Summer Curriculum

All the Details...

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If you are looking for fun, hands-on learning, open-and-go, and flexibility, these lesson plans might be perfect for you. Click on the video to hear Hollie share what the Thoughtful Play Summer Curriculum is all about!

Home Gardening

In the Garden

  • Parts of a Plant

  • Flower Bouquets

  • Working in the Garden

  • Vegetables 

  • Herbs

  • Pollinators

  • Butterflies

  • Worms

  • Frogs

  • Birds

Under the Stars

  • The Moon

  • Stargazing

  • Nocturnal Animals: Bats & Owls

  • Nocturnal Animals that Run

  • Nocturnal Insects: Fireflies

  • Lanterns

  • Camping

  • Glow in the Dark

  • Shadows

  • Night Hiking

Camp Fire at Night
Image by Phil Hearing

At the Ocean

  • The 5 Oceans

  • Sand & Seashells

  • Seahorses & Starfish

  • Fish in the Ocean

  • Coral Reefs

  • Octopus, Squid, & Jellyfish

  • Whales & Dolphins

  • Tides

  • Snorkeling & Scuba Diving

  • Keeping the Oceans Clean

In the Woods

  • Hiking in the Woods

  • Trees & Leaves

  • Camping

  • Ferns & Mosses

  • Fungi

  • Insects All Around Us

  • Small Animals in the Forest

  • Big Animals in the Forest

  • Tree Houses & Homes in the Woods

  • Sounds & Beauty of the Forest

Children - identical twins girls are hik

SALE GOING ON NOW:  3 Themes for $49
In the Garden, Under the Stars, & At the Ocean

Real Moms - Real Reviews

"I love that play and fun come first. The activities are super engaging for both my 5-year old and 2-year old!"

- Mom of 2 children

A young African American boy is looking

"There's not a single thing that I didn't love about the summer plans! The organization of the plans and the ease of carrying them out is unlike anything else I've found!"

- Mom of a 6-year old

I definitely need this! YES! WOO HOO!

Frequently asked questions

I want my kids to be outside. Can I do that with these plans?

YES! Every lesson, game, and activity is designed to be done inside OR outside. There are even tips on how to make it successful outdoors, if you need them!

What materials will I need? Do I need to purchase them in advance?

Each summer plan is created to be used with materials you already have around your house. You can easily substitute any of the reocmmended items with things that you have. Basic supplies that would be a great addition to your stash includes sidewalk chalk, scissors, markers, construction paper, washable paint and index cards. Painter's tape is our secret weapon for hanging creations and creating fun obstacle courses indoors - so, if you feel inspired, pick some up, but not required! Remember: if an activity lists a material that you don't have on hand, just use something else in its place. There's often suggestions of other things you could use.

Tell me about the books. What if I don't have the books you recommend?

Each theme has a list of 10 books that are recommended, but NOT required. These are some of our favorites that help introduce each lesson topic. You can use the list to order the books from the library or find them on digital platforms, such as Epic. We have a Summer Curriculum YouTube channel that will have all of the books in read aloud form, if you prefer. A link to the channel will be included in your digital download. Remember, these are just suggested titles. Reading aloud to your child each day is the goal. Use whatever books you have on hand to accomplish this goal, even if they don't align to the theme of the day.

We are traveling this summer. Can I still use the plans?

Yes! Most of the activities and games are designed to move with you. Literally! Whether you are heading to the pool each day or taking a road trip, there are short, flexible, and minimal prep opportunities for fun learning packed into our plans. There is one hands-on actviity in each lesson that can easily fill a chunk of time (usually 20-30 minutes). It can be shortened to make it a quick craft or extended for an hour of fun learning time. It is designed to offer your child an inquiry-based learning opportunity with a read-aloud, thinking question, and a hands-on exploration or experiment or artistic creation. These activities can be taken on the go, as well.

I've got a new baby at home (or younger/older kids). Will this still work?

Yes! All of the lessons are adaptable to work with children of various ages and skill levels. Though a game might be introduced to practice a specific skill, you can easily change the target of the game for each child to make it easier or more challenging depending on where they are at. Games and activities are short and quick and don't require extensive preparation. This makes them perfect to use while juggling the napping/feeding schedules of a newborn, infants, or toddlers.

How much time does it take each day? How do you fit it all in?

Each plan is designed to be flexible for you and your family. You can pick and choose which games or activities you want to do. Most of the games or activities takes between 5-15 minutes. The main Hands-On Activity within each lesson takes about 20 to 30 minutes, and can easily extend to 60 minutes, if desired. What you'll find is that the activities and games are highly engaging for children and most likely you will find your child wants to engage for upwards of 30 minutes to an hour. You will receive 10 plans for each theme. Each lesson plan has enough activities to last 2-3 days, if you want to spread them out. The activities do not need to be completed in order.

How many plans come with each theme?

WIth each theme there are 10 lessons. For 3 themes this means 30 lessons - 30 hands-on activities, more 90+ academic extensions, physical movement and free play suggestions, and 30 math, plus 30 reading-writing review games!!!

What if the skills in the review games are too easy/hard for my child?

Every child is at a unique stage of development. The games and activities are designed for you to simply plug in the appropriate level of dififculty for your child. Suggestions for how to adapt or extend are often provided. This includes adjusting the words, numbers, or skills based on where your child is at. You'll have a really fun and creative way to engage them in the skill but you control how easy or hard to make the activity.

How does it come? Is something mailed to my house?

The lessons are a PDF digital download. Nothing is mailed to your house. Just download the PDF to your computer or device, and use it from there. Print if you choose to, but not necessary.

What if I have a question about the curriculum? How do I get help?

When you purchase our Summer Curriculum you'll be invited to join a private Facebook group with other families who are using the lessons, as well as access to Hollie & Katie. We will be right there with you (we'll be using the lessons with our own kids too!) and will be available to help with any questions or concerns you may have.