Prepping for Summer of 2012

Summer is rapidly approaching! And it comes year after year, so why do I always feel like summer catches me with my pants down? This year I refuse to be caught without plans. Of course I’ll be face painting, and I’ve decided to organize the summer by weekly science topics, starting with etymology. I didn’t choose our first topic randomly, it just happens we have a pretty cool bug collection we’ve put together over the years, and its nice to start with something that’s already somewhat prepared for!

My daughter will be entering second grade in the fall, and my middle child kindergarten. I ought to be able to provide science based material for each topic that they can each benefit from, like bug themed coloring pages and mazes they will both enjoy. We will make a paper mache exoskeleton and make small mosaics with bits of broken mirror to represent bug eyes and how they see. My daughter can work on spelling the more advanced words while my son learns to write his name on his coloring pages and worksheets. We’ll buy some big nets and hunt bugs and observe their details from how they move to what color they are to where we found them. They can each keep a journal and draw pictures of the bugs we see and my daughter can write her observations next to the pictures!

So we start with etymology. Then we’ll follow with botany, I think. Botany is a good one for kids, especially in Austin. Austin’s Botanical Gardens are amazing! Austin is also home to some amazing nurseries. Its About Thyme, The Great Outdoors, and The Natural Gardner are awesome places to visit.

Cells are pretty cool, the study of cells is called cytology, and I found a neat microscope at a garage sale with a 5″x5″ screen that shows the organism in a nice big picture vs. having to squint into  little microscope eye pieces.

Then there’s always the animal kingdoms! I’m working with local traveling petting zoo Tiny Tails To You and we’re welcome to visit the animals any time! There are tortoises and turtles, bearded dragons and gecko’s. Chicks, ducklings, rabbits big and small, hedgehogs and guinea pigs… I feel like I’m forgetting something. Well anyway, Tiny Tails does a free monthly petting zoo during story time at Book People each month, and would be an option for other parents wanting to give their kids a chance to see the different animals!

Aside from science themes we’ll of course have swimming lessons, lazy afternoons in the backyard, ice cream making, and decorating the kids’ room! Summer of 2012, I am ready for you!

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