"

Hopefully I can bring some ideas and insights to make this the 'funnest' summer yet. In the past I have planned and implemented a school-age program. I have also had school-aged children join my home childcare program with great success. I found the key was to have the older children help with the younger children whenever possible. They were given the opportunity to plan and implement a craft for the younger children once a week. They had full access to my circle time library and were able to choose books that they were comfortable reading to the others during story time.

I avoided naptime problems by alloting the first hour a quiet time; I had fun homework sheets, novels to read, quiet games to play. The 2nd hour was their time. Every day was a different activity. One day was for web design: they were given the opportunity to plan and design a web page and I assisted with searching for the right graphics, page layout, and teaching them the needed HTML to create their page. They took turns designing on paper and typing their page at the computer. One day was for Nintendo/Computer Games. Another was Craft Day: I would have a craft box organized with different items each week, and they could create their own and sometimes we worked on a special 'older kid' project. One day was movie day: I would provide popcorn and drinks and they chose a movie from a selected few. The fifth day was Games Day. I would set up stations of games they could play, changing the games each week.

Cool Crafts

Tye Dying

This is always a hit. I set up buckets of dye outdoors and provide rubber gloves. You can provide the t-shirts or have the kids bring their own white or light coloured shirt - it does not have to be new! Follow the directions on the package for mixing the dye. To do the swirled tye dye effect, place the shirt on the table and place a fork in the center and twist until the shirt is one big circle. Use rubber bands to hold the shirt in place. Have the children dip the shirt in the various colours of dye. Unwrap and hang to dry. (We just let ours dry on the fence... but it's chain link, not sure if I would do this to a wooden fence!)

Transfer Tees

Purchase Avery Transfer Paper and have the children design a shirt on paper. Scan the picture and then print on the paper following printing instructions. Follow the directions with the transfer paper for putting the picture onto the t-shirt and washing.

Baseball Hats

Use stencils or have the children design their own stencils on paper and use to fabric paint to caps.


Buy plain pennants from the Craft store and let the children design them for their rooms

Door Knob Hangers

You can buy precut foam hangers or use bristle board and let the children decorate and add a saying for their bedrooms

Fun Days

In the summer, Friday was deemed our "special day". This helped the kids look forward to the end of the week and they were also kept busy during the week planning and getting things ready for the big day. Some days we have had in the past were...

Circus Day

The children made masks and costumes and we put on a 3 ring circus. The older children wrote and performed a clown act for the younger ones (it was a HOOT!)

You can also set up games. Children receive tickets for each game they win.

Tickets can be traded in for treats and prizes:

To avoid the tickets being used on treats only, have a designated meal time and collect tickets from each child which is used for their lunch. They can then use their remaining tickets to buy balloons, have their face painted, enjoy a treat and buy 1 prize bag.

Pyjama Day

Water Day

Water Play Areas:

Crafts and experiments:

Water Games: