Smart Summer Challenge - Are You Up for It?

I love summertime. I mean, I. LOVE. IT. Not only do I not have to bundle up every time I run out to get the mail, but I can go BAREFOOT! I love thunderstorms, too. And the occasional rainbow and beautiful sunset that the storms leave behind. I love checking out the hundreds of insects that grace me with their presence. And watching my garden grow from little seeds into huge plants and, eventually, food on my table. I love heading to the river in the evening and watching the birds fly just above the water, catching annoying mosquitoes and gnats. I love seeing wild animals and, occasionally, helping one recover from an accident or nurse a baby who's recently been orphaned in my bathroom.

But do you know what I love the most about summer?  
Sharing all of the above and more with my children!

smart summer button '11

When I received an email from Pink and Green Mama this morning that invited me to join in on the Smart Summer Challenge, I jumped on it! The idea is to pledge to incorporate fun, educational activities for six weeks into your daily plans. These can be as easy as reading a book, crafting, observing nature... you get the idea. And, if you can't think of anything, how about a free calendar of ideas?!

Just click on the photo for a printable calendar!
MaryLea Harris of Pink and Green Mama, Amy Mascott of Teach Mama and We Teach, and Candace Lindemann of Naturally Educational, have launched the Smart Summer Challenge.

From Pink and Green Mama's post, here are the steps you can take to join in on the fun:
Step 1

The first step is to "Like" the Smart Summer Challenge on Facebook, if you have an account.
We'll be using the Smart Summer Challenge FB page to share ideas, questions, and successes from challenge participants. 

Step 2: 

If you are a blogger, we would love for you to grab our "Smart Summer Challenge" Badge for your sidebar and/or Smart Summer Posts. 

Grab the button: 
<center><a href="" title="smart summer button '11"><img src="" width="150" height="150" alt="smart summer button '11"></a></center>
Step 3:

Each week, from June 27 through August 5, we will be posting daily activities on our three blogs. 
We would love it if you would blog along (as often as you wish - even once a week is great) and share what you are doing to keep the learning going over the summer. 

Step 4: 

On Friday of each of the Smart Summer Challenge weeks, we will post a themed "linky" on our blogs where you can share your recent or archived posts. If you do not have a blog, please feel free to share your activities and pictures on the Smart Summer Challenge Facebook page! We will highlight posts from participants on our blogs and on facebook. 

So, not only do you get to have fun doing educational activities with your kids, you can even win some pretty cool prizes! Here is a list of a few of the prizes that are posted on Teach mama (these aren't piddly little trinkets!):
I'm really looking forward to doing this and will be sharing as many of our activities as possible. Hopefully, some of you will join in, too!

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