Our Unstructured Summer Time

By Sherri of GoodKarmaBaby.ca on August 09, 2016

Turning the alarm clock off for two months each summer is a fantastic was to disengage from our very busy school year schedule. Our unstructured summer mornings give my three children and I the opportunity to be more relaxed, which in turn makes our long summer days free flowing and stressless.

I encourage my children to read, play, create and activate their thinking on their own terms and based on their own interests. Katie now 12 enjoys volunteering at the pool and reading, Andie 10, researches and creates experiments in the kitchen while Beckett 8 enjoys swimming, reading and playing outside. When I do find a book or an activity that all three children can enjoy, I am quick to add it to our home library or toy room.

My husband is a collector of National Geographic magazines and almanacs. On our one year anniversary, he gave me the January 1972 National Geographic magazine. We have hundreds of years of past editions and collections in our library. On a cloudy day at the cottage, we often find one of the kids snuggled up in a nook reading.


Earlier this summer we discovered the 2017  edition of the National Geographic Kids Almanac. This is a Globe and Mail, best-selling title that features 350+ pages of incredible photos, annual events, fun facts, crafts, activities, and features about animals, science, exploration, technology, and high-interest content. This was a very natural edition to our already National Geographic print rich home library.


Katie 12, who loves to take action shots at our cottage, most enjoyed the practical tips on how to snap the perfect critter photo as well as the persuasive letter writing advice. Below is one of Katie’s first pictures of Easton, one of our faithful family dogs on our boat last summer.

Andie 10, who is a struggling reader, found that the 17 Cool Facts feature in each chapter gave her the high-interest tidbits she needed to keep her motivated to read.


Beckett 7, who enjoys making people laugh, loved the all-new games, jokes, and weird-but-true facts. He read would read aloud the interesting facts and seeing people’s reactions.

This is Beckett’s favourite joke from the 2017 National Geographic Kids Almanac:

Would you like the chance to appear in print edition of 2018 Almanac? Your children can take part in the National Geographic Almanac Newsmaker Challenge this summer. National Geographic invites kids to create a virtual time capsule to show future kids what life is like today , it is a great summer activity for kids to do alone or with friends or family. 


  1. Create a virtual time capsule for kids in 2050
  2. Gather up to 10 “artifacts” for your time capsule
  3.  Photograph it
  4. Upload the image tagged #timecapsule to MyShot, the Nat Geo Kids online photo community here.
  5. See other kids’ posts from around the world
  6. Your photo could be featured in next year’s Almanac!

Just submit your time capsule photo to MyShot by September 6. Those featured will be notified by Nov. 1, 2016. The Challenge runs through March 2017.

You can follow along on several social media channels using the hashtag #NatGeoKidsAlmanac.

Brought to you by National Geographic Kids.
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