Posts

July Ideas and Activities Around the Theme “Maps”

With kids’ school schedules, university classes being over, and activities like dance classes taking a break, July is and always will be the ultimate road trip month. Our theme for our home curriculum this month is “MAPS” – think places to go, atlases, globes, searching for treasure, and charts of imaginary lands. With 4th of July celebrations and their historical roots, what better time to explore this vast and rich country we live in? It is about putting on our explorer caps, blaring some road trip tunes, and charting out adventure.

Read all about how to use this list and our heart behind this project here.

Below is our comprehensive MAPS activities list. Choose a couple to do with your kids to enrich the month or try to accomplish the whole list! What would you add? I would love to hear your ideas and plans for the month.

July Dates to Take Note of:

July 4th – Independence Day

Local Greeley, CO events:

Concert under the Stars – July 8th at the UNCO Garden Theater

Neighborhood Nights in July (Movies/picnics at city parks in greeley) – Muppets Most Wanted, Big Hero 6, The Lego Movie

Greeley Arts Picnic – July 25 and 26

Taste of Windsor – July 16

 

HISTORY:

Tell the stories of Independence day on the 4th of July and of course enjoy fireworks

We will be heading on a family music/art tour to Wisconsin. On our way, we plan on visiting the Nebraska and Iowa state capitals – hoping to make this a family tradition as we visit new states. Is there a state capitol somewhere near that you could visit? Or at least talk about what state capitols are.

Learn about some of the great explorers – Magellan, Columbus, Lewis & Clark, etc.

Maybe this book would be a fun way to learn about these explorers?

617lTfWIdeL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_
Also want to check out this one (its illustrations alone look incredible)
510jW+oBRmL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Wanted

Look at trains and modes of transportation (hot air balloons anyone?)
LondonTubeTrainMap2010

Along with that, learn how to play Ticket to Ride, which I have heard is a great game.
61dDQUfhuvL._SX300_

ART:

Do straw paintings of fireworks
cf-blowing-paint-finished-fireworks-2-collage

Paint a treasure map (Image from here) – I particularly like using parchment paper and burning the edges. Just makes it even more, you know, pirate-y. A link to a map we made a couple years ago: Here .
6580d2bed791e628011f75973b5c788d

Create a 3D map of our neighborhood like this sweet milk box one.

craft_thumbnail_map_skills3_tcm169-201580

Try making something like this great wall hanging interactive map from The Handmade Home

MUSIC:

Listen to our Road Trip playlist

Listen to our Stars and Stripes playlist

Sufjian stevens – Michigan and Illinois
url-1Sufjan_Stevens_-_Illinois

John Phillips Sousa

sousa 2

Make a States playlist? What songs could you use for each of the 50 states?!

MOVIES:

Goonies, Pirates of the Caribbean, Cars (Route 66), Around the World in 80 Days
urlurl-251YP4C-LjhL80days

READ:

Treasure Island – Robert Louise Stevenson
url-3 TreasureIslandMap565b

SCIENCE:

Look at constellation maps (there is a great printable one here

printable-summer-constellation-map-color )

and make pin poke constellation maps

constellation_patterns

Learn about Planets and maps of our solar system – maybe make a model
solar-system4

Make maps of the human body

IMG_2149

PLAY:

 and go on an imaginary expedition

Play the old zelda – with map
url-4

IN THE CAR:

Follow routes on a road atlas

Play the license plate game – or some of these other great car games

license-plate-game-travel-games

Learn about distances

GEOGRAPHY:

Spend a lot of time looking at the Maps book by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Activity companion – it is really beautifully done.
668969 img_9213

 

Do the State Map Puzzle we picked up at the Habitat Store (kind of like this one)

Also, cut up an old atlas and make these out of some of those freebie rectangle magnets you get from real estate agents…
39fa7b5c4046f3ba6cc7045429ba461b

Play with Compasses and Map Keys
Map_Key_A4

Learn our state flower, bird, reptile, etc.

Look at elevation maps

Road Trip Games

For those of you road-tripping this summer here’s some game suggestions for the car! Several are listed here. Comment below if you’ve got some more.

The first one below comes from a night Betony and I were at a restaurant and our waiter gave us this game. It was really fun to try to figure them all out.

Three-Letter Body

Name 10 Common Body Parts that are three letters long:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

The iPod Shuffle

The modern person’s “Name that Tune”. Put your iPod on shuffle and see who can guess the song fastest. Take turns using different iPods to avoid advantages.

Daring Hang Man

Smashing two favorites into one

game. Whoever loses the hangman

round must take a “truth or dare”

from the car!

Memorize a Poem or Rap

To pass the time in a car ride my wife would choose a rap song and memorize the whole thing. When we first met she had several charts she could perform. It was one of the many things that won me over about her.

Choose a rap song or a poem and repeat it over and over (perhaps put it on repeat?)

License Plate Decoder

Pretend that every license plate is a personalized message and decode it. “HDR 732″ might stand for “Hairdresser Diva Roller-derby, 7 days a week, 32 hours a day.”

Road Trip Game: Banana

Look around until you find a yellow colored vehicle. Shout “BANANA!” when you notice a one. If you don’t, it does not count, and someone else can call it. Whomever gets the most points is declared the “Top Banana”.

Other Road Trip Games: 

Twenty Q’s

I Spy

Riddles

I’m Going on a Picnic and…

Alphabet Game (can be played with signs, animals, cars, etc.)

License Plate Game (try to find all 50 states)

Telling your favorite jokes

Crosswords

The Quiet Game

Pick a letter and a topic: what songs, movies, other things come up?

The Cow Counting Game (and you lose your cows if you go by a graveyard…)

Truth or Truther: Like Truth or Dare except you are opening up for REALLY personal questions. Good to play late into the night with close friends willing to become closer.

Road Trip Game: Squares on Dots

squaredotgrid

Each person gets to draw one line, dot to dot (only vertical or horizontal) at a time. When your line completes a square put your initial inside it (and you get to go again!) The person with the most squares wins.

July Almanac Theme: Go

Each month for our Almanac we choose a theme that fits the season then present things around that theme. This month our theme is “go” and we filled our paper publication with pages about road trips and games you can play in the car and all other sorts of get-out-of-the-house material.

And what’s funny- we stayed true to our theme. This is the FIRST post about “go” we’ve had a chance to do because we’ve been traveling so much! Things have slowed down now, so more posts will be coming… but goodness, what a first few weeks!

Here’s the poetic intro that gives insight into the theme:

July is an open road

with a sun setting and music blaring
like a panoramic scene from a movie loved

An expanse is calling out
about new constellations and colors unseen

with no need for a map, just feet for streets
because every town becomes a one-horse town

when you’ve stayed for too long

and in traveling miles there’s the discovery
of something that has been there
all along

The road is begging for distance gained
and is offering a revision of how sweet home truly is upon return

so head out

go