Theme of the Week

Life is more fun when there is a theme! Each week a new theme will be featured with some easy, practical ideas to help make your week more exciting.

Park Theme-
  • Go visit a park, maybe one you have never been to before.
  • Participate in the summer park tour challenge.
  • Using play-doh create a park or picnic basket/food.
  • Let kids help you pack a picnic lunch for the park.
  • Make a paper plate lunch- give each child a paper plate, brush glue one, let them find pictures of food from magazines and put on the plate.
  • Eat ants on a log for a snack.
  • Go to a park and have kids draw a picture of it.
  • Find parks with different things, for example, tunnel slide, splash pad, rock wall, etc.
  • Have an indoor picnic, lay blanket in living room and eat lunch there.
  • Color a park coloring page.
  • Make a list of different types of parks (splash pad, amusement park, waterpark, etc.)
  • Set up a lemonade stand a your local park.
  • Meet friends at the park.
  • Start up a kick-ball game at your local park.

Beach Theme-
  • Ocean in a Bottle- help kids fill a clear plastic bottle with sand, water and some small beach items (fish, ball, sea creatures, etc). Hot/super glue lid on tight.
  • Add sand to your finger paint, gives the kids a new texture.
  • Pretty shells- give your kids large past shells and paint to decorate them.
  • Sand Dig- fill a tub or bucket wtih sand, hide small objects in it for kids to find.
  • Play fish, fish, shark.
  • Have a Beach Party- let kids wear swimsuits all day, lay out towels and have a picnic.
  • Play Go Fish.
  • Play Fish in the Ocean- one child is the shark and the others the fish, if the shark catches a fish you join and try to catch others.
  • Add salt to water to make fresh salt water.
  • Visit a beach.
  • Use play-doh to create beach/sea creatures.
  • Make a picture of a beach, use glue to add sand on the bottom.
  • Go to a park or your sand box to make sand castles.
  • Have a sand castle building competition.
  • Make a beach theme cake
  • Make twig frames
  • Play Owl Search- one child is the owl, others close their eyes. The owl hides and makes a soft "hooting" noise until found.
  • Color beach pictures.
Camping Theme-
  • Set up a tent either in your backyard or family room
  • Go on a hike to collect wild flowers, pine cones, sticks, rocks, etc.
  • Make twig frames
  • Play Owl Search- one child is the owl, others close their eyes. The owl hides and makes a soft "hooting" noise until found.
  • Go to the library and find books about nature, animals and camping
  • Have a campfire, roast marshmallows and make smores
  • Make up some campfire songs
  • Make binoculars and go on a bear hunt
  • Have fishing pole snacks- use a pretzel rod for the pole, tie a piece of red pull and peel licorice to one end and gummi worm to licorice.
  • Play Balloon Fish- blow up several small balloons, place in a tub of water and let kids try to catch with strainer.
  • Color camping pictures
  • Make some trail mix
  • Let kids take naps in sleeping bags

Dairy Theme-
  • Make cheese omelettes for breakfast
  • Make a mac-and-cheese mouse 
  • Buy a variety of cheeses and let kids sample
  • Make a list of your favorite "cheese" foods
  • Play Mouse, Mouse, Cheese (just like duck, duck, goose)
  • Make a cheese ladybug
  • Have kids draw/color animals that give milk for cheese
  • Visit Chuck E Cheese's
  • Color a cheese page
  • Wear yellow or a Packer's cheese hat all day
  • Make funny face cheese crackers
  • Make homemade pizza with lots of cheese
  • Play "Where's the Cheese"- let kids taking turns hiding something that is the "cheese" and others finding it.
Ice Cream
  • Survey everyone in your family on their favorite ice cream
  • Using play-doh make ice cream scoops from different colors
  • Make ice cream sundaes
  • Let kids become human ice cream sundaes- outside, dump ice cream, chocolate, sprinkles, etc on them
  • Visit Sassy Cow Creamery
  • Color ice cream coloring pages
  • Visit Babcock Hall Ice Cream Store
  • Make a paper ice cream cone
  • Make your own ice cream
  • Have kids create their own ice cream flavor- coloring or writing what it would include
  • Play "Pin the cherry on the sundae"
  • Pretend to have an ice cream parlor with kids serving up pretend sundaes
  • Make chocolate milk
  • Milk jug craft
  • Make a Milk Jug Bird Feeder
  • Color milk pages
  • Visit a dairy farm
  • Visit Sassy Cow Creamery
  • Make a milk shake or stop by an ice cream shop for one
  • Rainbow Milk Craft

