Monday, July 13, 2009

Dog Days of Summer - Children's Summer Activities

The best idea that I have ever had came to me about four years ago. My kids were 3 and 6 years old. Since I teach school, we are all home together each day and boredom was already setting in by July. I was also craving some alone time, but was too cheap to find a babysitter.

A good friend of mine owns and runs a dance studio, but like me, spends her summer days galavanting with the kiddos. We organized a kid swap over Happy Meals at the McDonald's playground. We each planned to take all four kids one day a week allowing each mom an entire FREE DAY. Sitting down with our schedules, the entire summer was planned around things like vacation, VBS and camps. Times were also scheduled. Kids arrive at 8:30 am and will leave around 5:00pm.

Theme days quickly developed and the kids would get so excited about them. We have had "Pirate Day", "Colonial Day", "Candy Day", etc. It wasn't long before my kids were helping plan our weekly theme day too (giving us other things to do during the week).

"The Dog Days of Summer" occured last week and I wanted to show you our FUN!

The day started with puppet making around our kitchen table. The puppets were to be dogs to be used later in the day for a puppet show.

The crafts were going so well, that the girls made puppy dog ears on some headbands while the boys went to ride bikes for a while. We then played "Doggie Doggie Who's Got your Bone" (pardon the grammar, but that is the name of the game). Did you play this in school? One person is the dog and sits in a chair with their eyes closed. There is a bone under the chair. Someone sneaks, steals the bone and sits on it then the doggie tries to guess who has it.

Our dogs were in on the act also. Wizzie got a walk through the neighborhood.

We had a few other neighborhood kids join in for the dog races! If you have a pool, you could have doggie paddle races!

We also made doggie biscuits. This proved to be a kid favorite also. By this time, my group of 4 had become 8 so I made them in 2 batches (girls and boys).

Doggie Biscuit Recipe
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup oats
2 tsp beef or chicken bouillon granules
1 egg
1/2 cup hot water
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Stir all together and roll out to about 1/2inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut into shapes. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

By this time, mom and kids were exhausted so we settled down to watch Benji (I found this DVD in the $5 bin at Walmart. It brought back a lot of memories).

I hope you have gotten a few ideas to try your own theme day. Have fun and don't be afraid to let the kids help plan it!

1 comment:

J said...

This is so cute! I kind of "specialize" in activities like this for my grandkids. Not surprised that your event attracted additional friends. Kids just seem to crave the attention they get from adults who care enough to plan fun things for them. We also make dog treats for our family bake sales, so I appreciate having your recipe, too!