What we’re doing for fun this summer: Summer Memories Timeline

25 Jun

If you’ve been a reader of my blog since last fall, you may remember my post about our Summer Vacation banner. It was not something I’d started on purpose and it turned out to be so much more than I expected. The kids loved it.

I had not thought of doing anything like it this summer, but then a few weeks ago I was reading a blog and clicked from that blog to another blog, and saw something that caught my eye: a summer memories clothesline-timeline.

Only problem is: I can’t find that blog I’d landed on, anywhere. I didn’t think I was going to do it, so I didn’t save it. I’ve searched the internet like crazy but can’t find it.

Anyway, after seeing this, it stuck in my head and as I drove around these past couple of weeks, it kept popping into my head. (When I drive from story to story, place to place, I drive in silence–I get a lot of thinking done this way.)

I decided to try a summer timeline for my kids, I thought they’d love it, but I didn’t want to use a clothesline because I didn’t think I could put it up very well in our house nor could I store it well afterwards. (I save everything.)

Instead, I chose to use banner paper ($1.99 roll of Doodle Paper from Christmas Tree Shops) and decorative packing tape ($2 at CVS) along with some little square pieces of paper for them to write their events on the timeline ($1 at CVS).

They saw me buy the Doodle Roll last week before school ended and right away they knew something was up. Alex asked me every day why I bought the Doodle Roll. They wanted to know when they’d be let in on my Top Secret project.

Finally, the last day of school came. With my work schedule I only had one hour in which to create my timeline but I’d planned it out pretty well so I knew what I wanted to do.

Here’s how it looked, I know you’re dying to see it, right?

Our timeline: a blank slate ready to be filled up with a record of our summer memories.

The only disappointment was that I wanted to print out a photo to put on the timeline of them from that morning on the last day, but my printer was broken, not working AT ALL so I couldn’t. However, the “blank slate” aspect of their timeline seemed very appealing to them; the fact that they had this entire space to fill up with things we were doing, places we were going, people we were seeing.

When they walked in on that last day of school, they gasped and ran up the stairs–it’s right at the top of the stairs– to see what the new project was. (We’re a very project-based family!) They were immediately so excited, and I was so thrilled.

Their biggest concern: what if the timeline isn’t big enough? Then what? My solution: we can easily add a section to it and remove the last square I put at the end as an example. They were pleased with that answer.

So we’re off and running with our timeline. Throughout the summer I’ll try to remember to post an update so you can see how it’s looking.

I have no idea how it will turn out, but isn’t that half the fun?

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3 Responses to “What we’re doing for fun this summer: Summer Memories Timeline”

  1. Jennifer Lynch June 25, 2012 at 9:01 am #

    Jen, I love this idea! I think I may have to copy! Every summer I tell the girls that we’re going to have to keep track of all the fun things we do and somehow that never seems to happen (beyond recording things on our daily calendar.) But this looks like a great way to keep track of the memories – especially when they’re complaining that they’re bored and we never do anything! hahaha 🙂 Can’t wait to see your postings….

    • thewholebagofchips June 25, 2012 at 10:40 am #

      Feel free to copy, the idea is not my own. The best ideas are those shared! My kids are loving this so far. I thought they’d only write “big” events on it, but they make sure to write at least one thing a day that they’ve done, and they take turns being the one to put up the square for the day. I got my printer fixed (thanks Don) ad printed out some photos for the bottom, so it looks good. I’ll post an update in a few weeks.

  2. Sue Meyerson June 25, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    glad I got to see it in person..and great to visit with you last night..hope I didn’t keep you guys up too late!

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