Having the kids home for summer break can be an amazing time for the whole family. However, without the constant reinforcement of their education, your children can quickly begin to forget the information they learned during the year. Although there are ways to keep up with their studies even when the school doors are closed, these methods can be expensive and might even leave your child exhausted for the upcoming school year. There are a few ways you can keep their mind active without spending a small fortune though. Often times, the things you need to do so can be found right in the home. So, get ready for an educational and fun summer that is sure to keep the whole family feeling their brain grow stronger.
1. Board Game Night
Your closet full of board games can really come in handy when it comes to long periods off of school. Luckily, different games help with different skills, so as long as you mix it up you should be doing your children a lot of favors. If you don’t want to spend money on board games, there’s a wide variety you can even make at home. Most board games do help with logic skills though, which come in handy in many aspects of school and life. You can even buy board games that specialize in certain topics, which can help with spelling, math skills and reading comprehension. The best thing about board games is they help the whole family bond, which can come in handy as children grow into teenagers. Apart from skills and bonding, your child will also learn how to be a good sport when losing and how to work as a team.
2. Learn Coding
There’s no doubt about it, technology is the future. Often, school curriculums don’t cover enough aspects of this topic, especially in the early grades. So, you may want to use your child’s summer vacation to help them get ahead in the world of coding. This may sound like a tough feat, especially if you don’t know how to code yourself. However, there are so many aids online that you can have your child coding within a few weeks. The lessons are easy and straight forward enough that you can even learn how to code along with your child. One of the ways to do this is to download apps directed towards kids. There are also many websites that offer free lessons and games to get your child to fall in love with the activity.
3. Reading Programs
Each summer the majority of libraries offer a reading program for the public. Usually, they allow children as young as three and as old as high school to participate in the program for free. This is a great way to keep kids busy, especially when it comes to encouraging them to read. Most children are given a reading goal based on their age group and they receive prizes as they fulfill each goal. Many libraries will also offer arts and crafts as well as story and movie times to keep kids busy and entertained. Older children may even be able to volunteer in order to keep their minds’ active.
Digging in the dirt can be therapeutic for people of all ages, but it can also be a great learning experience. One of the best things you can do for your children is teach them how to grow their own food. This will not only peak their interest in healthier foods, but it can help them save a whole lot of money when they are out on their own. Gardening also reduces stress, so teaching children to do so will help give them some of the tools they will need to lead a healthier lifestyle. You can easily grab seeds to begin your adventure in gardening, but you can also regrow fruits, vegetables and herbs that you already have in the home.
Hopping in the pool can be one of the most refreshing aspects of the summer time. Of course, it can also help keep the mind and body strong too. Swimming is actually one of the best ways for kids to improve on their motor functions, especially when they are not working with utensils and art supplies every day. The movements in each type of stroke works to help muscle growth and cardio functions too, which can help your child stay in shape so gym class won’t be as hard. Other than that, spending time in the pool with friends and family can encourage team work. Games like pool volleyball, Marco Polo and more will entertain and show kids many ways to work with others in difficult circumstances.
Another way to keep young minds going strong is to get them interested in the arts. Luckily, there’s a whole lot of things you can do with items you have in the home. For instance, you can use all of those leftover school supplies for writing or drawing projects. Another option is to pull out the paint and have kids try to design age appropriate paintings. You may even decide to think big and paint a mural on your fence or child’s wall. Instruments are another great option when it comes to the arts. You can get your child interested in taking a class or you can make homemade instruments at home for the occasional jam session. Theater is another option, which will get your child out in the community. You can even have them put on plays at home to keep things lively and fun.
7. Nature Walks
One of the best things you can do for your kids is to get them outside. This why nature walks are one way to keep your kids minds going. To begin with, fresh air is always great for the body and mind, so you’re already off to a good start. Other than that, nature walking gives you access to so many forms of science. For instance, one day, you can have the kids go bug hunting. They can take pictures of each species they see and then read about them later on. Finding and collecting rocks can be a great start to geology, which can help open up the mind to other sciences. Bird watching is another great idea for a nature walk and can help kids learn about the birds that live in their area. You can also teach a lot about the weather, global warming and more simply by checking out the world around you.
Life skills are a must to teach your kids. You can never start too early when it comes to cooking. There’s a lot of cooking techniques you can teach to children of all ages. This not only helps teach your child how to care for themselves, but it can also help them love healthier, homemade foods that nourish their bodies throughout each stage in their life. Cooking is also a great lesson when it comes to chemistry and mathematics. With measuring and working out food changes, your child’s mind will be sharp when these topics come up in school.
9. Science Kits
Science experiments will not only keep your child’s mind active, but can help them fall in love with the world of science. Most schools don’t get to facilitate many science experiments, so working on them at home can reinforce what they’ve already learned while helping them see the science in real life. There’s lots of great science kits on the market that don’t cost a fortune. These kits include everything from biology to robotics, so you can cater to your child’s needs. However, if you really want to save some money then you can work on an experiment with items from home. For instance, a volcano is a simple experiment that is suitable for most ages. You may also want to try out making your own slime, which also works as a toy for kids.
10. Field trips
Getting out of the house to learn is also important during the summer months. There’s a lot you can do in this regards though. For instance, if you have younger kids then you may want to consider going to the zoo or aquarium. This can be very exciting and teaches a lot about the animal kingdom. Another option, especially for older kids is to check out museums. These come in all different forms too, so you may be able to cover many topics during summer break. There are also less popular options like touring factories or farm to teach children how things work. You may want to come up with assignments or writing projects based on your field trips to help reinforce the lessons.
Summer break is a time for fun, but you can also make it an educational experience. These ten ideas will work to help your child’s brain stay strong during the vacant summer months. With a little planning, you should be able to come up with a lesson plan that will have them excited to pick up new knowledge.