Every homeschooling family is different, but one thing I’ve noticed to be shared among nearly every school at home family I know is that we all have an iconic large homeschooling bookshelf. One of the best things I’ve ever done for our summer learning experience is to set up our bookshelf to provide an endless supply of games, activities, books, toys and the like. When that inevitable lazy summer day rolls around with all the kids whining about being bored, I send them straight to the bookshelf. I even have a shelf labeled “I’M BORED” so there’s no mistaking where they should look for something to do.
You may want to consider some of these ideas for setting up a bookshelf that’s just right for summer learning. I hope you find some of the ideas below useful and I’d love for you to share your own ideas and pictures of how you set up your home for summer!
Our summer bookshelf:
One of my big goals for my family is to get us playing more games together. Curate games that you know your kids will play together and add games to play as a family after dinner or on weekends. Sometimes we forget the great games we own because they’re tucked away in a closet somewhere. Keep that from happening by storing some great games on their own shelf in your bookcase.
The “I’m Bored” Shelf
My favorite shelf of all, stock this shelf with all sorts of things your kids can do when they get bored. Whenever your kids say “I’m bored!” say “well, then go straight to the I’m Bored shelf!”
Here’s what’s on our “I’m Bored” shelf:
- Coloring Books
- Blank scratch paper
- Construction Paper
- Craft Tote with glue, scissors, markers, stencils, etc.
- Activity pads and kits (basically anything I found around the house that could be an activity)
- Dot-to-dots & mazes book (I bought one book then tore out all the pages put them in sheet protectors and put them in a binder with dry erase pen and piece of felt for erasing. That way I could have one book last for many kids.
- Sticker Books
- Craft books
- Crayon Totes (These are hanging under the shelf)
File Folder Games
Oh how I heart file folder games! As I put them together, I store them here on the file folder games shelf. I put codes on the backs that show the level like P for preschool, K for kindergarten, etc. I also keep buckets of dice, space markers, and manipulatives that go with the games.
Library Books Shelf
Like I mentioned in my post about 5 Tips For A Great Summer Reading Challenge, keeping a shelf for library books is a must for a great summer. My kids “check out” their books from this shelf and return them when done. It’s not a perfect system, but it often keeps the majority of books from getting lost and incurring those pesky fines.
Of course, Books! Non-Fiction & Fiction
I try to pick out books I know my kids haven’t read in awhile, might be interesting to them and are at their level. I like having both non-fiction and fiction books out because quite often I will find a kid with their nose buried in a book about bugs over princesses and I happen to love seeing that!
These toy buckets get the most use out of when we have company over. It’s great to have some toy buckets handy to pull out and put in front of some visiting toddlers. And of course when that happens it’s as if none of my other kids have seen these particular toys before and they finally play with them!
For some reason this is something I’m really nerdy about. I just adore the idea of having a listening station where my kids can put on some headphones and listen to books while they read them. I love having these out for those days my kids just happen to be curious and sit down for a listen.
Circle Time Box & Bibles
While we mostly do circle time during the school year, I like to keep this shelf set up for special circle times throughout the year. An occasional review and morning quiet times warrant a shelf with flash cards, cue cards, special stories and Bibles.
Now it’s your turn. What’s on your Summer Bookshelf this year?