4 Tips To Encourage Summer Learning: Remember, kids learn a lot through unstructured play, so let them explore, play and be adventurous!
Summer is a time for lazy afternoons by the pool and late nights catching fireflies. Spending time outside in unstructured play is educational in itself, but there are other things you can do at home to keep your kids learning throughout the summer. Below are some ideas to keep their brains as engaged as their bodies.
4 tips to encourage summer learning
1.) Get a pen pal.
Writing is an important skill that only gets better with practice. What better way to practice than writing letters to a friend? Ask a relative, friend or even a neighbor to exchange letters with your child. If you can’t find a child for a pen pal, grandparents, aunts, uncles or even an elderly neighbor would love to receive a letter once in awhile. Encourage your child to write in complete sentences, proofread and include pictures of their summer adventures. You may need to help your child with the formatting of a letter and addressing the envelope. Be sure to ask the recipient to respond and watch your child’s face light up when a letter appears in your mailbox with her name on it.
2.) Math Olympics.
Everyone loves the Olympics, so get your kids motivated by having your own Math Olympics. Let your kids pick a country to be from and print out flags. Then you can award gold medals (stickers) for each math worksheet completed. Be sure to reward the effort, not the number of problems correct. At the end of the two weeks, celebrate by creating an outdoor obstacle course for the whole family. Have a special treat and talk about which events are your favorite!
3.) Make a Bug Journal.
Kids are naturally inquisitive, so why not turn that quality into a learning experience? Pick up a black and white notebook at the dollar store and create a bug journal. Start by researching insects that can be found in your backyard. Print out pictures and glue one on each page. Give your kids a magnifying glass and have them search for the bugs you listed. If they find one, have them write their observations in the notebook. They should record behaviors, appearance and descriptive words. They can also illustrate the bugs in their natural habitats. Leave some pages blank for new insects your kids may find and help them research those insects later.
4.) Read a lot!
I cannot stress this one enough. Children only get better at reading by actually reading. They need to be engaged in reading in order to progress. You may need to try many different genres of books to find something that interests your child. For the reluctant reader, you may need to read aloud to him or try alternatives such as magazines or comic books. Be careful not to make reading a punishment. If you need help finding good books, join your local library’s summer reading program. Librarians are wonderful at recommending books for every child!
Remember that kids learn a lot through unstructured play, so let them explore, play and be adventurous! Add some of the Tips To Encourage Summer Learning above and you’ll have the perfect summer.
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