Summer is here and school is out! Even though your child will not be seeing the classroom for 2 months, it doesn’t mean that they won’t continue to learn throughout the summer. By sneaking “lessons” into fun outdoor activities, your child won’t notice that you are actually teaching them outside of the classroom.
Play Hopscotch: Have your child organize the board, including writing the numbers. In additional to playing traditional Hopscotch, be the moderator and have your child jump to specific numbers on the board. Start with “Jump to 5”. To make the game more difficult, continue to add to a string of numbers. For example, “Jump from 1-2” then increase to “jump to 1-2-1-4”. For older kids, throw in some addition, subtraction and even multiplication, instruct them to “jump to ‘3+4’ or ‘7-3’ or ‘3×3’”. You should get in the game too! Take a turn and have your child shout out numbers and math problems for you. It’s a great way to test if they really know the answers to their own questions, to have fun and keep up those math skills!
Grow a Garden: Have a discussion about the environment, including the plants, bulbs and seeds. As the garden is setup, count the seeds to keep track of each of the different plants. You might want to make a chart. Water the plants together each day. Watch them grow and measure over time. When the vegetables are ready, prepare a meal using them!
Take Different Methods of Transportation: Experience a new mode of transportation; pick one that your child does not normally use. If you take a car everywhere, then go for a ride on a bus, train, ferry, subway or a cable car. Do research online and find a book in the library with pictures and a description. Buy a roundtrip ticket and go for a ride!
Provide Chalk for the Sidewalk: In addition to building your child’s creative and artistic abilities, model writing letters, numbers, words and shapes, and have them imitate. Also, specify the color chalk; continue to change colors so they have the opportunity to recognize the different colors. For older children, give words they can spell and write independently.
Go swimming: On a sunny, hot day, go for a swim at the pool, lake or beach. For parents of strong swimmers, have them guess: How many laps can you do? How many strokes can you do? For parents of beginner swimmers, have them guess: How long can you hold your breath? How long can you blow bubbles? Keep track and count. Did your child guess right? Figure out the difference between their guesses and their actual performance.
As a result of these fun outdoor activities, this summer your child will be using and sharpening their fine and gross motor skills, math skills, including counting, adding subtracting, measuring and number identification, color recognition, increasing reading abilities, spelling and writing skills. Happy Summer learning and enjoy fun outdoor activities while the weather allows it!