Our school district administration was able to purchase materials for each student in our entire school! We used these materials to create and send home Summer Learning Bags. These materials differ from what was sent home throughout the year and the materials that will be used for ESY. The summer bags will help all families come up with and follow “boredom busters” and help with the creation of new activities for the summer.
Our learners and their families have been learning at home for over a year! If they’re anything like me, we have had to come up with many new activities and games to keep us all entertained. My team and I are not pushing strict teaching ideas with these materials. We know that children learn through play, experience, watching others, and hands on activities. My team and I are reminding our families that those ideas should be priority and that the summer bags are supplemental. While we’re sending home materials, we might as well include some learning opportunities! In this post I will share what materials we gathered together and a couple of lesson plan examples to send home to our families.
A look inside
In the summer bags, families and students will find the following materials:
- printing letters tracing book
- dry erase board and marker
- dot and learn counting journal and 1 dot marker
- 1 pack of construction paper
- boredom buster packet
- 1 movable doll
- 1 glue bottle
- insect figurines
- zoo animal figurines
- farm animal figurines
- watercolor paints
- 3 bean bags
- magnet stick
- 1 foam die
- 1 happy birthday book
Along with a list of activities for families to use with each of these materials, I was able to modify a few that may cause frustrations. I also listed some alternate materials for families and our learners to use when an object may be unsafe (example: pom poms or buttons are choking hazards). Below are a few examples of lesson plans and activities that we have created!
I want to do everything helpful for our families and our learners. My team and I want to avoid adding on any stressors or frustrations. I was able to make time with my families and show them how I organize my son’s materials at home. I recommended that they try and keep a minimal amount of learning materials out at one time in order to decrease the possibility of over-stimulation. In our home, we have a bin that our son calls his “activities”. When he is getting bored of his toys and is increasing attention seeking behaviors, that it is the time to ask if he wants to do one of his activities. I am recommending this strategy to our learner’s families as well! It is most likely that the child will want to play when it is their choice to do so. Our learners are used to having more free choice time at home than at school. The materials and lessons are meant to help get through the summer while maintaining skills that they have learned throughout this wild school year!
Most of all, we want our families to get outside! We are reminding them not to push these materials and activities, but to use them as supplemental ideas for rainy days or when the family is needing a change in the day. Before the summer break starts, I am going to remind my families that the most important activities they can do is to read for fun, play, exercise, and enjoy the outdoors as much as possible. We have all made it through one of the most difficult years, rest and play is needed for all!