It’s official. My Chicklet is now out of school for the summer. I have all sorts of things planned to keep her busy during the summertime. She will be attending summer school for half days beginning in June. And after that, she will be transported to summer sports camp where she will be active and moving around. When summer school and summer sports camp finishes in July, she will be off to summer day camp. In between all of this, we are taking a few trips and on the weekends, she is enrolled in ballet.
That’s a lot of stuff we have going on. But I am an advocate for keeping my child busy, even in the summer. It’s important for kids not only to be active and moving, but also learning. During the summer, your child can actually “lose” some of the knowledge they’ve learned during the school year. But I have plans for that.
During the summer, I keep The Chicklet “Brain Active”. Meaning, we both participate in activities and items that get her brain going so that she continues to learn and grow intellectually during the summer months.
Here are 5 Ways to Keep Your Child Brain Active:
1. Grade Level Work Books: This is something I also did with my now 18 year old. I purchase workbooks at Barnes and Noble or Walmart or a place that sells them inexpensively for the next grade the kids are going to enter. I usually get one math one and one reading one and alternate the lessons everyday. These workbooks are usually well produced and has great brain stimulating material and we get it done first thing in the morning, right after breakfast, when my daughter is full and focused. It’s a great way to continue the learning process during summer break. (You can also print out worksheets for free on the web. Get them HERE and HERE.
2. Summer Reading Book Clubs at the Library: Most major libraries have a Summer Reading Book Club for pre-k, elementary, and young adult readers. These clubs usually give rewards or incentives based on how many books you’ve read and it’s a great way to get your kids to read during the summertime. My daughter loves participating in the Summer Reading Book Club at our local St. Louis County Library, and we will be participating again this year.
3. Educational Field Trips: Who says that you can’t have field trips during the summer? Planning a few hours once a week at a fun, yet educational spot in your city or town is a great way for your kids to learn. And a lot of times, you learn with them. This year, I have a trip to the City Museum planned as well as a visit to the St. Louis Science Center. You can also talk to certain stores in your area (like Petco) who may give store tours geared towards children. These trips are not only fun, but also create a way for you to bond with your brood.
4. Summer Learning Fun Packet: This year, my daughter’s 2nd grade teacher sent home with them a ‘My Summer Learning Fun Packet’ which has worksheets and fun activities for her to complete over the summer.
5. Writing Letters: My son used to love writing letters to our out of town relatives, so during the summer, we would buy dozens of postcards so he could send them in the mail. He also liked to type out letters (his penmanship was never that great), which helped his typing and spelling skills. This also teaches your child how to write formal letters and address them too. This summer, my daughter wants to write a letter to Malia and Sasha Obama. We are going to have so much fun with that!
By using your creativity, you could probably come up with a dozen more ways on how you can keep your child Brain Active and learning over the summer break. I hope these five items help you, or spark an idea of your own.
What are you going to do over summer break with your kids? How will you keep them Brain Active?