Summer days can slip by before you know it. Make the most of it by planning a few enrichment activities to enjoy with your children through out the next few weeks and months. After all, all of life is learning. And summer learning can be the most enjoyable, especially since the pressure’s off.
In light of my recent house guest, I thought it would be quite comical to feature Mice in our next installment of Camp Wannalaffalotta. In the midst of my mouse invasion, I became aghast at the vast amount of pop culture and children’s literature that features rodents. Yes, it’s a sick, sick world….
But, creeped out housewives aside, mice do play a starring role in many a storybook and children’s story, so it makes sense to create activities that feature these “cute little critters.”
Photo Source: Denis Defreyne
Practically Free Fun
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have fun and enjoy learning and playing with your kids. Make the internet and the library serve you well this summer. Enroll your kids in their summer reading program and explore the world of books together.
Many of the following craft suggestions involve regular household items. If something is out of reach, in terms of budget or availability, there is almost always a reasonable substitute, just think outside the box.
Make library days a regular part of your summer. We usually choose one day of the week to make Library Day. Sometimes I’ll pack a sack lunch, then we can take our time, not hear rumbling tummies, and not succomb to fast food on the way home. Ask your children’s librarian to point you to the reference books, like A to Zoo. They should have a whole section on books about books. These are directories, organized by age, theme, and author, to help you find books your children might be interested in. Teachers know about these books, but I’m not sure all parents do. This kind of book will help you help your children choose good books.
Picture Books and Easy Readers
- Good Night, Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
- If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff
- Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh
- Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse by Leo Leonni
- Once a Month by Marcia Brown
- City Mouse, Country Mouse
- The Lion and the Mouse by Aesop
- A House for Mouse by Babs Shook
Chapter Books and Read Alouds
- Marshall the Courthouse Mouse by Cheryl Shaw Barnes
- The Crickett in Times Square by George Selden
- Lost Treasure of the Emerald Eye (Geronimo Stilton)
Books for Older Kids
- Ben and Me: An Astonishing Life of Benjamin Franklin by Robert Lawson
- The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
- Redwall by Brian Jacques
Get a Movie On!
Different families have different standards when it comes to movie viewing. If I haven’t personally seen a movie listed, I’ve checked it through the Dove Foundation’s Movie Reviews or heard good things about it. But our standards may not be yours. Please use discernment in choosing what your children will watch.
- Stuart Little
- The Tale of Despereaux
- The Rescuers
- The Great Mouse Detective
- An American Tale
- The Secret of NIMH
- Make a mouse pad — from Family Fun Magazine
- Create chocolate mice – from Floral Showers
- Decorate pine cone mice – from About.com
- Wear a cute mouse or rat pin – from Family Corner
Get Out and About!
While I don’t love mice, I’m sure that the ones at the pet store are pretty cute. Go see them. But, please warn your children not to pet wild mice.
- Build something fun out of cheese – from Make and Takes
- Make easy mouse cupcakes – from Family Fun Magazine
- Or these mice cakes from Couture Cupcakes