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Summer is just around the corner and the kids will be home all day long. For many kids “lazy” is how they describe summer. “Learning” is not in their vocabulary. That’s why mom’s need to make learning a part of the summer calendar. If not, your kids will fall down the slippery slope called the “Summer Slide”. My kids worked hard during the school year, especially my preschooler who learned is letters, numbers, and is starting to read. I don’t want to have to have him re-learn the same skills again when he gets to kindergarten.
So we are planning on having a certain time of day set aside for learning. Here are some of the ideas I’ve come up with to help keep my kids from sliding down the Summer Slide.
1. Read. Not just separate reading, but reading out loud to each other. “Reading aloud to young children, particularly in an engaging manner, promotes emerging literacy and language development and supports the relationship between child and parent,” concludes a review in Archives of Disease in Childhood. Reading out loud to your children or having them read out loud to you may develop their vocabulary, improve their ability to learn to read, and – perhaps most important – foster a lifelong love of books and reading. Head to your local library once a week during the summer and sit and read books to your kids in the kids section. Usually there are couches, bean bags and tables you can sit at to read. And the library probably has some great summer activities and incentives for your kids.
2. Learn how to play a musical instrument. Learning to play a musical instrument boosts your childs brain power, improves their memory, helps them socially, builds their confidence and teaches patience.
3. Use workbooks to keep writing skills sharp. My favorite workbooks for my kids are the Summer Bridge Activities workbooks. These workbooks help prevent summer learning loss and gets my kids prepared for the next school year. And they only need to work on them for about 15 minutes a day.
Summer Bridge Activities have a workbook for every grade level. I love the fact that they include flashcards, reviews, reward stickers, book recommendations, and a completion certificate! And there are enough activities in there for 12 weeks. The workbooks help kids make goals and helps them get active and healthy with fitness challenges.
And now you can get 25% off the Summer Bridge Activities Workbooks by using the code: SBA25 on checkout!
4. Learn a new sport. Playing a sport has close to the same effect on the child as learning a musical instrument. Sports help kids socially, builds their confidence, teaches patience, and can help your child with life-long health. Make a list of sports your kids want to learn how to play and write them on your calendar.
5. Get outside and garden. Gardening gives children a chance to learn an important life skill, one that is overlooked in standard school curriculum. Gardening is also a great way to teach environmental awareness by exploring the workings of nature. Your kids will love to eat a big salad filled with vegetables that they helped grow themselves. If you can’t get outside to garden because you don’t have a yard, check out my post on how to grow a “glass garden”.
6. Learn how to cook and bake. Baking with kids teaches important skills including math. Help a child cut a recipe in half, or double a recipe and you’ll be working with fractions. For preschoolers, baking can help them learn how to count and help with important fine motor skills like pouring, measuring, and scooping. We love to make our “Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies”with the kids since I have that recipe memorized.
7. Use Learning Games to Teach Important Concepts. Making learning fun is a must when it comes to kids. They soak up every experience and if you are playing games while you learn they will remember what they are taught much better than sitting and listening to a lecture. Our favorite learning games for little ones are made by Learning Resources. This acorn game is super fun. There are matching Upper Case, Lower Case and Color Matching. The ‘Lil Lemonade Stand Off is a fun memory building game and the kids can compete to win by earning the most coins at their lemonade stand.
It’s no surprize that helping our kids continue to learn throughout the summer will benefit them greatly.
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