This summer I’ve got a few different learning goals for my boys. For example, I want my 7 year old to start learning to type, my five year old needs to work on his reading fluency, and both boys need to practice their math facts. Now I’m going to try to make these things fun, but I’m sure there will be some whining and complaining along the way. So the balance things out, I wanted to include some learning that I know they’ll find really engaging. Enter: The Summer of the Planets!
I’ve been searching the web for different resources related to teaching kids about the planets. Boy, there is a lot out there! Narrowing down what I want to use has been a real challenge. Overall, I’m looking for things that are cheap, fun, and educational. Here are some of the things I’m planning to do.
Free printable book about the planets
– This coloring book prints in black and white and has a brief description of each planet. I think it will a great starting place for our at home unit, and I know the kids will enjoy coloring their own books. I just wish they hadn’t misidentified Saturn as the 7th planet, and I hope I don’t find any other mistakes while we are working on it. Thank goodness for correction tape.
Music – There are lots of different songs about planets on Youtube. I thought this one
was entertaining and gave some facts about each planet. This one
would be great for helping the boys to memorize the planets names and order. We might even listen to The Planets
(a classical piece) by Gustav Holst.
Magic School Bus Lost in Space
– It’s the very first episode of the Magic School Bus! We can watch it via Netflix, but I’m sure you could find it at your local library or maybe even on youtube.
Library books – Our library only lets you check out three books on the same topic, so we’ll have quite the rotation going this summer. We already own a couple books on space, including this one
Power Point – You might be wondering how making a power point counts as fun, but remember, basically anything that’s done on a computer counts as fun in my little guys’ world. My first grader was so excited about the power point about the rainforest that he wrote at school, I figured I shouldn’t let the opportunity to practice writing, typing, paraphrasing, etc go to waste.
Journal Writing – There are so many ways that our space unit could encourage the boys to practice their writing. Plan a space station! Pretend you meet an alien! Write journal entries from a pretend space flight!
Make a Model – We’ll see how inspired I am feeling by the end of the summer with regards to making a model. Maybe I’ll have a change of heart, but currently I’m not feeling the whole paper mache vibe. I’d love to have the kids make something to help them visualize the planets distance from the sun. I think this one looks fun and non-messy to make.
I think we’ll have fun together, and I find that having a plan for the summer helps things go smoothly. What will your kids be learning this summer?