With summer here before you knew it, many parents wonder how to occupy their children during the break. Some have solved this problem by signing the kids for summer camps. Others decided to keep them home and incorporate some travel into their summer routine. No matter what the best choice for your family was, here are some useful ideas for keeping the children busy during school free time.
Learning new skills
If your child has been asking to learn how to sew, build a birdhouse, plant a garden, or learn a new language and there was no opportunity to do this during the school year, summer is the perfect time to catch up. Whether learning by watching YouTube videos, taking lessons at the local craft store, or signing up for a class locally or online, you can help your child conquer this new skill during the summer months.
Books, books, books
Reading during the summer months is not only a fun activity, but also a perfect opportunity to keep up and further develop your kids' vocabulary, thinking and language skills. A fun addition can be to watch movies based on the books read or keep an illustrated reading log.
Encourage your children to lead a nature journal - a notebook in which they can record their observations, their thoughts, and their feelings about what they see in nature. It's a space for them to learn and grow and nurture their creativity by building their critical thinking and scientific skills.
Hiking, swimming, biking, Oh My!
To collect observations for their nature journal, get out and explore the outdoors around you: Whether going to the beach, hiking in the forest or climbing a mountain, the opportunities are waiting.
A little (!) academic review
Summer slide is a real, documented phenomenon - children forget some of the material they have learned during the academic year and their academic skills are not quite as sharp by the end of the summer when it is time to go back into the learning routine. Upon realizing they have forgotten some of the material they are expected to know, many kids panic and develop negative feelings towards school. If you wish to prevent this, reviewing some of the material learnt during the summer is the answer. However, make sure to do so in small doses without taking too much time away from their daily routine. Nevertheless, summer days are long and reviewing the material for half an hour to an hour a day will not be too overwhelming.
If any activity could be chosen as the most beneficial for children's overall development, I would say travel should be it. Not only travel will help build stronger relationships in your family, but you will see your kids become more flexible, independent, and adaptable. They will learn how to be more responsible and learn to socialize and make friends more easily. They will be exposed to different cultures, foods, languages, and ways of life, all promoting tolerance, enhancing their knowledge and mental skills. The world will become their classroom and even the most mundane elements that we often fail to notice will entertain, awaken their curiosity and elicit their sense of wonder.
Most importantly, no matter what you will choose to incorporate into your children's summer schedules, remember that the most important part of their daily routine is the time they share with you. The memories you create together by sharing experiences are priceless for their social, emotional, physical and cognitive development! So don't forget to have fun together!