We recently held a PBS Kids Double Your Fun, Double Your Learning Summer Learning party at my home to inspire summer learning. It’s kind of a big deal because a) it’s really important to encourage literacy in children and b) I don’t really like having parties in my home — but I made an exception for PBS Kids.
PBS Kids generously sent me a kit filled with loads of craft supplies, reading tips, books, DVDS, and activities. My neighbor brought over her two kids and we hosted another neighbor’s 4 year old (adding in my 3 kids).
Our main activity for the party was to make a DIY Penny Boat from Camp PBS Parents – find directions here: http://www.pbs.org/parents/adventures-in-learning/2014/05/design-penny-boat/
But first, my husband got out our new DK Publishing Children’s encyclopedia and looked up shapes of boats with the kids.
Then everyone designed their own boats.
My oldest, “B”, designed an “Iron Man” themed boat.
My neighbor’s daughter, “M”, with her boat.
I pulled out the tinfoil and gave each child a sheet.
Then each child got some pennies.
They made little boats and I gave them a small amount of pennies to place in their boats. I had a large plastic storage bin and added some water so we could experiment. We tested out how the boats floated with different amounts of pennies added. My toddler, “S”, hadn’t been too interested in making a boat, but he loved playing with them in the water.
And threw in some toy boats to compare to the weighed down boats.
It was a fun activity — just make sure you do it in an area that you can clean up easily. I had the container on a table, with a wipeable mat under it. Water still sloshed around, but I was prepared for that. The best learning is when your kids don’t have to worry about being messy.
Next we made Cat and the Hat finger puppets.
After the two activities, the kids were hungry (we held our party after they got back from day camp). I put out veggies while my husband went out to get pizza.
I actually was going to only serve fresh fruit (I know, boring), but my Japanese neighbor dropped off a cake (when she dropped her daughter off.
It was a delicious sponge cake. I added some of the fresh blueberries I had bought to it.
And we also enjoyed some chocolate and strawberry Pocky.
After we were done, the kids went into our den and played trains and My Little Pony.
I made gift bags, filled with books and PBS Kids stickers and items.
PBS Kids has a terrific selection of tips, activities, games and events for kids 2-8.
Here’s what you’ll find at PBS Kids and their summer learning partners:
- Daily tips and weekly game and video ideas at pbskids.org/learnActivities and summer learning ideas from Monica Olivera (Mommy Maestra) and Jeff Bogle (Out with the Kids) at Camp PBS Parents
- Free weekly PBS Kids Video episodes (you can find them at itunes.com/PBSRaisingReaders)
- Free weekly books from MeeGenius (there is also an app).
- Free downloadable activity books from Carson-Dellrosa Publishing at summerlearningactivities.com/pbs
- Back to School resources from LeapFrog
- Information on PBS Kids themed events at Pottery Barn Kids locations.
I am a PBS Kids VIP Parent Ambassador. As always, all opinions are my own.