While schools across the country may close for summer vacation, there’s no reason that learning should stop. Do you want to keep your child’s mind active and their learning skills sharp? It’s easy to do. There are plenty of activities that are both fun and educational.
Hit the Stores
Whether it’s at a souvenir shop while you’re on vacation or the grocery store while you’re picking up a few necessities, a shopping trip offers countless opportunities for children of all ages to hone their skills. Younger children can practice colors, shapes or directional words as they help you hunt for the items that you need on the shelves of the stores. Older children can work on math skills by helping you determine the best buy or keeping a tally of prices.
Are your kids pizza fanatics? Do they scream for ice cream cake? Learning to fix their own versions at home is a great way to practice following directions, and dealing with the necessary measuring keeps their math skills fresh. Food can also be a great way to explore different cultures or time periods. Recipes of varying complexity are readily available on the internet, and selecting the one you’d like to experiment with can be part of the fun.
Dive Into Literature
Reading and writing are foundational skills that open the door to so many topics. Encourage your child to use their skills and construct a lasting summer memory by creating their own illustrated book about their summer vacation. Younger children can draw pictures of their adventures for a comic book. Older kids can put together one of the graphic novels that are so popular with their peers. Does your child love photography? They can use photos they’ve taken to illustrate their story. These books can offer you insight into your child’s perspective and provide them with a delightful keepsake.
Enjoy Some Good Vibrations
Are your kids music lovers? Why not strike up the band by making your own instruments with household items? Maracas, drums, rattles and box guitars are easy to make and a great way to explore sound. For preteens who are convinced that they are too cool for arts and crafts, try a parody challenge. Encouraging them to rework the lyrics of favorite songs is a fun way to learn about rhyme, rhythm and vocabulary.
Get Back to Nature
The environment we live is a natural inspiration. Are their birds in your backyard? Challenge your child to identify them. Help their explorations thrive by asking more questions. How do birds fly? Where do they live? Why do they make that sound? Where do they go when it rains? Encourage your child to find the answers, and let their own curiosity drive their research. Whether it’s rocks, frogs, earthworms, flowers, butterflies or even their favorite zoo animal that captures their imagination, the urge to discover more, and the thrill of success when they do so, will keep your child engaged and learning.
Summer vacation is an excellent time to help your child fall in love with learning. It’s a break from the restrictions of classrooms and rigid routines and an amazing opportunity for fun, self-directed learning. How will you keep your child’s mind active this summer?