Although the school year is over, summer offers opportunities to engage kids’ interests and imagination through intellectually stimulating activities. Planning structured activities and outings helps to maintain their focus, avoid summer learning loss, and expand on what they learned during the school year. By enrolling them in a safe, supportive environment that prioritizes childhood education, parents can trust their children will stay on track. Here’s some more information on ways to motivate summer learning for childhood development.
How to Inspire Early Child Learning Over Summer
1. Get Outside
Take the classroom outdoors by creating learning opportunities in local green areas. From the backyard and surrounding parks to botanical gardens and zoos, your child can enjoy fresh air while participating in fun, hands-on activities. Ask them questions about their observations, and consider searching for activity books from local parks, zoos, and museums before your visit.
More ideas for outdoor activities include:
- Camping in the backyard
- Playing in the sprinklers
- Going to a new playground or park
- Identifying local plants and wildlife
- Planting a garden
- Visiting a local lake, beach, river, etc
2. Educational Day Trips
Fun for the whole family, educational day trips can spark new interests, ideas, and cultural awareness. Day trips to institutions such as zoos, museums, historical landmarks, theaters, and planetariums help connect topics children are learning in the classroom to the world around them. In particular, children’s museums engage visitors through age-appropriate, sensory activities to deepen comprehension and interest.
3. Learn a New Skill or Hobby
Encourage exploring new hobbies and honing skills your child can enjoy year-round. This can include trying a new sport or wellness activity such as soccer or yoga, cooking a meal together, photography, or even trying their hand at magic.
Other ideas include:
- Learning a new instrument
- Sewing or crocheting
- Collecting items like coins or stamps
- Scientific experiments
4. Keep Them Reading
Use any opportunity to read with your children. Maintain a bedtime story routine, encourage reading throughout the day, and visit your local library to inquire about host summer reading programs. Parents can also explore local lending libraries.
If your child doesn’t have a structured summer reading list from their school, you can still make a point to develop their literacy skills so they’re prepared for the new school year. For greater reading comprehension, consider purchasing workbooks at teacher supply stores or in the education sections of bookstores like Barnes & Noble.
Get creative! Media can include:
- Graphic novels
5. Encourage Writing or Drawing
Writing and drawing exercises creativity and imagination and helps children connect ideas. Writing also improves language skills, all while having fun. Parents can search for creative prompts, or help their children choose a topic such as a favorite family vacation memory. Families can also select fun cards and postcards to send to loved ones. Consider keeping a physical dictionary and thesaurus nearby, or teach them how to use those features on programs such as Microsoft Word so they can enhance their vocabulary.
For art materials, visit your local department or craft store, and use items around the house such as glue, leaves, and sticks to add flare. If they’re unsure of subjects, suggest drawing or painting your family, animals, or book characters. Children can even combine the two activities by writing an imaginative story and then drawing illustrations for it. Ask your child open-ended questions about their process and artwork.
If you’re searching for summer daycare center options, turn to Ducklings K-Kids Ducklings Summer Camp. Families can enroll kids entering kindergarten through second grade in full summer sessions as well as weekly camp options. Campers can look forward to themed enrichment activities outside, and in air-conditioned spaces during inclement weather. Parents can rest assured children are engaged in an age-appropriate curriculum and socializing with peers so they’re ready to return to school. For more information on our multiple daycare centers and find a Ducklings near you, visit our website today.