Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Squirrel Scouts!

While we didn’t go away this summer, or do anything exciting, we did have one special project I made up for the kids.

Squirrel Scouts.
Because my kids weren’t doing any large, organized activities over the summer, I made up a fictitious organization/day camp I called “Squirrel Scouts” to keep them occupied. We had a handbook (see above), a nature journal, t-shirts, and of course, we earned badges!

Since they are pretty young (6 and 7) we concentrated on a few main things we wanted them to learn over the summer, or at least get a good handle on:

  • Learning to swim 
  • To be able to tie their own shoes 
  • To ride their bikes without training wheels 

Along with that were many other badges to earn, some pretty easy for them and some pretty difficult. All of them took TIME and they were so proud of themselves when they earned each badge!

The badges of course were paper (I made them in Photoshop. How crazy do you think I am? Don’t answer that) and we had a place on each page to paste the badge once it was earned. I think their favorite one was the cooking badge, where they had to plan a menu, make a shopping list, and then do every bit of the cooking they were capable of with Mama to do the heavy lifting/dangerous bits. Their meals leaned heavily on macaroni, cheese, and creatures made out of bits of veggies, but we loved it all and documented their creations with a photo shoot and much fanfare.

But my personal favorite was the Nature Journal badge.

They have been keeping amazing journals for themselves, full of notes, colors, and observations from their time spent playing outside. They can open them anytime and relive that summer (and now, autumn) when they took special notice of the world around them.

ps ~ I'm seriously thinking about making all of this a PDF package for purchase for next summer for any other families who want to use it. Thoughts?


Shelley Noble said...

Genius. This is so powerful, Élena! o much of what we do revolves around what somebody else has made nice with design. How empowering of you to make beautifully designed activities that mean something to you as a parent! Way to Go! Huge hat tip!

Kelly Roz said...

I'd love to purchase a copy of your PDF for next summer. This is a great idea, and undoubtedly beautifully executed. Welcome back to the blog Élena!

Leonie said...

I neither have nor am a kid, and even I'd purchase Squirrel Scouts! What a wonderful, wonderful way of spending a summer. Your kids are going to have some great memories when they grow up! I'm so touched by how much effort you put into making their experiences worthwhile ones (where busy people nowadays are all too tempted to go with the easy options instead - and I can't even blame them). It's inspiring to see you go not the extra mile, but an extra 30 miles for them :)

Kiri said...

what a wonderful way to spend the summer. love the nature journal idea.

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emily said...

I would buy it and save it for when I have children....
I'm an elementary art teacher, and I think this would be something wonderful for kids to get involved in!
Excellent idea!

Some of my favorite childhood memories are from when my dad would get large cardboard refrigerator boxes and my sister and I would play in them and turn them into things (space ships, tunnels, the set of Full House...). :)

diryan said...

I LOVE this idea Elena! Seriously, fantastic! Let me know if you do it--- I would love the PDF!

Anonymous said...

Sweet web site, I hadn’t come across before in my searches!Carry on the fantastic work!

lomagirl said...

What a fabulous idea. Please make a PDF!

Anonymous said...

Truly inspiring, touching and moving true stories. Every human being is a bunch of different life stories. Let us keep knowing and learning.

Anonymous said...

I agree, I am living in Canada, and I looove your show and would love to see what you could do for us !!!

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