Can you believe it’s already June?! At this time of the year, the last thing our kids probably want to hear is the word “learning.” But learning in the summer can be fairly easy to sneak in… and lots of fun! Here are 7 fun ideas for summer learning:
- Read, read, read! This is an obvious one, but arguably the most important. For young children or struggling readers, be intentional about reading aloud daily whenever possible. (Audio books can be helpful, too!) For more fluent readers, help find enjoyable reads at the public library or local bookstore. Magazines, comic books and graphic novels count! Just make sure you’re comfortable with the content of the literature – and if you’re uncertain, don’t hesitate to research online or inquire with the children’s librarian.
- Sign up for your public library’s summer reading program. Building on the first suggestion of reading, spend time at your local library and participate in their summer reading program if they offer one. These reading programs vary from place to place, but are often a motivator to keep reading throughout the summer… as well as a reminder to visit the library for fresh books as the summer goes on.
- Explore new places together. This can be as extravagant or as simple as your schedule and budget allow. Take a family vacation or go camping for a weekend. Visit a lighthouse, nature center or children’s museum in your area. Attend a festival or community event. Whatever activity you choose, be sure to include some relaxed, informal discussion time with your child to help make a connection between those activities and real-life history, culture, and so on.
- Limit entertainment screen time. I understand this is not possible for every family, but if possible, limit your child’s entertainment screen time such as movies, TV shows and video games/iPad games. Encourage your child to find other things to do to keep their minds and bodies more active.
- Utilize educational screen time/technology. On the flip side, allowing your child to a set amount of screen time for educational purposes can help them maintain their progress from the current school year or even make academic gains. It can also be a time to learn something new that interests your child but might not be a part of their typical school-year learning. Diverse apps and websites (many for free!) can allow your child to learn a foreign language, track NASA space missions, or even design his/her own video game….. The possibilities are endless!
- Sign up for a cool new activity. Park and Recreation departments frequently offer reasonably-priced summer activities. Check out what’s available in your area and let your child discover a new skill or sport, from dance to soccer to art.
- Play board games as a family. Many board games help children learn social concepts (such as taking turns and understanding they won’t always win) as well as deeper critical thinking skills (such as number order, addition and subtraction, spelling, etc.). Make some popcorn and sit down for a board game or card game that’s age appropriate.
These 7 suggestions can help your child keep learning throughout the summer, even when he/she doesn’t realize it. 🙂 I’m sure there are plenty more ideas out there… I’d love to hear them!