Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday Teachings - Summer Learning

Most schools are out or getting ready to let out here in the United States and kids can not wait for summer vacation. As a child, I remember the excitement and thrill I felt when it was time to finally put away the textbooks and pencils; it was time to run, play and be free! Kids need that time to just be kids but summer vacation is also no time to just forget everything they learned in the past school year.

You can give your child numerous opportunities to continue learning over summer vacation without them even realizing it.

Cook together - Let your child pick out a new recipe to try and then take them to the store to purchase all of the ingredients. This gives them opportunities to work on reading (recipes and food labels), writing (grocery list), math (measuring ingredients and timing meal) and is a great activity to do together. Research shows that when kids are involved in selecting and preparing food they take ownership of the meal and are more likely to not only try the food but to also enjoy the food.

Garden together - Go to a local garden center and give your child a set amount of money. They can then select several plants to grow in your yard or in pots. This works on math skills (spending money and spacing plants), nurturing skills (caring for the plants)and then recipes and cooking skills.

Scavenger Hunts - See our blog post of 6/4/10 for a great scavenger hunt in the grocery store and we are hoping to give another scavenger hunt sheet for the great outdoors in the next week or so. This is a great skill for kids to teach them to focus, pay attention, search and read.

Public Libraries - Our local library kicks off their summer reading program on 6/1/11. The theme this summer is One World, Many Stories. We have participated in the summer reading program every year. It is cheap, challenging entertainment that encourages literacy making it a win-win for everyone!

Art Camp - No need to pay expensive camp fees. Get together with some of your friends and organize a camp for the kids. Each day the kids can rotate the house they go to and each parent would be responsible for one day of camp. If you need some great art ideas check out Pink and Green Mama's blog for some great ideas and e-books on outdoor arts.

Make homemade art supplies - see our blog posts for Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments, play doughChalk Paint, and Surprise Soap.

In addition the the activities listed above, also remember that "Playing is Learning"! Have a great summer!

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