Friday, June 4, 2010

What Works for You?

We are already to the end of our second week of summer vacation (man that flew by...please go slower...thankyouverymuch). The first week all the boys did was watch TV and play video games. GASP!! Seriously...I am a teacher who advocates daily reading and workbooks to her future students and here are my children vegging out in front of everything noneducational. When I was a kid on summer vacation I was out from sunup to sundown, but living in AZ (with over 100* daily temps) and the times that we live in, that is hard to do now-a-days.

What to do???
I talked to some of my friends and using some of their ideas and suggestions, Ryan and I came up with something that may work in our house!

So this past Tuesday I took the boys to Michael's (one of the bestest stores EVER!) to get the supplies that we needed!

They each got their first initial of their first name to paint in the color of their choice.

( I love love love that when Brendan concentrates his tongue is always out!)

When the paint dried, I hot glued some wire (and my fingers OUCH) around the letters and let dry. When the paint and wires dried I hung the initials on my kitchen wall near the pantry & fridge. (not exactly my kitchen decor, but the boys made them so I love them!)

Since we have wires we need magnets, right?!

So that is what we magnets!

What's the deal with the star magnets you ask?

Well...the boys can earn 1 star magnet each for a variety of things like doing chores, reading for 30 minutes, doing 5 pages in their workbooks, or doing random acts of kindness. But in addition to earning stars...they can also loose them! Yep...they get 1 warning if they are fighting with each other or whining or throwing temper tantrums or not listening and then they can loose a star...sad but true!

We have only been doing it for a few days (since Tuesday to be exact) and it is working fabulously! They love earning their stars! Oh and when they earn 10 stars they get to trade them in for something fun like going to McDonald's for a Happy Meal (which is something they don't get very often) or a trip to Sonic for a favorite slushie or a trip to the ice cream shop, just to name a few!

Something else that we are doing is going electronic free for at least 2 hours a day. That means no TV or video games. They can play games, go swimming, read, do workbook pages, whatever as long as it doesn't have an on/off switch!

This is HUGE for us as we are a TV family...including me & Ryan! We always have the TV on, but with this new rule Ryan & I are also going electronic free. It's very exciting!

So tell me...How do you keep your kids entertained or contained or educated during summer vacation?? Please share...I would love to know!!


Alicia said...

What a great craft!! I've seen those wooden letters at Michael's too. I think I will do that!!

Stephanie said...

Oh I LOVE this! My kids are on a card system at school and I told them I was going to do the same thing here so they would behave!

What a great idea!! I'm sitting here now trying to figure out where I could put those letters!

Jen said...

I think it might work!
Mine are still in school and I'm scrambling to come up with a similar system to use this summer.
I have seen so many great ideas!
Love this one...and that they got to make their own initial to get it started!
Enjoy the weekend!

Kelly said...

I love that idea!! I think I am going to hit the craft store! Thanks, friend!

kimert said...

Awesome idea!!! I may have to steal this! Of course the crafting will be fun for a rainy day but the whole concept is great! :)

amanda said...

cute idea!! i love it too, because if i hung them on my wall it could be alphabetical. :0)

RaD said...

Unfortunately I don't get to stay home with mine sooo.... I don't have too much input there. Sorry!

But I think your ideas are great!

-stephanie- said...

I love the star idea. I think I'm going to use it. This is the 1st day of summer vacation and what are they doing? Playing the Wii! HA! It is raining outside, so I'm not to bent out of shape with it.

Robyn said...

Great idea you have put together. My 1 left at home as a summer job that keeps him busy.

Lisa said...

Stacey that is wonderful idea, i love their color choices and the method to your madness is inspiring. I am always intrigued by the thinking minds of a teacher, always "outside the box."

Foursons said...

Great idea! I love that the boys are enjoying it as much as you are. Today my boys have a friend over so I'm allowing video games. Next week swim lessons start up again so they won't be watching much TV at all since we always stay and play at the waterpark after lessons. How old are your boys?

He & Me + 3 said...

How fun. I think it is a great idea and I love the letters. Creative

Bridget said...

That's such a cute idea!!!

hip chick said...

Great ideas to keep the kids busy. Mine are grown youngest will be a senior in high school next year.

Stacy said...

I was just thinking about what I need to do with the kids to keep them off the TV,computer and DS!

Great ideas!

Eyeglasses & Endzones said...

Good idea! I need a system like that as well so that we can be on the same page. We do have 2 full days a week where the tv is off. That is all year round. It forces us to play games, talk, color whatever but no electronics for 2 days per week....I am going to stick to that through the summer I think...;)

Julie said...

Great ideas. I let them play and do what they want for part of the day but try to have a bit of structured reading time each day too!! Oh...and 3 chores a day too. I'm so mean!

Lori @ The Davidson Den said...

What a great idea! I may do this with my bigger kiddos!!