Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Summer Ideas that are Fun and Educational

My good friend, Corinne, reached out to me and wanted to do a pen post for Teacher's Take-Out. I was thrilled! I love to share ideas with my fellow colleges like you! She has some great ideas on how your children can stay busy this summer while still using educational thinking. Here is her post...

Summer Ideas that are both Fun and Educational by Corinne.

For many, the kids' summer vacation means bracing for the warm days ahead by planning trips to the pool or beach. Rising temperatures leave most people with little or no inclination to engage in chores  or regular activities, and 'lazing around' takes precedence over everything else. It's easy, then, for summer slide to set in among the kids. One of the best ways to tackle the problem is to engage them in meaningful activities that are both fun and educational so that they get very little time to laze! Check out these 'cool' ideas to motivate kids during their summer break and get the best out of them when the break is over.

 1. Download premade calendars and have children plan summer special days for June, July, and August. In other words, improve their planning skills with this simple task! Better still, help children make the calendars at home. For younger kids, this activity will also teach them about the number of days in each month or in a season, etc. In case older children are making the calendars, have them note down important days during summer. For example, summer solstice, the occurrence of any eclipse, etc.

 2. All those board games that have probably been lying in one place gathering dust can come out now. Bring out the Scrabble board and use it to practice vocabulary, spelling, and leaning new words. Try Yatzee to brush up on addition and multiplication facts. Monopoly will help with counting money and place value. It's a good idea to sit as a family and make games as part of your weekly or daily routine. If the kids are not eager to play a board game, you can consider engaging them with online English games. Kids love spending time playing online games, and you will be happy that the games they're playing online have education value as well.  

 3. Involve the kids in cooking. Cooking is an activity that is both educational and fun. Plus, it's great for fractions and measuring. Write down easy recipes like sandwiches, mug cakes, popsicles, salads, etc., and specify the quantity of each ingredient in clear handwriting. Let the little chefs cook the recipes from scratch. Besides learning to cook, which is an essential life skill, children will subconsciously practice their measuring skills too. It'll be an exciting way to find out how a dish can change if too much or too little of an ingredient is added.

 4. Engage kids with theater. Roald Dahl is a good author to start with if you're dealing with children of 5 years and above. Adapt his short stories into plays and invite your children's friends to roll it out together. Have the kids memorize the scripts and put up a performance that's complete with dialog, emotion, and drama. What can be a better way to get kids to practice reading and developing an interest in literature and drama?

 5. Support a book club with someone in your family. Go to your local library and pick up two of the same books. Read a few chapters and then get together to discuss characters, setting, and plot. Make predictions of  what will happen next. Assign new chapters to be read and by what date. Something you can add to your calendar. Local libraries always have some kind of reading reward programs going on during the summer too. It's worth stopping by. Children love the library. I've never had a student complain about going to the library.

I love these summer ideas from Corrine. They are easy to implement and involve learning! Which is always a plus! Thank you for stopping by today and reading! Thank You Corrine for your input and your post on staying busy this summer! I look forward to your next one.


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