Now that the kids are home for the summer, do you think it would be a good thing if your kids kept on learning something?! Considering all the lockdowns and the online learning that has transpired during the last couple of years, this mode of learning (online) is just not for every kid. But even so, in general, why should learning all of a sudden stop during the summer, just because kids don’t have to go to school for a few weeks/months? And can you, as a parent, simply stop what you’re doing and keep an eye on your kids all summer long?
Most of us don’t have that luxury. So, there are options and opportunities out there! Most public libraries offer summer reading camps, clubs, and other programs. Also, Barnes & Noble has a reading program! Reading is something that is just plain healthy all the time. If you and/or your kids think of reading as boring, I get it. Learning can and should be fun. How could you make it more fun? Be creative! You can read together with your kids, and have fun things to do like acting out parts of the books you’re reading, and snacks, etc.
Then there are summer camps. Your kids interact with peers and learning does take place through social interactions. Camps often have exciting activities, too like field trips, games, crafts, they learn new skills, and more. All of this is a way to learn! Speaking of social learning, which is so valuable to your kids as it promotes communication skills and other types of development, scheduling playdates gives kids an opportunity to make their planning into reality. Of course, it goes without saying that choices of who your kids play with, where they do this, what they do, the adult supervision, etc. are all factors. So of course be careful.
Summertime is often a time for vacation and travel. This can be turned into a fun learning opportunity. Games to play in the car, train, or plane when traveling, will also help stimulate learning. What games do you and/or your kids like? I Spy, 20 Questions, the Alphabet Game, memory games? Your imagination is your only limit.
Summertime is a golden opportunity to lessen the time spent with technology and to move your bodies! You can visit parks, a zoo, you can go for a walk, go on a picnic, plant a garden, have a lemonade stand, go swimming, and more. I used to love to roller skate and ride my bike. It was exhilarating to go at higher speeds, with the wind in my hair, and was fun to pump those bike pedals or make turns at the roller rink. What are your and your kids’ favorite physical activities? Do you like going to museums? That usually involves a fair amount of walking – another great exercise.
I loved cooking and I loved cooking well and pleasing my family. You can teach your kids to cook, the whole process – planning your recipe, going to the store to purchase the ingredients, and coming home to put your meal together – and if you do this together, it’s so much more fun!
Do you have a local farmer’s market? Summertime is a great time to visit outdoor markets. Or you can visit a carnival, an amusement park, a flea market, or take a tour at the Crayola Crayon Factory. Going to national parks, going hiking, going swimming, doing scavenger hunts – all of this can be fun, educational, and even low cost. Your kids would probably prefer quality time with you, the parents, than anything else.
Then are just a few ideas. Everything can be a learning experience – it doesn’t always take the form of book learning, although that can be made into a very fun experience.
And don’t forget to cook, serve, and buy health-giving snacks! Remember, any type of snack can be made in a very healthful manner. Most of them can be purchased already made, too.
As always, please have a happy, holistically healthy day!
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