Fruit Theme-
  • Make a breakfast smoothie with your favorite berries
  • Strawberry Dot-to-Dot
  • Make fruit shapes out of play-doh
  • Visit a strawberry farm and pick berries
  • Play "Picking Berries"- cut circles from red paper (they are the berries), hide around the house and have kids go picking
  • Make fruit dip and enjoy with berries
  • Make a fruit pizza
  • Strawberry Puzzle- print and cut
  • Read The Red Ripe Strawberry Book
  • Eat toast with Strawberry or Raspberry Jam
  • Have a lemonade stand- make posters, signs, lemonade, etc.
  • Cut open a lemon and let kids taste it
  • Lemon Prints- cut lemons in half, stamp onto paper, kids can also dip into yellow paint then stamp
  • Lemon Derby- each player needs a stick and lemon- push your lemon to the finish line using the stick
  • Make Invisible Ink using a lemon
  • Make Lemon-Berry Ice Pops
  • Trace the Lemon
  • Play Lemon Toss- like an egg toss game
  • Drink water with lemons in it
  • Lemon coloring page
  • Cut open a cantelope or watermelon and let kids explore
  • Have a watermelon seed spitting contest
  • Make a melon salad
  • Sink or Float- have kids predict if a piece of melon will sink or float in water
  • Plant watermelon seeds in paper cups and watch over the next few weeks
  • Watermelon Art
  • Talk about the letter W
  • Make a watermelon from a paper plate
  • Make a watermelon carving
  • Make watermelon popcisles

Garden Theme-
What Gardens Need
  • Go to the library and check out books on gardens
  • Talk about how things grow and what they need
  • Make a list of things you need to grow and a garden needs, color/highlight the ones that are the same
  • Play seed, seed, sprout (just like duck, duck, goose)
  • Fill a bucket with water and let kids play with straws, cups, spoons, etc.
  • Go outside and find the sunny spots and shaded areas
  • Make cups of dirt for snack
  • Let kids dig and play in the dirt
  • Plant some grass seeds in a cup of dirt, place in a window sill and watch grow
Veggie Garden
  • Make a list of vegetables, have kids circle their favorite
  • Let kids pick out some veggies at the store, eat for snack
  • Plant a veggie garden or tomato plant
  • Cut out veggies from paper or cardstock (5 carrots, 5 beans, 5 heads of lettuce, etc), mix up in a pile and have kids seperate and "plant" in rows.
  • Try to think a different vegetable for all the colors of the rainbow.
  • Visit a local farmer's market
  • Color veggie sheets
  • Enjoy some veggie straws or chips for snack
  • Play Hot Potato
  • Place some celery stalks with leaves on in clear cups, add water and food coloring (leaves should turn color in a few hours)
  • Watch Veggie Tales
  • Eat veggie pizza for dinner
  • Cut potatos in half, dip in paint and let kids use as stamps
Flower Garden
  • Make a foot flower- place child's foot in paint, stamp on paper, let them draw a stem
  • Plant flower seeds in styrofoam cups
  • Make tissue paper flowers
  • Play "pin the flower on the stem"- draw a stem on a big piece of paper, cut paper flowers from construction paper, give each child a flower with tape on the back. Blindfold, spin and let them pin.
  • Play flower, flower, bee (like duck, duck, goose)
  • Go on a flower hunt around your yard or neighbord trying to find as many flowers as possible.
  • Eat Edible Flower Pots- ice cream cone for pot, scoop of chocolate ice cream for dirt, colored ice cream for flower, sprinkles for seeds.
  • Visit a garden
  • Make handprint flowers
  • Visit a flower shop and buy some fresh flowers
  • Set up a flower shop- pick dandelions or other flowers and let kids pretend to sell them
  • Fingerpaint Petals- let kids dip their fingerprints into paint and use as petals
  • Let kids cut pictures of flowers out of magazines for a flower collage
  • Start a growth chart marking kids height each week or month
  • Make a bubble garden- blow as bubbles in one area
  • Flower coloring pages

