Children often relish those school-free summer months. Time away from the classroom, however, often leads to the “summer slide,” or the loss of academic skills. When kids are not engaged in scholastic activities, they can regress and forget what they learned the previous year.
Parents often choose summer classes or camps to keep kids engaged, but there are also everyday activities that support learning and prevent summer slide. These summer parenting tips about such activities can help kids of a wide range of ages and learning differences. It is often as simple as incorporating learning into day-to-day life.
Spend Time in the Kitchen
Cooking is old hat for many parents, but it is a new educational experience for kids. Integrate children into the cooking process by measuring ingredients, reading recipes, watching the stove timer or dividing up portions for dinner. This reinforces math and reading skills without making children feel frustrated or intimidated.
Explore the Outdoors
“Green-thumb” parents can ask children to help plant a garden. Kids learn where flowers and food come from and how they grow with care and nurturing. Time with nature is great for children; families can pitch a tent in the backyard if they don’t have time to go camping. Exploring the trees, critters and soil on local trails and in parks enhances kids’ appreciation of the earth.
Play Games and Do Crafts
Flash card games, like math war or concentration, help with computation and memory skills. Just a few minutes a day feel like play time and give kids the esteem boost of a solved problem. Families can play cards or have a regular board game night to enhance strategy and problem-solving skills. A daily craft activity promotes dexterity and language skills. Kids who like comics can write their own with original text and pictures.
Read Everything, Everywhere
Kids engage with words every moment of the day. They should read cereal boxes, menus, recipes and signs as they go about their summer activities. Reading aloud to kids before bed and supporting their solitary time with books help improve reading fluency and enjoyment. A family blog gets kids interested in writing. Kids may create a scrapbook of summer activities with printed pictures and pages they can flip through.
Take a Field Trip
Whether it is going to a baseball game, a museum or the local park, kids learn when they are engaged in an activity. Parents can discuss strategy at the game and talk about kids’ favorite parts of museum exhibits. A walk to the park is an opportunity to talk about the neighborhood and its history, using language and analytical skills.
If your child struggles with learning or has been diagnosed with a Learning Disorder, contact us online or find a center near you to learn more about how the Brain Balance Program can help.