DIY Summer Activity Calendar

Seventy-one days of summer, yo.

There is excitement in my tone, I swear. I’m really looking forward to completely eliminating our school routine. I want lazy beach days, fun pool days, riding bikes in the street until sun down, and everything else that does not at all resemble packing a school lunch and making sure the reading log is updated. But, I need structure and a plan, too. Otherwise, we’ll still be in pajamas at noon because we (er…I) wasted the morning away on Facebook and watching television.

The solution? A summer activity calendar.

I’m highly visual and need to see all of our commitment in one space. Plus, there is educational benefit in calendar math and counting down the days to first grade for my daughter and this was a fun DIY project she and I could do together. Mind you, I had to let go of my Type A-Perfectionist tendencies when she started putting beach and camping stickers on every single date. Whatever.

sum activity calendar

This project is so super easy.

Grab a poster board and washi tape from your local craft store, Target or Dollar Store. These items are incredibly inexpensive and can be found for probably less than $5.

Figure out how many days of summer you have. For us, it was 71.

IMG_3511

Measure out how many squares you need equal to the number of days the kids are out of school. Oh boy, this my friends…not easy. I had to recruit the husband to figure out the square size to get us 71 — or somewhere sort of close.

IMG_3510

Use the washi tape to mark off the individual boxes. I love washi tape because it’s so easy to work with and there are a billion different options to create the design you want.

IMG_3514

While it doesn’t look like a typical calendar, it still illustrates the number of days. We plotted the dates and marked the events that we already knew there were plans (i.e. family vacations, camp and weekend trips). On those days, my daughter stuck stickers that were appropriate for the activity planned. Again, hit your dollar bins for cute summer stickers. In the remaining days, I had her write in things like “San Diego” or “OC Fair.”

IMG_3516

IMG_3581

We had some precut letters left over from a sign we made earlier in the year to give it a title (if you can’t see it, it reads “In Summer” because we’re still obsessed with Frozen. Aren’t you?) We clipped it up on my daughter’s art easel and now we wait until school gets out!

What are your plans this summer?

Want to share your Pinterest adventure from this past month (or any month)? You can link up here.


Summer in So Cal with Knott’s Berry Farm

What are your plans this summer?

A couple of weeks ago, I grabbed a poster board and a couple rolls of washi tape from my local craft store and set out to create a summer activity calendar for my little one. We have several camps planned, a family vacation and a few weekend getaways with a lot of free days in between. I am very visual and needed to see all of our commitments in one place. Click here to see how to DIY your own summer activity calendar.

DIY summer activity calendar | www.wendy-nielsen.com #summer #KnottsSummer

So what do we have planned on all those free days? Well, a lot of beach and pool days for sure. A couple of midday movies, trips to the Orange County Fair, a little bit of reading and writing (yes, I’m that mom!) and a trip to Knott’s Berry Farm!

We’re lucky to have several amusement park options here in Southern California but I have loved Knott’s Berry Farm for as long as I can remember. In my day, my favorite rides were the Wacky Soap Box Racer Cars and Kingdom of Dinosaurs. Oh! And who can forget the heartbeat beneath the grave in Ghost Town! With high school friends, we’d scream our faces off during October’s Knott’s Scary Farm and I  may or may not have held hands with a boy for the first time during the old Elvira show. Needless to say, Knott’s holds some very special memories for me.

Water Tower and Balloon Race

This summer, Knott’s Berry Farm has a lot to celebrate. It’s the 30th anniversary of Camp Snoopy! Knott’s has completely revitalized the six acre children’s area and added three brand new rides: Charlie Brown’s Kite Flyer, Pig Pen’s Mud Buggies, and Linus Launcher! Snoopy will also star with the rest of the Peanuts gang in spectacular ice skating production called Snoopy…Unleashed!

Camp Snoopy 30th Anniversary Logo

The Calico Mine Ride reopens after undergoing a five month top-to-bottom refurbishment but I’m super excited to watch the summer return of Boom Town where nine acrobats will perform a true Cirque performance. Maybe we’ll mine for some gold while we’re there or get one of those old-timey family photos!