Building Theme-
  • Build a fort using your dining room table, chairs, the couch or a folding table.
  • Let the kids color on a large cardboard box.
  • Use toys or around the house items to build towers.
    • Blocks, lincoln logs, marshmallows and toothpicks, straws, legos, etc.
  • Go to the library and find books about building machines, towers, houses, etc.
  • Visit a construction site.
  • Look at pictures of the world's tallest buildings.
  • Color a picture of a house.
  • Have kids pretend to build something using a pretend tool set.
  • Give kids craft sticks and glue, let their imagine go wild.
  • Play in the sandbox making towers and castles.
  • Watch Handy Manny.
  • Draw blueprints using blue paper and white crayons.
  • Read the story of the 3 Little Pigs.
  • Have kids draw a picture of your house.
  • Give your kids a ruler or tape measure and let them measure rooms, furniture, etc.

Animal Theme-
Farm Animals
  • Read books about farm animals, go to the library and check some out
  • Visit a farm
  • Animal Sounds Game- make an animal noise and have kids guess which animal
  • Chicken Dance- play the chicken song and teach kids the dance
  • Animal Sort- cut animal pictures out of magazines, some farm others not, help kids sort out the farm animals
  • Make a cotton ball sheep
  • Eat pigs in a blanket for lunch
  • Taste Test- set out a variety of dairy products (cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, goats milk) for kids to taste
  • Sing "Old McDonald Had a Farm"
Pet Animals
  • Talk about different animals people have has pets
  • If you have a pet talk about where they were born, look at pictures, how you take care of them
  • Visit a pet store
  • Play "Good Dog"- have kids pretend they are dogs, tell them to sit, let them drink out of a bowl, give them treats
  • Vet Play- use a toy doctors kit to work on stuffed animals
  • Make puppy chow for a treat
  • Use play-doh to make pets and pet food shapes
  • Set up a pretend pet store- a dog section, cats, fish, birds, etc. Help kids make signs and cages then use stuffed animals.
  • Watch "Clifford the Big Red Dog"
Zoo Animals
  • Make a lion mask
  • Penguin Race- have each kid put a ball between their legs, then let them waddle to the finish
  • Bear Cave- using blankets make a little cave, kids can pretend they are bears sleeping
  • Obstacle Course- create a course with some obstacles and have kids pretend to be monkeys trying to make it through
  • Talk about your kids favorite zoo animal
  • Draw and color zoo animals
  • Visit a Zoo
  • Play Barrel of Monkeys Game
  • Eat bananas like a monkey
  • Use play-doh to make zoo animals
  • Build a zoo using blocks
  • Eat animal cookies for a snack
  • Play Zoo Keeper Says... (just like Simon Says)

Color Theme-
Red Day
  • Wear red clothes
  • Finger paint with red
  • Line up all the red...tractors, cars, blocks, etc.
  • Make red jello
  • Put red food coloring in water, milk, macaroni, etc.
  • Go on a hunt for red flowers outside
  • Make red play-doh
Yellow Day
  • Wear yellow clothes
  • Go outside and pick yellow dandelions
  • Fill a plastic tub with water and yellow rubber duckies
  • Make lemonade and yellow food for lunch
    • Macaroni
    • Bananas
    • Pineapple
    • Cheese and crackers
    • Lemon pudding
  • Yellow Paper Hop
    • Lay pieces of colored paper on the to form a path throughout the house. Have kids only hop on the yellow ones or hop up and down 2 times when they get to a yellow paper.
  • Let kids help you make popcorn using yellow kernals
  • Go to a park that has a yellow slide
Green Day
  • Wear green clothes
  • Plant grass seeds in small cups, leave in a sunny window sile and watch the green grass grow
  • Build a tower with only green blocks
  • Go to the library and find books on green animals (frogs, turtles, snakes, bugs, etc)
  • Paint or color a turtle or frog picture green
  • Cut a circle out of red paper and one out of green- when you hold up the green circle kids run toward you, red they stop
  • Make guacamole
  • Have a picnic in the green grass