parenting

Education: Fun Summer Learning for Your Child

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Summer Learning—Does summer mean kids should stop learning? Learning is an essential part of growing up. Fill your summer days with activities that get them thinking and using their imaginations. Kids soak up everything they see, hear, and do, so surround them with opportunities to have fun and enjoy their childhood summer while gaining knowledge.

Balance your kid's learning by choosing different activities that use different parts of the brain. Learn about the world, how to interact with others, how to solve problems, how to be creative, and how things work. At a MomItForward Twitter #gno party, sponsored by PBS KIDS, Tweeters gave suggestions on how to teach your kids this summer.

10 Ideas and Activities to Help Your Child Learn

  • Get outside. There is so much to learn from the great outdoors. @mellanhead uses workbooks and finds plants to study. “This summer we've been taking advantage of free state park programs,” said @victoria7401. “We love to visit organic farms and go berry picking,” said @bbbjessica. “My three year old loves to gather flowers and leaves. We spend a lot of time afterwards describing the colors, smells, etc.”
  • Take educational field trips. “We try to incorporate learning everyday,” said @bbbjessica. @KCEdventures visits historic sites based on things the kids have learned at school during the past year. Other ideas from our Tweeters included the aquarium, zoo, farm, planetarium, as well as creeks, parks, gardens, and children’s museums.
  • Document. Recording events can strengthen many skills, whether it is art, memory, writing, or social. @Artemis0312 suggested giving your kids a disposable camera and having them journal all of their summer and travel adventures in their own words. “We take photo safaris and use pictures in photo collages,” said @wbdean.
  • Keep Learning Fresh. “We always try to go somewhere different to do something different,” said @MWill1980. @KouponKat said, “We love to take a ride to another town and explore a place we have never been before.” @KCEdventures suggested the art museum because they always have new things to see.
  • Go to the library. Many of our tweeters, including @janewoj, suggested your library’s summer reading program. Reading is a great way to get your kids thinking. @PagesCorner suggested making a summer book list jar. Become a part of the books to get more out of them and to strike your kid’s imagination. “We connect summer reading with geography and map the location of the books we read,” said @KCEdventures. @ElectricCompany suggested a literary dinner party where everyone is their favorite character from the book you’re reading! Don’t forget to write your own stories, too, suggested @victoria7401. “I type and we work out the details later.”
  • Incorporate learning into your everyday activities. “If my kids ask a question, we get out a book or look it up,” said @thatoddmom. She also suggested talking about math and science while cooking. @summerlearning suggested measuring items around the house and adding and subtracting at the grocery store.
  • Play and learn together as a family. “Make learning fun,” advised @OneMommy1. “Act like animals to learn more about them.” @Countrypoohbear and other Tweeters suggested puzzles as a fun and educational activity.
  • Websites and apps can be educational for your kids. @MelissaNorthway suggested the websites "Reading Rockets" and "National Geographic."
  • Bring along friends. Find educational activities that kids can do with friends or in a group. @SimplyStavish suggested a neighborhood scavenger hunt based on a certain fun theme. “Adventure Walks,” as @wbdean called it, is where you pick a theme, like four new flowers, and go on a nature scavenger hunt. @ElectricCompany suggested starting with a simple silly sentence and having kids make up a skit to perform for neighborhood families.
  • Volunteer. Teach your kids not only school smarts but charity as well. @PeriodPanteez suggested picking up some litter at a park or taking flowers to the elderly.

Above all, have fun while learning and your children will be much more likely to make the connection and retain the knowledge they learned from the activity. @KCEdventures tipped, follow your child’s lead, and let them tell you what they are interested in learning.

How do you encourage your kids to keep learning during the summer?

Feature image courtesy of Flickr.

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Cambria VandeMerwe

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