Summer Rules! A double entendre.

Summer
is one of those times everyone looks forward to from about mid-May, to
the very last day of school. Kids, parents, teachers – everyone is just
holding on in those last few weeks, waiting until the freedom of summer
break lets them all off the hook for two whole months!

And two
days later, amidst the whining about being bored, that there is no food
in the house, and “Pleeeeeeaaaaase Mom, I need more time to play
Minecraft”, every parent at home with their kids just wants to send them
right back to school!

My own kids are in a few week-long camps
later this summer and are really looking forward to them. Seven is doing
a MasterChef styled cooking camp and Nine is off to Paleontology camp
at our local university. Other than that, during the day, it’s me, and
them, and only 90 minutes of screen time allowed. 

So here we are,
already three weeks into summer, and I’ve decided we need to establish a
few other summer “rules” as well. These are as follows: 

  • 30 minutes of writing, colouring or drawing. 
  • Make/build something for at least 30 minutes.
  • Play outside for 30 minutes.
  • Practice/play guitar for 20 minutes.
  • READING for 30 minutes.

The
great thing about kids is once they get involved in an activity, 30
minutes can easily stretch to an hour or more. In our house, reading
tends to be a bit harder to get going, and for the kids to stay
motivated – especially for Seven who is still working on it and just
getting into small chapter books.

Both my kids are fact-loving
little learners, and like to know how things work, what happens in
different countries and cultures, and all matter of weird and wonderful
facts about the world they live in. So when I was asked if we wanted to
receive and review a copy of the National Geographic Kids Almanac 2017, I jumped at the chance to get them something that could really captivate them, and fill those 30 minutes of reading time!

the page they are reading – 8 Daring women in Canadian History!
(I swear I didn’t put them up to this or choose the page to read!)

This
latest edition of the Almanac features 350+ pages of incredible photos,
annual events, fun facts, crafts (which Seven keeps asking me to do!),
activities and features about animals, science, exploration, technology,
politics and more topics to keep little minds thinking and busy. And
it’s not just for the kids! I keep picking up the book and flipping to
random pages to learn something new. Like the names of all 22 of our
Canadian Prime Ministers, or the fact that the Arctic Sea Ice minimum is
decreasing at such an alarming rate that scientists are concerned that
the Arctic will become ice free during the summer months sometime this
century!

This is scary! 

The kids have also decided to take up the Almanac NewsMaker Challenge
and create a virtual time capsule to show future kids what life is like
in 2016. The part about it being a “virtual” time capsule, and that we
don’t have to actually put all of their treasured items into a capsule
and bury it took some explaining, but they get it now, and are busy
gathering all their favourite things to do, read, eat, and play with.

If your kids are already singing the “I’m bored.” summertime blues, get them in on the fun (and out of your hair for a bit). Visit natgeokids.com/almanac to
get all the details and how to enter the challenge and upload their
photos. I suspect a plethora of Minecraft, Harry Potter, Frozen, and
Pokemon Go pictures will be highly featured in many of the 2016 virtual
time capsules.

Here’s what Seven and Nine have put together so far:

Get all the challenge details HERE! 

I
also asked Seven to tell me what she liked most about the Almanac and
she insisted on writing a “Book Report” in her journal. Here is her
completely unbiased review:

She really likes animals!

You can get the National Geographic Kids Almanac 2017
wherever books are sold or on Amazon. As for the remainder of our
summer over here, I am happy to have this book around because it is
totally helping out with our new Summer Rules. It gets my kids reading
and discovering new things, and also inspires them to draw and create,
and to get outside and explore their world. So, here’s to ALL of us
surviving the summer together and learning lots of cool stuff along the
way. 

n~

P.S.: From page 231, ARRRGH! 17 Facts about Pirates

#13. Pirates drank Grog, a mixture of rum, lime juice
and water. Vitamin C from the lime helped prevent scurvy, a disease that
can cause swelling, bleeding, and tooth loss.

Sounds good to me! 

Cheers!

I am 78.4% sure this is exactly how the pirates served it!

**This is a sponsored post. All opinions, content and photos are my own and those of my test subjects, ummm, I mean kids! ;)**

Brought to you by National Geographic Kids.
Get the world’s most popular kids’ almanac! It covers the world, with photos, facts, and fun.

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