Keep Kids Focused This Summer
Summer is upon us, which means time off from school, moree
opportunities to play, and lots of free time in which kids say things like, “I’m bored.” How can you keep your kids focused, entertained and still learning this season? To answer hat question, here’s a look at some specific ideas for active learning games that will help your kids expel energy, stay mentally sharp, and avoid dreaded boredom:
1. Make a Summer Dream List. Get your kids dreaming about fun summer
activities by having them write a summer bucket list, suggests Rebecca
Gruber at PopSugar. The ideas they jot down don’t have to be lofty or
ambitious, “but it will be fun to check items off the list and turn to it for ideas
when it feels like you’re in the midst of an endless summer.”
2. Be Artistic. Most kids love coloring because it gives them a creative outlet in
which they can choose colors, draw, decorate and design different pages as
they like. Use this interest to your advantage this season by filling summer
afternoons with artistic time to color, paint, draw and so on. Better yet, plan
special crafts that you can take during an afternoon to work on together,
making mementos from the seashells you bring back from the beach or
special artwork to hang in your kids’ rooms. You might even grab some
sidewalk chalk to let your kids draw on the front driveway or sidewalk.
3. Cook Together. Pick a super simple recipe and break it down into
manageable steps that you can try with your kids. If you’re stumped for
ideas, select a kids’ cookbook from the library or bookstore. Not only will this
be an activity your kids find fun, but also it will set you up with a snack or
meal that you can enjoy together.
4. Visit a Farmers Market. Involve your child in the kitchen-shopping process
by taking him/her to the farmers market with you. As you visit different
vendors, purchase vegetables and explore the area, your little one will get the
chance to learn more about where food comes from and who grows it.
5. Plan a Scavenger Hunt. If you’re willing to do a little prep work ahead of
time, you can set up a fun scavenger hunt for your kids that keeps them
entertained all afternoon, while also stretching their minds and muscles. “Warm or cold weather, there’s nothing more entertaining for kids than taking part in a scavenger hunt,” says Elizabeth SanFilippo at Care.com. “They’re great activities for babysitters to do with kids and can be fun for birthday parties,” she adds.
6. Work Your Way through Caldecott Books. Just because school’s out
doesn’t mean you can’t keep up with reading all summer — help your kids have some direction in their reading plans by printing a list of children’s books that have won Caldecott Medals and work through the list over the next few months. To keep your child inspired, offer special rewards at the end of goals completed: after you’ve read 12 books, for example, go see a movie or get ice cream.
7. Go Exploring. There are plenty of ways to teach your kids more about the world, from visiting local parks and examining foliage to taking summer road trips and showing them maps of where you are. Look for new ways and places to explore this summer to keep your kids entertained and excited
8. Work Learning Games into Daily Life. Find ways to show how math and
science relate to the real world, and you help your kids understand why they
matter. “For example, have your kids add up prices at the grocery store and
challenge them to tally up the final bill,” says Jennifer Peck at Edutopia.
“When going on drives, ask them to look for certain shapes, colors, letters or
words on billboards and signs.”
9. Hit Up All the Local Parks. If you’re like a lot of Americans, you’re
surrounded by parks and forest preserves in your community where
you can picnic, hike and play. Make it a goal with your kids to visit as many of these places as you can this summer and help your kids find fun beyond watching TV and playing video games. Even when the prospect of an entire summer without school may seem daunting,
takes heart: there are plenty of ways to keep your kids entertained
and energized throughout this season. Use the ideas above as a jumping-off point for keeping your kids busy — and help them to keep learning, stay active and have fun in the process.
David Reeves is the Marketing Director of Superior Recreational Products (SRP) in
Carrollton, GA. For more than 30 years, Superior Grounds For Play
(http://www.groundsforplay.com/), a division of SRP, has been focused on the design
of safe play structures that provide challenging physical and mental exercises for
specific age groups.