Four Summer Learning Activities Your Kiddos Will Love
For kids, summer is full of long-awaited adventures. There are new friends to make, unknown places to explore, and (of course) video game levels to master. But there’s often one important activity missing from kids’ summer bucket list: learning. That’s why many children experience the “summer slide,” a loss of reading and arithmetic skills. By the first day of school, many kids feel like they’ve lost their ability to keep up in class. But you can beat the summer slide — and have fun while doing it! Check out these kid-approved activities.
Visit the Local Library
Your little learners may enjoy the library more than they admit. The library has stacks of books, magazines, and movies to explore. If your kiddos can’t find the perfect book, they can ask the local librarian, who usually offers a wealth of information. As James Patterson brilliantly says, “There’s no such thing as a kid who hates reading. There are kids who love reading, and kids who are reading the wrong books.” Bonus: your little readers will learn responsibility when they use a library card.
Go to the Store & Cook Together
While a trip to the grocery store may sound mundane, it is a wonderful learning opportunity for little ones. Before your trip, encourage your kids to find a few recipes that look easy and delicious. Help them make a grocery list, paying close attention to the ingredient list for each recipe. Then, while you’re gathering the groceries at the store, quiz your kids on their math skills. Ask them to tally up the cost of each item and guess the total amount before check-out. If your kiddos get close, reward them with a treat from the check-out line! (Nothing extravagant. Think toys, candy, or snacks.)
When you get home, ask your children to help you put the groceries in the proper place. Show them where each item goes in your family kitchen. Then, when it’s time for dinner, tell your children to measure the ingredients. Resist the urge to clean up after them. Instead, teach them how to clean up as they cook.
Listen to Books in the Car
Whether you’re going on a road trip or just down the road, turn on a kid-friendly audiobook. You may have to choose the first audiobook, but then you can let your kiddos pick out their favorite authors and genres. After everyone has listened to the book, ask your children a few questions to see if they understood the story. This doesn’t have to be an expensive learning activity. You can find many free audiobooks on YouTube.
Bring Back Bedtime Stories
There are many benefits to reading to your children before they go to bed. It creates a bond between parent and child; it builds children’s vocabulary; and it helps struggling readers gain confidence. If your child insists he’s too old for a bedtime story, you can both listen to a short story on Alexa. Open the Alexa app on your mobile device, tap on the hamburger icon, and press Skills. This will display a list of story and activity categories. Or, if you want to hear any story, just say, “Alexa, tell me a story.”
Summer learning doesn’t have to consist of boring math drills or tedious workbook exercises. You can incorporate curiosity and imagination by encouraging your kiddos to continue learning all year long.