Summer is coming to an end. I can’t speak for everyone, but it seems to have flown by in a blink of an eye. Leaving me in a tiny panic about whether or not I am ready for schooling at home to start again! Do I have everything we need? Are the kids ready to get back into a more structured routine? Am I ready for the time spent in the car running one kid or the other to co-op, dance, karate, cheer, flag football, Awanas and the other activities that we undertake during the school year? YES! We are ready, but before we start worrying about our school schedule, a fun filled week of “Back to School” rituals and events!
Back to shopping is not something I look forward to at all. I am just not the sort of girl that likes to shop. I do like to get the best deals, but I am a “get it and go” sort of girl. I rarely like to “just browse” or “window shop”. One of the awesome upsides to schooling at home is no more back to school clothing shopping! We only buy clothes and shoes as the kids need them! We no longer worry about them having all new stuff just for school! This was our first year since moving to Oklahoma that we were even home for “tax free weekend”, and I didn’t buy a single thing for the kids. They don’t need anything right now and we only have so much storage space. So no fighting the crowds for us!
Back to school events, on the other hand, are something we look forward to. We have some amazing friends here in Oklahoma, and over the last few years, several of us try to get together just before school starts for one last “hurrah.” This year it came in the form of a Lego Party.
I was chosen to host a party for Lego Duplo’s new “Read and Build” sets by houseparty.com. Since my kids ages are so far apart in age, you can imagine my 10 year was not super thrilled at the idea at first. Until I pointed out that my plan was for the little ones to play with Duplos and for the big kids to have a blast with his HUGE collection of “big kid” Legos!
It was very easy to tie the two groups together. The book in the Duplo sets was about a farmer and farm animals. We challenged the big kids to create their own farms. They did a fabulous job and you could see the wheels of imagination just a turning! They were very proud of their creations. I love when learning and fun go hand in hand and my kids definitely learned a lot before, during, and even after the party.
We learned math concepts in the form of how pieces fit together, how many tiny pieces it took to make up the larger pieces. A great way to learn about percentages and fractions. For the little ones we sorted by size, shape, and color. This automatically lends a hand to learning (or reinforcing) the idea of sharing and working together. Helping their friends to find the pieces they needed for their creations. All of this of course works into learning socialization skills as well.
Plus we were able to stretch things a bit further with the idea of “reading and building” and challenge our 10 year to make other creations based on books we have read. I cannot wait to see what else he comes up!
Legos can be used in so many ways. The learning is endless. Plus it sparks their little creative juices like nothing else seems to. Our 4 year old has been playing with the Duplo sets for the entire weekend…a very welcome switch from baby dolls and princess movies! Like most 4 year olds, she seems to go in phases and it is always fun when she finds a new one. Listening to her act out and make up stories with her Lego creations, she amazes me with her vocabulary and attention to detail.
An added bonus is when she and her brother play for hours on end together. PEACEFULLY! Even Dad gets in on the Lego action. It becomes a family affair in a hurry and next thing we know an entire Sunday afternoon is over! The laughs and memories are priceless and worth every single second of time not spent on house work or other supposedly important things on my to-do list!
Not a half bad way to wrap up the summer in my opinion. Time with family and friends and fun activities where we get to play and learn at the same time—it doesn’t get much better than that!
How did you spend your last few days before school started? Do you have any special rituals?What fun things do you learn when you play with Legos? Or learn when just playing with your kids?
Our first day is coming up! We can’t wait to share it with you!