Summer learning doesn’t need to be boring! Although including some element of a learning routine into summer plans is a great way to prevent the summer slide, it’s possible to have fun, be outdoors and foster academic skills, too. We have four early learning activities for the little learner in your household:
Create a maker space in your backyard. Go on a hunt through your house for any materials that could be used outdoors to create a maker space for your children. This space promotes learning through play as children experiment, create, invent and learn using ase a variety of tools and materials in a safe manner (e.g., batteries, wires, gears, wood, tools, paper etc).
Write lists. Asking your child to write a whole letter or story can be overwhelming at the best of times but in the summer it may lead to some moaning. Writing a list is a simple way to get children to write frequently. Encourage your child to start each day with a list of things to do including any academic work or chores you want them to accomplish. This will give them a purposeful agenda to their day that will keep them from saying they’re bored and help them practice time management.
Introduce DEAR time. Many children will be used to the DEAR, Drop Everything and Read, acronym from school. This is a time each day where the child stops whatever they are doing and reads for a designated amount of time. At school, the teachers often also join in the reading fun to be a reading role model. Choose a specific time each day or surprise your child by calling out DEAR time. After all, reading everyday is one of the best ways to prevent the summer slide. Make the transition to DEAR time easy by keeping a selection of books in different areas of the house so they always have something to read. Consider making an outdoor reading space using a tent and pillows a reality, too.
Stock up on sidewalk chalk. Sidewalk chalk can be used for tons of outdoor learning.
- Write about the letters of the alphabet and have your child hop on them and say their name aloud
- Call out math facts and have your child write the answers
- Write rhyming words on the fence and encourage your child to draw the pictures that go along with them