Heat up the learning this summer
There is no better time of year for kids than summer. A two-month vacation from school means hours spent riding bikes with friends, eating ice cream, roasting marshmallows around the campfire and long trips in the family car. As an engaged parent, you want to facilitate these experiences and making these kinds of memories for your child, and even join in on some of these summer activities as an opportunity to bond with your child. As much as having summer fun in the sun is important, it is just as important to keep your child learning throughout the summer months. This way, they don’t lose the skills they’ve acquired over the school year or fall behind, and their minds stay fresh and sharp, ready for the challenges of a new academic year when they go back to school in the fall. Studies show that children who do not engage in at least a few summer learning activities experience “summer learning loss” which can put them at a disadvantage when they return to school at the end of summer.
There are many ways that you can keep your child learning and growing throughout the summer months. Here are just a few simple ways that you can keep your kids learning, and in some cases without them even knowing it!
Simple ways to keep kids learning all summer long
Visit a museum: Your local museum is an excellent place for kids to combine learning with having fun. Depending on the type of museum you choose, your child can learn about everything from science and history to art and ancient civilizations.
Parent bonus: Many museums have supervised group tours for kids, giving parents free time to run other errands or just relax.
Stroll through a park: From going on a nature walk with your kids, organizing a family picnic or reading a book to your child under a shady tree, parks can be a great place for kids to have fun learning. From discovering different types of plants, flowers and trees to learning cooperation and team work from outdoor play, parks have a lot to offer.
Parent bonus: Kids are less likely to be put up a fight at bedtime when they are tired out from running and playing in the park.
Check out a library: Your local library is a great place for kids to combine fun with learning this summer. It’s no surprise that reading is one of the best ways to keep children learning—from language skills to history, animals, geography and science, there is nothing your child can’t learn from the local library.
Parent bonus: Libraries are open to everyone and borrowing books is free! Great for parents on a budget.
Get cooking: Get your kids involved in helping you make summer treats like ice cube popsicles, fruit salad and family barbeques, as well as meals for dinner. Between reading out loud from the cookbook to carefully measuring ingredients, your kids will brush up on their language and math skills every day.
Parent bonus: Kids are more likely to eat the healthy meals you cook when they help make them.
Have a garage sale: Summertime is synonymous with having an outdoor sale to clear your house of odds and ends. Have the kids help organize the garage sale from advertising to setting it up and handling sales with customers. Your child will get an instant lesson in running a business and money management.
Parent bonus: Having a garage sale helps you de-clutter and organize your home.
Start gardening: If you don’t already have one, start a family garden in the backyard. Involve the kids in planting seeds, watering the plants and flowers, and keeping track of their progress daily in a growth chart.
Parent bonus: Delegate the weeding to the kids, they’ll have fun doing it.
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This article was written by C.S.T Consultants Inc. (CST). CST is the investment manager and distributor of the Canadian Scholarship Trust Plans and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation. In Quebec, the Canadian Scholarship Trust Plans are distributed by C.S.T. Consultants Inc. Scholarship Plan Brokerage Firm.