Well families, we did it! We all survived another school year (cue mental rounds of applause and gratuitous pats on our own backs); and now glorious summer, with its warmer days and longer nights, is calling to our families for some well-deserved rest and relaxation. It’s time to reconnect with our kiddos, and enjoy some much-needed family activities together. Whether that’s taking a proper family vacation [check out our blog on the best spots for a family vacation] or enjoying a “stay-cation” at home, summer is the best time for recharging our bodies and minds. That doesn’t mean that we should let all of the hard work our kids put into this past school year go by the way side. There are plenty of ways to keep your kids’ brains active during the summer months! Check out this easy-to-implement list of summer family activities that engage the mind, from the experts at Club Z! Tutoring:
1. Learn a new game – this can be outdoors or indoors. Think chess, checkers or even go fish for younger kids. The point is to introduce them to new concepts, strategies, and rules, all of which keeps their minds stimulated!
2. Keep a journal – the journal can be topic specific (i.e. a dream journal, a journal detailing your children’s summer activities, or a journal writing short stories or poems) or it can be a run-of-the-mill-anything-I-want-to-write-about journal. The choice can be theirs! You can take your kids to a bookstore or even a general or convenience store to pick up an inexpensive spiral bound notebook and let them decorate the cover however they see fit.
3. Take up a foreign language – learning a new language together is a great summer family activity! It can be as simple as finding a dictionary of words in your language of choice, and committing to memorize certain vocabulary throughout the summer. Or you can take lessons as a family, such as the foreign language tutoring services offered by Club Z! From hola to au revoir, learning a foreign language can be stimulating and fun!
4. Go for a walk together – or a run, jog, skip, hike, bike…you get the point. Get outside and look for learning opportunities. Ask younger children to sound out the names of street signs. Ask older children to find 5 different species of flower and then research their names when you get home. Opportunities for learning are everywhere in your neighborhood!
5. Sharpen those math skills – math skills in particular have a tendency to weaken over summer without practice. So help your kids stay on their math game by making it fun! Quiz them while you’re driving in the car and offer a reward (whoever wins picks dinner for the night) for whoever provides the most correct answers. Give older children a chance to flex time-telling and subtraction skills asking them to solve math problems such as, “we’ll arrive at our destination around 5:30 pm (for example) and it is currently 5:15 pm, so many minutes of drive time do we have left?” Or let younger children help you with baking or cooking – there are ample opportunities to build their math skills through measurement, counting, and estimating.
These are only a few of the things you can do to incorporate learning into your summer activities. Be creative and look for opportunities to make it FUN!