Follow these boredom-busting ideas to keep your child learning all summer long.
Summer break is the moment most kids have been waiting for since September. They dream about it and likely started their countdown months ago. Summer is also a time when students can lose up to two months of learning. Parents, help your student avoid summer learning loss with these seven creative ideas. As a bonus, you might not hear the dreaded “I’m bored” quite as often.
1. Encourage your children to turn off the TV and go outside to play. We live in a technology-centric world where kids spend more time interacting with peers through computers, cellphones and online gaming than they do in person. Playing outside or going on a summer field trip with other kids allows them to develop social skills that are important for lifelong success.
2. Promote summer learning with weekly learning topics. Kids are naturally inquisitive and are generally driven to understand the world around them. Now that the school year is over, why not let them have fun while learning about things they’re interested in. Does your child love cats, have an obsession with video games, live for drawing or have a passion for history? Each week, have your children pick a topic that they’re interested in and learn about it so they can teach you what they’ve learned on Saturday.
Bonus tip: There is no need for a formal report here — the goal is to have fun. Maybe they want to make a collage, record a YouTube video or just jot down what they find most interesting. Your kids will get to explore a wide range of topics, and who knows, you might both learn something new.
3. Participate in summer reading programs. Many libraries and some bookstores and restaurants offer rewards for students who read books during the summer. Studies show that students who read just six books over the summer can minimize summer learning loss.
4. Allow them to play a measured amount of educational games online. After they’ve had ample time to unplug and play games that don’t involve a screen, allow them a certain amount of time to play educational computer games. A simple Google search for free online educational games will return a wide variety of options. There are also many educational app-based games for smartphones.
5. Provide them with a selection of fun puzzle books based on their age. Sudoku puzzles, crosswords, acrostics and brain teasers are just a few examples that can help keep your child’s mind sharp.
6. Sign your child up for summer camp. Camps teach kids valuable skills and allow them to make new friends. If your child isn’t old enough for (or isn’t comfortable with) sleep-away camp, there are plenty of day and half-day camps available. Your township or county newsletter or website is a great place to start searching.
7. Make time to relax and enjoy family time. It is easy to overschedule ourselves and our kids over the summer. Plan time to reconnect and recharge.