Boom Town

The summer entertainment at Knott’s Berry Farm is incredible. It’s the perfect addition to our summer calendar! For hours on the day you plan to visit call (714) 220-5200, or check the Knott’ Berry Farm website; where you can also save time and money with Knott’s online tickets and Season Passes. Join the festive conversation using the hashtag #KnottsSummer on the Knott’s Facebook or Twitter page.

The opinions in this article are my own. I do not work for, or with, any brand mentioned in this article, nor do I have any official relationship with them.  I have a relationship with GigaSavvy, for whom I create original editorial content. 

Which Would You Choose? Vera Bradley Summer Giveaway!

This giveaway is now over. To see winner, scroll down to the Rafflecopter entry widget below and see if your name is displayed. Thanks to all for entering!

I don’t know about you but we’re barely into our second week of summer and I’ve already seen several of my favorite stores start marking down their summer inventory to make way for back-to-school clothes and supplies.

Wait…did you hear that? It was me digging my heels in.

There are still plenty of beach days in our future and this girl needs some super cute accessories – even better if they are on sale! Starting June 27th, select Vera Bradley beach items will go on sale at 50% off – all items can be purchased at Vera Bradley or participating retail stores.  Beach totes, coolers, towels, bathing suit cover-ups, and flip-flops all in select signature Vera Bradley patterns and colors.

Together with my lovely friends at Vera Bradley, I’ve got the perfect summer giveaway for you!  All you’ll need is your favorite beverage, a pair of sandals, and these adorable goodies from Vera Bradley and you’re ready for a day at the ocean! Enter the giveaway below!

vera-bradley-giveaway

One winner will take home a Vera Bradley Summer pack which includes one of each: a Vera Bradley Sarong, Small Mesh Tote, and a Beach Towel. Winner has the option of choosing between “Plum Crazy” or “Go Wild.”  Giveaway ends at midnight on July 4, 2013.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to check back on Thursday, July 4th to see if you’ve won this awesome giveaway! Don’t forget you can always snag these same adorable items at 50% off the original price at Vera Bradley and select retailers.  Good luck!

This post is NOT sponsored. I did receive my own Vera Bradley Summer pack to sample and one to give away. All opinions are of my own.

What I’m Reading or Trying to Read this Summer

Summer is in full swing around these parts and for weeks I’ve been pinning tons of summer ideas to keep my little one busy and unplugged.  Her and I have been logging how many pages we’re reading together per day (honestly, not as many as I had hoped so far).

Today, however, kicks off summer camp for the little one and I’m hoping to start logging some of my own pages.

Here’s what’s on my reading list this summer:

At Least My Belly Hides My Cankles: Mostly True Tales of An Impending Miracle by Paige Kellerman
Paige wrote a hilarious post a couple weeks ago here on the blog about Mom Hair.  I can’t wait to dive into her book (it’s first on my list this week)!

what-im-reading

The Revenge of Prada by Lauren Weisberger
I snatched this up at Target without giving it much thought (as are most of my purchases from Target). I loved, loved, loved The Devil Wears Prada. I’m worried though that since I haven’t heard any buzz about the sequel that it might be a big huge fat dud.

Emotional Wellness: The Other Half Of Treating Cancer by Niki Barr, PhD
I’m actually reviewing this book and will have a full report for you in the coming weeks. I’m really looking forward to reading this as dealing with cancer – even nearly five years out from a diagnosis – is still emotionally taxing.

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
My friend Megan suggested this book and though I started it months ago, I haven’t been able to get past chapter three. I hate starting and never finishing a book. So, this is definitely a must finish this summer.

And finally, a super secret television script. I can’t give any details because I don’t know if my eyes are even supposed to see this thing. Loving so far and I’ll be sure to shout from the roof top that I read it first when the pilot gets made!

I wish I had more on my reading list but I am an exceptionally slow reader and my leisure time is limited. Plus, I watch a shit-ton of Bravo. Priorities.

What are you reading (or watching) this summer?