Tuesday, May 8, 2018

50 States In 50 Days

Photo courtesy of Lauren Campbell Photography, summer 2015.

Summer vacation is a few weeks away and the big kids (school age) will be back to join in on the daycare fun. I'm busy planning away for those busy, long days. The kids all have their favorite activities that we do, but I like to keep things new and different. Previous summer's have been heavy on theme days and this one will be no different. However, this summer will have one big (and hopefully fun) focus. We'll be learning about each and every state in the US. The theme is 50 States In 50 Days of Summer.

Some days we'll learn about two states, other days we'll have one big day (one big luau in the backyard on Hawaii day). I've already got my United States rug ready (I'm probably more excited about the rug than I am the theme days) so all of the ages can learn where the states are on the map, but the idea is for the kids to have fun and associate each state with whatever we do for the day. Some days are simple, while others are more involved. In addition to our rug, we'll be reading from our America's 50 States book to learn fun facts about each state.

We'll see how the first couple of weeks ago and make any adjustments to our learning if needed. Here's what we have planned for the first fifty days of our summer vacation at daycare:

Alabama: listen to Sweet Home Alabama
Alaska: Salmon fishing (using plastic magnetic fish and poles in a kiddie pool)
Arizona: "hiking" in backyard and wooded area by our house
Arkansas: diamond digging. Thanks to our visit to Crater of Diamonds State Park two years ago (read about it here), we have two bags of lamproite to sift and dig through
California: Talent show Hollywood style (complete with awards, dress up clothes, sunglasses, etc.)
Colorado: "mountain climbing" and obstacle course in the backyard (all mountain themed)
Connecticut: Watch The Adventures of Huck Finn 
Delaware: ladybug paper plate craft 
Florida: alligator wrestling
Georgia: eat peaches and pick "peanuts" (these won't be real since we have a couple of kids with nut allergies in the crowd)
Hawaii: backyard luau 
Idaho: potato bar for lunch
Illinois: Chicago style pizza for lunch
Indiana: Cozy Coupe races in honor of the Indy 500
Iowa: shuck corn and eat corn on the cob and corn dogs for lunch
Kansas: watch The Wizard of Oz
Kentucky: stick horse races around the backyard
Louisiana: Mardi Gras style party in the backyard
Maine: use recyclables (tissue boxes, milk jugs, boxes, etc.) to create your own lighthouse; lighthouse coloring pages
Maryland: sing the Star Spangled Banner
Massachusettes: Have a tea party; Mayflower Boat Races 
Michigan: listen to Motown; decorate "cars" (using boxes)
Minnesota: play camping at the lake in the backyard (bring out the tent, canoe/kayak, pretend camp fire, etc.) 
Mississippi: listen to blues music
Missouri: eat St. Louis bbq for lunch; watch Meet Me In St. Louis; eat ice cream cones for afternoon snack
Montana: go on a bear hunt (similar to what we did here)
Nebraska: drink Kool Aid and do Kool Aid painting in the driveway
Nevada: play card games
New Hampshire: read The Road Not Taken; have big kids write poems and read them to the younger kids
New Jersey: Diner Day (this is in the shopping cart ready to be purchased)
New Mexico: learn about Native American culture
New York: eat NY style pizza for lunch and apples for snack
North Carolina: eat Krispy Kreme doughnuts for morning snack
North Dakota: plant sunflowers
Ohio: listen to Rock n' Roll, eat hot dogs for lunch, and play football
Oklahoma: make tornado soda bottles (similar to this)
Oregon: play Oregon Trail card game
Pennsylvania: eat child takes home a Hershey Bar to eat 
Rhode Island: Circus Day; listen to music by George M. Cohen
South Carolina: dance the Carolina Shag
South Dakota: play National Park Matching Game; Mount Rushmore coloring sheets
Tennessee: listen to country music and Elvis
Texas: Space Day
Utah: salt water experiment (such as this here)
Vermont: eat Ben & Jerry's ice cream
Virginia: still thinking on this one, but something to do with the American Revolution
Washington: Coffee shop day (thanks Starbucks and Seattle)
West Virginia: coal sensory bin
Wisconsin: let kids choose from regular, strawberry, or chocolate milk for lunch
Wyoming: geyser experiment (similar to this)

Now for a fun game for YOU (the reader). Can you guess why we're doing the things we're doing for each state? I mean, why would we eat Ben and Jerry's ice cream while we learn about Vermont? Enjoy those fun facts you learn!