School’s (Nearly) Out for Summer!

Cue Alice Cooper, because summer is upon us.

It can be a bittersweet time as kids move on from elementary to middle school or from pre-k into the kindergarten big leagues. Mostly, though, it’s FUN…sno-cones and swimming pools and sleepovers and fireflies and camp and grandparent visits and…and…and…then what? In Austin, summer break lasts about 80 days and, at times, it can be daunting to try and figure out how to fill those  1,920 hours.

Today, I got to visit with Amanda Tatom at KXAN’s Studio 512 and talk a little bit about how Expedition Austin can help turn a day at the park into an experience at the park. For example, cooling off at Barton Springs is always a good idea, but if your kids can learn a little about its history, know where to search for a Barton Creek Salamander, color in an illustration AND complete a mission, well, that there is several hours of fun and kid-approved learning.

In addition to talking about our book, I brought in some fun memory jars that would make a great project to do with kids at the beginning of summer. The idea is that your kids drop in mementos like ice cream spoons, ticket stubs, wrist bands, heart-shaped rocks, friendship pins, photos…anything that is meaningful to them from their experiences around town or on vacation. At the end of the summer, you’ll have a collection of treasures to revisit long after school is back in session.

Supplies (available at any craft store)
– Jar large enough to hold a postcard
– Stickers to fit a theme (Travel, Texas- or location-specific, summery symbols, etc)
– Themed tape (there is so much tape out there these days! We used globes for this example)
– String for tying on a “tag”
– Sharpies for drawing polka dots or stripes
– Construction paper to make labels (Ours say “Summer 2017)
– Acrylic paint  and brush to paint a lid (optional)
– Chalk stickers and chalk (optional)
– Jar topper (optional. We used a “stress ball” globe on one and a painted Longhorn from an animal toob)

Finally, I told Amanda about a really fun event I’ll be part of on June 10: The Summer Fun Checklist Launch. A fun event for the whole family, the launch will take place at Whole Foods on North Lamar from 9-12. More information is coming soon, but if you’ve never used the checklist before, it’s a really cool resource to help fill some of those hours. More info on that event coming soon!



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