by Jennie Smith, Assistant Secondary Principal
and Mom to three stir-crazy boys
Ah…warm weather, the smell of chlorine, the excitement of a vacation plan…I love summer! But for many of us summer also means cooped up kids and the high pitched whine of “I’m bored.” Most of us don’t want our kids sitting in front of a TV or a video game all day. There are many learning opportunities for your child that are easy, fun, and educational too!
- Make one day a week an outing day. Visit a museum – there are some great children’s museums and others have pre-planned children’s activities in the summer. And bonus…it’s air conditioned!
- Find some educational computer games. One of my favorite websites is http://www.mathplayground.com/. There are many exciting and fun games there and kids don’t even know they are reviewing important skills.
- Turn a card game into an easy math game. For example, play War, but have your child add or multiply the numbers the two of you lay down. If they are right, they get the cards, but if they are wrong, you get to add to your pile.
- My kids love mad libs and the sillier the better. Do they know that they are reviewing adjectives, adverbs, verbs, and nouns? Probably not…please don’t tell them.
- There are many programs that reward your child for reading. Check your local library and click on the following link for a great article on different ways your child can earn prizes for reading: http://thekrazycouponlady.com/family/summer-scholars-kids-earn-books-and-prizes-with-reading-programs/
- Learn a new game like chess or backgammon together. Chess is an excellent mind and strategy game that uses logic and reasoning skills.
- Take postcard stamps and your address book on vacation with you. Let your child pick out a postcard at various stops and have them write a note to a friend or grandparent. They are practicing handwriting, spelling, and writing.
- Make your own zoo. Have your child research their favorite animals and draw and cut them out. They are reading and using their fine motor skills. Wait until Dad gets home…and then have the kids be the tour guide.
- Keep them moving – make sure they get some exercise by purchasing an inexpensive slip and slide and play human bowling. Set up “pins” (empty two liter bottles) at the end of the slide and see how many they can knock down with their hands and body. Don’t forget the sun screen!
- Encourage your child to write, produce, and put on a play based on their favorite Bible story. Go to the thrift store and let them pick out costumes and then invite Grandma and Grandpa over for the big show!
- Have a Scripture scavenger hunt! Hide a post-it note with some Scripture on it and your child can only get the next clue if they read it out loud to you. My kids would like this game even better if M & Ms were involved. Challenge each other to memorize one a week through the whole summer.
There are many easy, simple, inexpensive ways to engage your child’s mind this summer! If you have any fun and educational ideas for kids leave them in the comments below. Keep on learning!