Summer break is upon us! And that means kids will be enjoying ice cream, trips to the beach, and not having to go to school to learn, right? Well, just because class isn’t in session doesn’t mean that summer should be a time to forget everything they’ve learned the past year (which unfortunately seems to happen all too often). So today, our experts at Knowledge Bump have compiled 5 tips to keep your kids learning this summer, and the best part? These are all fun things that won’t make your kids feel like they’re stuck doing homework all summer.
1. Read, Read, Read
The first thing you should instill in your kids if you want them to continue actively learning over the summer is to read, read, read. Yes, they should probably be reading educational books for the most benefit; however, don’t underestimate the power of novels, picture books, and other adventure stories for your child’s development. Reading helps expose them to new words, perspectives, and worldviews – something that’s critically important in today’s world. So, consider making it into a fun game! For example, you could set a reading challenge or reward them with a special prize or activity when they’ve read a certain number of pages or books this summer.
2. Explore Local Museums, Zoos, and Science Centres
Although you may not have much time this summer to do several different field trips with your family, consider taking your kids to explore local museums, zoos, and science centres when you can. These venues are designed with kids in mind and often have different programs or activities for them to enjoy! And even if they don’t, your kids will be sure to ask you tons of questions about the new things they’re experiencing. Plus, it’s a fun memory they can bring up when they go back to school in the fall and ultimately get asked, ‘What did everyone do this summer?’
3. Embark on a Nature Scavenger Hunt
This next suggestion is one of our favourites because it gets your kids out and engaging in nature (and away from the electronics!). If your kids are feeling cooped up and need an adventure, why not embark on a nature scavenger hunt? There are many ways you can craft a nature scavenger hunt – ranging from simple to elaborate – but we recommend starting easy by using a piece of paper, cardboard, or empty egg container and adding colours (or other labels) for items that your child needs to find in nature. So, you might ask them to find something green, circular, or stinky. This summer learning game is great because it not only makes them interact with nature but will get them asking questions and learning in a fun way.
4. Engage in Educational Games and Puzzles
If your kids aren’t big nature lovers (or just need a break from all the outdoor activities they’ve been doing), but you still want them to keep learning throughout the summer months, get them to engage in educational games and puzzles. Of course, at Knowledge Bump, games are one of our favourite ways to explore new concepts and gain new knowledge, so it had to make this list one way or another. You might let them play an educational video game (they do exist!) or find a puzzle that will challenge them and keep them occupied. You could even make up your own games with supplies found around your home. For example, if you wanted to teach them about volumes and mass, you could get out some kitchen tools (measuring cups, bowls, etc.) and ask them to experiment by pouring water into different containers and relaying their observations.
5. Give them ‘Summer Jobs’
Finally, this last suggestion is perfect for parents who want a little extra help around the house this summer – consider giving your kids ‘summer jobs.’ Kids love to feel important and needed, so giving them their own official ‘summer jobs’ will help to boost their confidence while strengthening their social and motor skills. Keep in mind these are different than their everyday chores they’re expected to do, although they may end up looking similar. For example, depending on your child’s age, you might get them to wipe the table, sweep up the floor, prepare a snack, put away the laundry, or sort silverware. Try to find something you know will engage your child, and you might also think about giving them a reward at the end of a job well done.
Although summer has a reputation for being a bit of a free-for-all where education and learning go out the window, it doesn’t have to be that way. By incorporating sneaky yet fun ways to bolster your kids’ learning, you can keep them up to pace throughout the summer and set them up for success in the coming fall. So, get creative! Challenge your child to a reading competition, take them to a local exhibit, get them out and exploring nature with a scavenger hunt, supply them with games that will build their skills and knowledge, or consider giving them a ‘summer job’ to complete. No matter what you choose, remember that kids are more likely to acquire and retain knowledge when they’re actively engaged – it’s just a matter of finding what works best for your family!
And remember, if your children love to use games to learn new academic concepts, then Knowledge Bump could be the ideal tutoring solution for you! Our experts create customized learning plans for each student that can include certain games to reach specific educational outcomes tailored to the student’s needs. So, what are you waiting for? Contact us today, and let’s put the ‘fun’ back into functional learning!