10 Ways to Make Summer Learning Fun
It’s that time of the year when schools are out and kids use their abundance of free time devising new ways to drive their parents crazy. Or so it seems. Parents of preschoolers have it particularly difficult. With their limited attention spans and tendency to get into trouble, preschoolers often need constant attention from adults. However, it doesn’t have to be a trying period for the kids and their parents. With the right encouragement and environment, preschoolers can spend their summer holidays happily and productively occupied, and parents can have fun with them.
10 Ways to Make Summer Learning Fun
Use this summer break to bond with your kids and reinforce important preschool skills with these 10 fun summer learning activity ideas for preschoolers.
Play learning games outside – Summer breaks are synonymous with soaking up the sun and cooling off with water. Take advantage of the weather and bring the learning outdoors. With the sidewalk as your paper and sidewalk chalk as your pencil, there are plenty of fun learning games you can play outside. A water gun just adds to the possibilities. For example, write down the letters of the alphabet on the sidewalk. Then call out a word, and have the kids race to squirt down the starting letter of the word.
Play educational games inside – Unless you have a zero screen time policy, your kids probably spend at least some of their time on the computer. Find good, engaging educational games that your kids can play (there are plenty – a quick online search will pull up lists for you to go through) so that you know the time they’re spending in front of the computer isn’t a complete waste.
Make sensory play material and have fun with it – Moon sand, cloud dough, alien slime and instant snow – these are just a few examples of the fun things you can make with your child for sensory play. Most of them are quite easy to make, each has a different yet wonderful texture and your child is sure to enjoy it. In case you’re wondering, kids benefit greatly from sensory play and the fact that they barely ever play outdoors anymore means that they have reduced opportunities for engaging naturally in sensory play.
Go on a nature walk/scavenger hunt – Preschoolers learn a great deal simply by observing, and this activity is a great way to give them an opportunity to do just that. Take them for a walk outdoors and draw their attention to the wonderful things in nature you see as you pass. If they find anything of particular interest, stop and take time to observe and discuss it. Alternately, you can take them on a nature scavenger hunt with a list of specific items they must find in nature as you walk together.
Watch the stars in the night sky – If you have a fairly clear night sky where you live, stargazing is a great summer night activity for kids. You don’t have to worry about the weather or temperature, and the view is uninterrupted by clouds. Look at the stars together and talk about the planets, the galaxy and the universe. You can use a stargazing app to find important stars and constellations.
Visit the library – All the extra free time in summer means that you have more time to spend on books! Inculcate a healthy love for reading in your kids by making it a fun family activity. Take them to the library and choose books together. At home, read the books out to your kids before bed time, or during any other designated story time.
Visit a zoo/aquarium – Take your kids to a local zoo or aquarium for a fun, memorable learning experience. Be prepared for a host of questions about the animals you encounter. Answer the ones you can, and make sure to get back to them on the ones you can’t. Better still, find a children’s book about the topic in question and read it out to them after you return home.
Play with educational toys – Educational toys are specially designed to help kids ask questions, discover new things and learn while having fun. You can find toys focusing on specific areas of interest such as architecture, science, geography, arts, etc. Buy a good educational toy for your children to keep them learning and having fun during the summer months.
Engage in pretend play – Pretend play is a very important part of learning for kids, very often overlooked today. As kids keep getting their entertainment from the television, computer, toys that have a very specific function (that includes dolls and figures with specific roles such as movie characters) and structured games, they forget how to make up stories and games of their own. It is therefore even more important today that preschoolers are encouraged to indulge in pretend play by supplying them with props such as costumes and puppets. If you choose to join them (a great idea), make sure that you are following their rules and letting them direct the play.
Make preschool crafts – Another seemingly simple activity with immense potential for learning is arts and crafts. Guide your preschoolers by giving them ideas and teaching them new techniques, and let them get creative with the execution of the project. Introduce them to a wide range of arts and crafts, and come back to the ones that they find particularly enjoyable.
And there you have it – ten fun, exciting ways to keep learning and having a good time during the long summer months.
Guest Post by: Corinne Jacob is a wannabe writer who is convinced that kids learn best when they’re having fun. She is constantly on the lookout for new and exciting ways to make learning an enjoyable experience. Corinne loves all things that scream out un-schooling, alternative education and holistic learning.
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