Helping your Child Stay Up-to-Date Over the Summer

Summer is a great time to relax and enjoy good weather and family time. There’s a concern though that kids may suffer from the lack of learning opportunities. Essential academic and social skills can be lost during the summer if parents don’t actively try to support their children’s continued learning. Here, we offer some tips for helping your children stay up to date over the summer while still keeping summer fun.

  • Stick to a routine. You don’t have to get up as early as you would for school, but having some structure makes it easier to transition back into the normal routine once school starts back up. Make sure you’re working some physical play or exercise into your everyday activities.
  • Play games as a family. Setting aside one night each week as “Family Game Night” helps you to connect with your kids and make memories, but it does more than that. Playing games helps kids learn critical thinking and how to strategize, as well as strengthening their reading, math, and fine motor skills.
  • Encourage their creativity. Give your kids plenty of opportunities not just to do artwork, but also to build things. Provide sidewalk chalk, finger paints, colored pencils and markers, and craft kits to help them learn new creative skills. For building fun, offer not only building toys like Legos but also help them think creatively by showing them how to build with boxes and anything else interesting you might have on hand. Challenge them to building contests.
  • Plan and grow a garden. You don’t even really need a yard to grow vegetables and flowers, because even apartment dwellers can create a container garden. Plan your garden together, researching seeds, drawing a blueprint, and sprouting seeds or transplanting young plants. Growing things is both educational and satisfying, and eating vegetables you’ve grown is a great way to teach kids about healthy eating and where our food originates.
  • Make a game of math. Invent math activities, perhaps using sidewalk chalk to create targets with numbers and challenging kids to hit the highest numbers. You could also try a sandbox game, burying objects in the sand and challenging kids to compete and see who finds the most treasure.
  • Read together. Reading to little children is fun, and reading together as your children grow is even more rewarding. Going on a long car trip? Listen to audiobooks in the car!
  • Choose educational activities. Go geocaching, explore a historical site, or cool off inside a museum. Summer adventures can promote learning and still be fun.
  • Enroll in summer programs. Public libraries, community centers, and summer camps focused on topics or activities that your child enjoys are great places to find educational summer fun and provide great opportunities to practice social skills with peers.
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