Book Reports and Other Summer Fun

Did that title make you pause?

I know that the words book reports and summer fun don't normally go together; at least not in my house!

My boys hate to write, I think many boys do.

My boys have wonderful story ideas and can tell detailed stories but if I ask them to write it down the stories are inevitably shortened with little to no detail.  I've been reading many sources that say any writing; even a quick 5 minute activity here and there will lead to amazing results later on in life.  I try to keep this in mind and only do short little writing activities that I think the boys will enjoy.

Normally I would not think of a book report as something that they would enjoy.
 I'm pretty sure they would have hated it under normal circumstances... but thankfully these weren't normal circumstances.  While trying to think up something fun to do today I remembered our local cinema has Bookworm Wednesdays where they show slightly older movies for free to anyone who has filled out a book report!

 Each of the boys had to fill out the form found on their website (parents and children under 6 get in free when accompanying an older child who has filled out the paperwork).  Our cinema is part of the showcase theaters and many participate you can find if there's one near you by following this link

 I mentioned that today's movie was Puss In Boots.  My boys thought that sounded like a great activity and were so eager to go that as soon as I printed out the book report form they sat and filled them out!  Evan (who is 4 and could have gotten in free anyway) agreed to fill one out too.  I wrote down his words for him but he was able to tell me what his book was about and a few details from the story.  With reports in hand we were eager to head out today. 

We downloaded the audio book of Harry Potter 2 onto my sons MP3 player this morning before leaving for the movies.  I have an attachment for my car that allows us to plug the MP3 player into the car speakers so we listened to a few chapters of the book on the way to and the way home from the movies.  We had a fabulous time and really enjoyed our movie break.  The theater was actually quite full.

Once we got home and had some lunch we decided to make pudding pops for after dinner.  We mixed up some chocolate pudding and poured it into Popsicle molds (though you could use small Dixie cups and Popsicle sticks).
 We went outside and had a three legged race across the lawn using bandannas to tie our legs together.  This probably would have been a lot more fun with even more people.  But I figured it was a good exercise in cooperation, especially since my oldest son started yelling at his brother the first time.  They need help on developing cooperation especially when working with one another.  Eventually they got the hang of it and laughter and smiles ensued.

I turned on the sprinklers and let them cool off in the yard.  It wasn't long before we hooked up the slip and slide and they sprayed it w/ shaving cream and themselves too.  One big slippery mess!  They noticed that if you covered a few of the sprayers the rest shot higher and father ("because of the pressure" said Alec).   They mixed shaving cream and water in the cupped lid and created their own shampoo.  It was fun and I'm sure they were learning something science- like.  

They started to get cold since the hose water is pretty darn chilly and wanted to do "something else."  I told them they should try riding bikes but maybe use chalk or paint to make a race track or something.  So while they changed I pulled out washable paint and all our sidewalk chalk.  Next thing I knew they were painting the tires on the bikes trying to make marks.  They discovered it didn't last very long at all and were a bit bummed.  So they teamed up and decided to ditch the bikes and just paint outside.

I have a huge rock in my yard they like to climb on and they all started painting that.  They needed more paint & more water and I finally just left them to create on their own.  I realized I'd probably have a huge mess to clean up when they were done and while I was hoping that didn't include their clothes I just kept reminding myself that kids get messy.

 Life will go on if their clothes have a few stains.

Sometimes it's so hard to step back and look a the big picture.

 I tend to focus on the right now and the details so I immediately think about the mess and time needed to clean up.

But really they are having fun, using their imagination and learning.  Evan already told me his hands are green since he mixed blue and yellow together.

We were having tacos for dinner tonight so I had Ian cooking dinner for the family.  I figured it was a pretty easy meal since I had cut up all the vegetables already last night and all he really needed to do was brown the burger and heat the shells.  I think he enjoyed it; maybe it can be his new job to help with dinner!

If I really think hard about our day we did reading/ listening activities, kitchen science, body art, gross & fine motor activities; no wonder the kids are tired!


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