Many parents want to maintain a learning and educational atmosphere for their child even when school is out, and the long summer break is often the chief consideration here. There are numerous ways you can combine the nice summer temperatures and the beautiful outdoors with your child's educational progress, helping them continue to develop across the summer even while preschool or other classes are out.
At Devlin's Child Development, we offer certain year-round child care programs like daycare, plus preschool classes and many other programs on yearly schedules for Sandy children and parents. Here are some great summer activities that parents and child care specialists alike can promote to children, helping them maintain educational development while also enjoying themselves.
Summer is a time when the outdoors can be a real source of learning and fun. For example, nature walks with your children can be a great way to identify plants, animals, geography features, and more. Make it into a game; for instance, you could challenge them to find as many different kinds of rocks or leaves they can in 20 minutes. Picnics are also great for the summertime, and you can take this opportunity to introduce educational topics like nutrition or geography.
For younger children, sandboxes are a great way to promote motor skills and language development while having fun outside. As with many other activities, make it into a game; try giving them challenges such as building castles or towers out of the sand.
Especially for younger children who are just learning to read, it's important that parents keep up on their reading skills over the summer. Have them practice with books that are geared toward their age level and interests. It can be as simple as having them read a few pages or a chapter of a book every day. You can also challenge them by asking questions about what they've just read, or asking them to summarize the story.
Reading isn't just for books, either; have your child read signs, words on products in the grocery store, or even recipes. Make these reading activities fun by turning them into a game or competition.
Summer also offers many opportunities to promote creativity. Arts and crafts can be a fun way to engage their minds while having fun. Make it into a challenge; you could ask them to create something with the materials you provide, or let them use their own imagination for what they want to make. Have them draw pictures of their favorite family vacations, or design cards for special occasions.
Because you have more outdoor options during the summer, you can also combine art with nature. Have them create drawings or paintings of the things they've seen on their nature walks or picnics. This is also a great way to encourage younger children with their fine motor skills.
Another fantastic way of combining the outdoors and education is gardening. Planting a garden with your child can be a great way to teach them about nutrition, as well as how plants grow and benefit from sunlight and water.
Have them help you measure out plots for planting different vegetables or flowers, or even have them help build the supporting structures like trellises or fences. You might also let them help you water the plants, which is a great way to teach them about responsibility.
Another key area to focus on during the summer is water activities. Swimming, fishing, and boating are all enjoyable ways to spend time outdoors with your child while still promoting educational topics like safety and science.
For younger children, you could try an outdoor sensory bin filled with water; this can be a great way to introduce them to concepts like measurement or estimation without having to get into the water.
With a little creativity and planning, parents can take advantage of the summer months to continue their children's educational development while allowing them to enjoy all that the season has to offer. From nature walks and picnics, to reading activities and arts and crafts, there are plenty of ways to keep your child engaged throughout the summer.
At Devlin's Child Development, we understand how important it is to keep your child learning and growing even when school is out. We strive to provide programs and activities that can help children reach their academic, social, and emotional milestones while still having fun in the sun. Contact us today to find out more about our summer programming or various child care programs for clients around Sandy.