Tuesday, June 3, 2014

how to make a kids' summer calendar | our summer manifesto

You may remember that I made an advent calendar to use during Christmas time (click here to see it). To make that advent calendar, I decorated mini paper bags. The first year I made the Christmas advent calendar, I put treats in the bags- chocolate, toys, stickers, etc. This past year, the second time we used it (click here), I made little cards with various, festive activities for us to do.

Every summer, I try to do one, fun, daily activity with my daughters. Last year was my most successful year with this project. I documented our activities here. This year I also intend to do one, fun activity a day during my daughters' summer break.

When we were using the advent calendar during Christmas time this past year, My oldest said, "Can we do something like this for our summer break activities?!" Sensing her joy and feeling all warm and fuzzy as people tend to feel during Christmas time, I said, "Sure!" It was quite an undertaking because an advent calendar has 25 days, but our summer break calendar has triple the amount. (!)

Making this summer calendar was the first of our "daily, fun summer break activities." We made the calendar much like I made the Christmas advent calendar. Here are my list of supplies in case you would like to make one of your own:
summer chain | summer manifesto
  • mini paper bags
  • colorful, patterned paper (I cut them into 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" squares)
  • adhesive
  • twine
  • thumb tacks
  • colorful and black ink pads
  • alphabet and number rubber (or acrylic) stamps
  • white cardstock
  • Project Life core cards
  • circle punch
  • embellishments like stickers, buttons, ribbon, silk flowers, dimensional stickers, rhinestones, die cuts, brads, etc.
First we folded all of the paper bags in half and glued our patterned paper onto the paper bags.
summer chain | summer manifesto
Then we punched seventy something (!) circles out of white cardstock, stamped "Day" and the appropriate number on each circle.
summer chain | summer manifesto
We glued a circle on each paper bag and added a few embellishments.
summer chain | summer manifesto
summer chain | summer manifesto
summer chain | summer manifesto
summer chain | summer manifesto
Next we hung the twine. The length off your twine will depend on where you hang your bags and how many rows you intend to have. I made 8 rows of about 10. We tied 2 thumb tacks on each end of our twine pieces and tacked them tightly to the wall. (If you don't want holes on your walls, you could use a cork board).
summer chain | summer manifesto
Finally, I strung each bag on the twine, and used a paper clip to hold them in place. Each bag will contain a card with our activity for that day.

I made out a few cards (using my rubber stamps, ink pads, and Project Life core cards). Day 1's activity was "Make a summer 'chain.'" Day 2's activity was "Go to the library." We will be going to "Get ice cream" later this week.
summer chain | summer manifesto
After every completed activity, I use a paperclip to hold the card with its paper bag. It's fun to see what we've done.
summer chain | summer manifesto
We will be stamping the rest of our cards with the activities we intend to do- it'll be our summer manifesto. 

**My kids are currently on summer break. Like last year (see 2013's summer break activities here), I am planning to do one, fun activity with them every day. Sure, they'll do plenty of fun things alone or with each other, but not always with me. I will be documenting our various projects together and sharing them here on Saturday mornings. Read more about how this project got started here.**