With summer just around the corner, it’s time to think about ways you can keep your children stimulated and challenged. What your child learned over the school year can fade in the summer sun, but you can stop that slow decline by incorporating some learning activities while you’re at home this summer.
1. Do Twister math.
Remember the game of Twister? Make it math-friendly by putting integers on post-its on each of the colored dots. Then call out a number (like 7) and have your children attempt to make that number using addition, subtraction, or multiplication. If a child makes an error or falls, they’re out!
2. Make a DIY bird feeder.
Who doesn’t love birds?? Have your children make a DIY bird feeder, and then track the birds that come to visit. You can then look up your feeder visitors and learn about birds in your local area.
3. Track constellations.
Download a constellation app on your phone (here are some options), and explore the night sky with your little one. If they have a favorite one, look up the myths behind that particular constellation and make sure to track it as the seasons change. If you live in an area that’s dark enough, you can also buy a telescope and track them on your own!
4. Learn about your trees.
If you have several different trees in your yard or in your neighborhood, go on a scouting mission to collect their leaves. Once you have them home, have your child trace and color each leaf on a separate sheet of paper. Then look up what kind of trees they are and label them. This will teach your child about different trees in your area and can provide a beautiful keepsake if you put them all on a canvas.
5. Collect colors.
If your little one still needs help in colors and counting, send them on a mission: to find a certain number of items in a specific color. Not only will this be fun for your child, but they’ll be able to practice their counting skills and their color identification skills. If they need help with fine motor skills, work on getting them to select small items that much their color.
6. Play an instrument.
Teach your child how to play an instrument, learn how to play one with them, or make one together. Even if it’s just attaching bells to some string or hitting spoons against glasses, your child will love the one-on-one time. With these musical instruments, you can play songs with something to learn (like the order of the planets, for example) or just be silly.
7. Plant a garden.
Gardening can teach your child how to follow directions as well as responsibility. Not only will you need to dig out an area, but you’ll also need to plant seeds and water regularly. Your child can learn about each particular plant and watch it grow everyday. If you plant a vegetable garden, you also get the added bonus that it’s likely your child will want to eat vegetables more!
8. Create a website.
Whether we like it or not, computers are the way of the world. Help your child get a headstart on creating their own website about something they’re passionate about. You can even pair it with one of their other activities to help them track their progress, whether it’s including pictures every day of their bird visitors to their DIY bird feeder, the growth of their vegetable garden, or their forays into music. Do also make sure to teach them online safety.
9. Pick a country to “study.”
Even though world excursions might not be in your plans for this summer, that doesn’t mean you and your child can’t explore the world together. Pick a country and read up all you can on it. Make some authentic cuisine together or pick up some from a local restaurant. Learn words from their country’s language, or make crafts specific to that area. You can also see if they can be paired with a penpal from that country and can learn how to write letters and more about that country in the process.
10. Pair spelling with an activity.
If spelling is your child’s worst nightmare, make it fun! The next time they have a spelling list or if you have one for them to prepare them for their next grade, do something active at the same time. Try having them spell a word while they’re jumping rope, running, or swinging on the swings.