Just because school is out doesn’t mean that your child has to stop learning. No matter where you live, there are many opportunities for avoiding the summer slide and keeping your children sharp during the summer.
Summer is the perfect time to be outside, and there are many activities that can be made educational:
- Go on a nature walk. Give your child a pencil, paper and clipboard and have him make observations of what he sees. Depending on age, he might draw a picture, write a description or create an in-depth labeled diagram.
- Prepare a scavenger hunt. Write clues on small pieces of paper and have your kids follow them. This is a great opportunity for reading practice!
- For younger children, incorporate counting or alphabet practice into activities such as swinging. For example, as you push your child on the swing, count together or say a letter of the alphabet for each push.
- Write math equations on recipe cards and post them around your yard (on a play structure, on trees, etc). Have your child run around the yard, grab an equation card and return to you. Once she answers the equation, she can go to find a new one. Time her to see how long it takes to find and solve all of the equations.
For days that are too rainy or hot, there are many fun ways to keep learning fun inside the house:
- Use a simple foam letter mat to practice many different letter and word skills.For young children, say an action and a letter, for example, “Hop on the R.” For children who are a bit older, make it harder. For example, you might say, “Hop on the first letter in the word RIGHT.” For an even greater challenge, have children hop from letter to letter to spell a word.
- Watch the movie version of a favorite book and compare the two. Talk about similarities, differences and what made one better than the other.
- Bake together. When measuring ingredients, review fractions. For example, instead of measuring one cup of flour with a 1 cup measure, use two 1/2 cup scoops.
- Make lists. Have your children write your grocery list and read it to you when you go shopping.
Activities for Traveling:
Traveling is a common summer activity and fortunately an easy one to integrate learning into:
- Collect brochures and read them together. Talk about how headings make them easier to navigate. Ask your child what he thinks would be the most fun part of each destination.
- Take pictures and help your child make a collage or journal of your trip. Have her label the pictures to show where each one was taken.
- As you drive, make a simple graph, such as a tally chart to show the colors of cars that you see.
No matter how hectic your summer is, there are always opportunities for learning! Feel free to comment below with your favorite ideas for keeping your children learning all summer long!