Children’s brains are working all of the time. Learning doesn’t stop just because children are not in school. Typically, math skills do tend to be ignored during the summertime because it is easier to pick up a book to read rather than figuring out a math problem.
So how can you assist continued learning and enjoy the summer with your children?
Here are a few suggestions:
1. Keep a consistent schedule for meals, play and rest
2. Mix up the activities of the day, choices may include:
• time outside,
• stimulating work inside,
• listening to music,
• work with a variety of art materials,
• time for quiet and reflection,
• trips to museums and libraries
3. Read a variety of books daily including:
• joke books,
• as well as chapter books that will challenge the imagination
4. Explore Nature
• go camping!
• if you travel, read about the biomes before you go, learn about the plants and animals you may encounter
• make a botany map of your favorite area of the park
5. Take up a new hobby with your child:
• fabric arts like knitting, sewing, tie-dye, beadwork, weaving
• playing a musical instrument,
6. Establish daily chores like watering plants, setting the table, dusting folding laundry, feeding pets
7. Create math activities to do together:
• measure everything, count everything, sort everything
• comparison shopping (keep a pad and pencil handy)
• graph daily activities like when you go to bed, how far you walk each day, how many ounces of water you drink
• measure things around the house, map them, and rearrange the furniture,
• learn to play chess
8. Be social:
• invite friends for dinner, include children in the conversations
9. Engage in activities that foster independence:
• dressing and undressing,
• help prepare snacks and lunches,
• be responsible for belongings
10. Reinforce grace and courtesy: “please” and “thank you” go a long way!
Summer can be a time for children to learn more about their world and their place in it. Get involved in your community. Exploring cultural opportunities by attending parades and festivals is a wonderful way to explore the world at home.
Create an Ideas Jar: Write down new activities to choose from and pick one whenever the urge strikes to allow children to have extra screen time. All members of the family can participate in what goes into the jar.
I have heard children say, “I am bored.” I respond with “What does that mean?” Most of the time they do not know. Children often want parents to be their main source of entertainment.
Know that it is ok for children to be “bored”. That is exactly the time when creativity can be encouraged! Instead of feeling guilty, or feeling a need to “fix it”, ask, “What can we do about that?”