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Guest Post: How to Keep Kids Learning During the Summer

Guest Post: How to Keep Kids Learning During the Summer

Editor’s Note

We’re pleased to introduce this guest post by Brenda Kimble. Brenda is a writer and stay-at-home mother of two daughters and a son, plus their beagle named Duke! She loves blogging, crafting, and spending time with her family. She also enjoys strolling the streets of her quaint neighborhood in Austin, Texas and finding the trendiest hotspots for fashion, food, and live music.

Summer is finally here! It’s the time of year when teachers bid farewell to their students and hope that they don’t forget everything they’ve been taught throughout the school year. It’s also the time of year when busy parents face the daunting task of keeping their kids busy and keeping their minds active. No parent wants to hear the dreaded “I’m bored” every five minutes, nor do they want to send their kids back to school in the fall without any of the skills they learned in the previous school year.

Helping your kids continue learning throughout the summer while still allowing them to enjoy a few months of freedom can be tricky. There are plenty of options, though. Here are a few ways to keep those growing minds active all summer long while keeping the dreaded boredom at bay.

Encourage Them to Write

Urging kids to write throughout the summer helps them maintain their spelling and grammar skills. Give each child a notebook or journal and ask them to write about their day. If your kids are creative, encourage them to write their own stories.

Planning a summer vacation? Pick up a few postcards while you are away and encourage each child to send out at least one to a loved one or friend. Suggest that they penpal with a friend over the summer. There are all sorts of ways to encourage kids to write during the summer months.

Make Ice Cream in a Bag

Cool down on a hot summer day by making ice cream in a bag. In addition to creating a tasty treat, you’ll get to do a fun little science project with your kids. All you need is half and half, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, ice, kosher salt and a zip-top plastic baggie. Visit Delish for the full recipe.

Go on a Nature Walk

Whether you head to a local park or forest or spend some time exploring your own backyard, going on a nature walk provides numerous opportunities for learning. Help your kids identify various types of trees, leaves or even weeds. Point out and identify insects, birds or animals you see along the way.

Teach Them How to Cook

In addition to sharing a valuable life skill, teaching your kids how to cook provides an opportunity to help them keep their math and measurement skills sharp. Sites like Cooking With Kids provide recipes and step-by-step instructions that are appropriate for kids of all ages. You can also find safety tips, measurement reminders and advice for cooking with your children on the website.

You can also find kid-friendly cookbooks at your local library. Let your kids flip through a few and find recipes that look good to them. Preparing a meal together is a lot of fun and it’s a great learning opportunity. It may even be a good way to get the picky eaters in your family to try something new.

Make Reading Part of Your Summertime Routine

When it comes to helping your kids expand their minds, there is nothing better than encouraging them to read. It helps them build their reading comprehension skills and could allow them to learn something new along the way. If you have small children and reading a story isn’t already a part of their nightly routine, make it one. Have them read to you instead of the other way around. If you have older kids who want to spend their entire summer staring at a screen, make it a rule that they have to read from an actual book in order to earn screen time.

There are all sorts of other reading opportunities, too. Pick up a new board game for family game night and have your kids read the rules and instructions to learn how to play. Set up a scavenger hunt with written clues. Create your own family book club where everyone reads the same book and discusses it. The options are limitless.

Make Jewelry

Making jewelry is a good way to pass a rainy summer afternoon. It’s also a fun arts and crafts project that you can use to teach your kids about things like complementary and contrasting colors, design and even geology.

Pick up a good selection of gemstone beads and help your kids decide what colors look best together. Teach them the basics about color theory and why certain colors look nice together and why others don’t. If you have real semi-precious gemstone beads, look up the physical properties for each stone. Learn where the stone originates from, its hardness and its composition. Depending on your family’s belief system, you could even learn about the stone’s metaphysical and healing properties. Who knew that something fun like making jewelry could provide so many learning opportunities?

Plan a Family Fun Day Together

Nothing is better than enjoying a day together as a family. Instead of doing all the planning yourself, encourage your kids to get involved. This is a great opportunity to teach them about budgeting and planning. Figure out how much money to spend and then help your child research attractions and activities in your area. Have them figure out what you can afford to do on the budget you have established. Don’t forget to have them include food and transportation costs. Guide them through the process and work together to plan a day that the entire family will enjoy. Planning and budgeting are important life skills and your kids will have a blast learning them as they figure out the details for a fun day.

Keeping your kids learning through the summer doesn’t have to be difficult. There are all sorts of ways to turn everyday tasks and activities into valuable learning opportunities. Look for opportunities where you can share your knowledge and encourage your kids to use the skills they have learned in school. With a little bit of thought, you can turn nearly the entire summer into a fun learning experience for the entire family.


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