By Michelle Patelle
During the summer, it’s important to keep your child busy and active even if school is over already. Although it’s time for rest, those two months aren’t meant for your child to be sitting around the house eating and playing video games. The best ways to get your child up and about are by getting them interested in an activity that corresponds to their interests and having generally fun activities lined up as well. Just because school is over, it doesn’t mean that your child has to stop learning. They can learn through various experiences as well during the summer. Sitting them down with textbooks and worksheets may not be the best approach. That is the strength of schools. A parent has other teaching strengths. Use those strengths to enrich your child’s learning in a way they can’t get in school.
Let your child choose some activities that the child will want to do along their own interests and hobbies. If your child likes looking at details and exploring, you can start a collection of sorts. For example, you can start collecting rocks, seashells, leaves, or stamps. If you choose rocks, you can go to different places looking at rocks and you can start to get a few from each trip. You can teach your child to identify what kind of rock it is and they will learn a lot while having fun.
Another activity you could have your child do if they are interested in the outdoors or science is go bird watching or nature hiking. You can have your child keep a notebook in order to record his/her observations every day and you can discuss these and make hypothesis and conclusions like they would in the classroom. Making a birdhouse or a feeder is a good idea too, so that your child can see the birds up close and nearby. They can have fun identifying the birds that come by during the summer and feeding and watching them from afar.
Impressing morals and values into your child is important too. If your child has a knack for selling or charity, you can have them involved in some charity events in your area. This will teach them to be charitable and kind to others. It will also teach your child to be grateful for what they have and be generous with their blessings.
Children who are a bit older can choose to stay up at night and go stargazing. This will open up their eyes to the beauty of the skies. You can even get your child a telescope and a star guide if they are really interested in the stars. It is a great activity that is fun and will help your child improve their skills in observation and appreciation for the environment.
If your child likes writing or performing, you can have them go to different plays to watch and see how they are done. There may even be auditions for local community theater. You might be surprised to find that your child can get a part. You can also buy them a blank book so that they can write stories or even scripts for plays if they have ideas. Children can be very imaginative, so help them channel their imagination into productive outlets.
Summer is a great time to supplement your child’s school learning. There is more time to devote to your child’s interests. Also, local libraries, colleges, schools and recreation departments have many programs available for children. Don’t just waste this summer on video games and television. Get out and expand your children’s minds.